A pair of traffic lights are causing an ever-expanding uproar among Palo Alto parents of children who attend Walter Hays Elementary School. What was once a seemingly quiet and peaceful neighborhood discussing are driving skills are inherited, has turned into a civil distress that is demanding the immediate attention of the local government. Ever since these pair of traffic lights came to town, Palo Alto has never been the same.
Fixing One Problem with Another Problem
Traffic congestion is no unusual issue in California. If you’ve been to the state, you’re well familiar with the nightmarish conditions drivers are subjected to. Traffic build up can be a daunting and excruciating factor in any person’s commute. Therefore, ensuring the flow of traffic through intersections is pivotal to any town’s infrastructure design.
That’s the case with Palo Alto. With the population of roughly 65,000 residents, the large town experiences its fair share of traffic build up. This headache inducing characteristic of the state is reason enough to make any intersection optimize to its peak performance. However, there is one particular intersection which was causing extreme chaos among commuters.
This intersection happened to be located along the sidewalks used by students attending Walter Hays Elementary School. Recently, government officials acted to optimize this overloaded intersection. The construction plans removed a diagonal crosswalk that contributed to the buildup of traffic in the area.
The removal of the diagonal crosswalk was the perfect antidote to the traffic congestion. Except, the city had inadvertently caused a substantially greater problem. The sidewalks at this intersection become bloated with elementary school children spewing into the roads, which were gushing with high speed traffic.
Currently, the safety of Walter Hays Elementary School students is at risk when crossing this busy intersection. The government found the solution to one issue by introducing another. As this unsuspected threat reared its head into the lives of the student’s, they’ve banded together to come up with a solution.
A Rush to Fix This Rush Hour Dilemma
In a hastened attempt to find a solution, the parents of the children, who attend the nearby elementary school, have started a petition to garner the response of local government. The petition is issuing the “return to the single four-way signal during school drop-off times and after school. Alternatively, the city should provide crossing guards at each corner to ensure the elementary students’ safety.” This call for action requests the return of the diagonal crosswalk during hours students walk home.
Adding to the fire, the petition has picked up steam among parents, who have unified in the area. The goal is to gain attention with commotion. People have been flooding the government offices with concerns, complaints, and every form of communication in between.
Time is of the essence. One parent reported that the government needs to enact “change as soon as possible because every day we wait is another day we put our children, cyclists and pedestrians at risk.” Moreover, there have been reports of cars swerving to avoid children who often wander into the street.
Already, the commotion has caused government to act against the concerns being raised. For the next two weeks, crossing guards are stationed at the intersection to facilitate the safety of pedestrians around the stop lights. Of course, the real commotion won’t stop until the diagonal crosswalk is brought back into effect or until everyone has taken their online traffic school. But, the latter might be a more distant reality.