Lack of common sense causes Blair Blvd congestion, collisions and crises

Dec. 19, 2002, midnight | By Jessica Stamler, Rachel Yood | 20 years, 3 months ago

Hallway right-of-way woes

From the cobblestone-laden streets of ye olde colonial city to the concrete jungles of the modern urban metropolis, one pattern has remained constant: people have kept to the right. And the American people of today, the proud inheritors of this orderly tradition, can be observed following this rule almost anywhere there is foot or vehicle traffic.

Anywhere, that is, except the halls of Montgomery Blair High School.

Here, many students seem to prefer walking on the left, or "wrong," side of the hallway, abdicating the right of way for which our forefathers fought so hard. Too often, peacefully walking Blazers are shoved up against the wall by someone barreling down the wrong side of Blair Blvd.

There is a simple solution. If everyone sticks to the right side of the path, there will be no battles over pathway claims.
This principle is at work daily on our streets, where patriotic American commuters choose to stick to the right—unlike the British, who drive on the left whenever they find a break in their busy tea-drinking schedules. Here in the land of the free, our highways even provide us with yellow lines that mark off lanes the American way.

Chips is by no means suggesting that Blazers pull out a can of paint and slap lane dividers down on our tile floors. But a bit of homeland orderliness would work wonders for everyone sick of pushing and being pushed.

Opening doors ease problem

At 11:35 a.m. on Dec 3, a significant number of Blair's 3,200 students pressed through a short area of the hall only 15 feet wide after pouring out of the SAC, Blair Blvd, Silver Spring Ave (the 160s hall), a staircase, the courtyard and the portables. Conditions were so crowded that students' arms were pinned to their sides, and they had little control over the direction in which they were walking.

This daily bottleneck between 5A and 5B lunch where Blair Blvd and the SAC converge is definitely uncomfortable; it may very well be dangerous, too. When students cannot control their movements, it is hard to feel safe.

The obvious solution is for some people to walk around the problem area. But for many, including French teacher Arlette Loomis, this is impossible because the other entrances to the building are locked and forbidden. Every day, Loomis pushes a cart of class supplies through this particularly crowded area because the door closest to the foreign language office, like most exterior doors, is locked.

Security is an obvious concern, but it must be tempered by common sense. One more unlocked exterior door would not be an unbearable burden to our security staff.

Many Blazers could use the door at the end of the 170s hallway in place of the door to the SAC, thus avoiding the crush. They ought to be encouraged to do so, rather than reprimanded by understandably rule-abiding staffmembers who try to prevent students from opening the door for each other. The rules need to change to accomodate Blair's growing population.

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Jessica Stamler. Co-editor-in-chief Jessica Stamler is a senior in the CAP program at Blair High School. Besides Chips and academia, Jessica enjoys singing, writing, making music, and committing random acts of craziness. Her activities include: youth group, Blair gymnastics team, Students for Global Responsibility, and InTone Nation … More »

Rachel Yood. Rachel Yood is a junior in the Communication Arts Program at Blair. She is excited to join Silver Chips as a page editor, but suspicious of the time the newspaper seems to take from her primary activity: sleeping. When not working or curled up in … More »

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