At the beginning of the year, there were three to four buses late to school every day. Because of the heavy traffic around Lake Road, it can take ten or more minutes to get around the lake. Kelsey Osmus, a freshman at Camas High School, mentioned that the traffic, “is preventing a lot of teens from getting to class and, therefore it is holding back students, and when they get home, it’s 20 minutes later than it would be without the traffic. It also causes us to be late at school because we were in traffic for up to 20 minutes.”
One cause of the traffic is predicted to be all the construction that has been happening around the area. Fox explained how “one of the things that have been kind of crazy is how much construction has been happening around Camas. I know for me, sometimes I don’t even know if there’s going to be construction on the roads when I’m coming to school in the morning, or when I’m leaving. I find myself sitting at traffic cites, I don’t know, up to thirty minutes a day.” Hopefully, by the time the rain starts, the construction will start to slow down.
Another cause of the traffic could be the later start and ending times. Carolyn Carroll, a math teacher at CHS said, “It’s a problem because everyone is getting to class late and the first period basically loses five minutes each day, and it takes forever to get home.” Last year with the conference period, the time that students with cars were leaving and the time that the buses were leaving was about 30 minutes apart, which alleviated a lot of the traffic. However, this year we don’t have that separation, which causes everybody to leave at around the same time.
When the buses are late to school, they leave no time for students to get to their classes and their lockers. Fox explained how “one thing that has been frustrating for students is how when they get off the bus they have so little time before class starts to just sit for a minute.” When you are stuck in traffic it’s hard to get to class on time and still have time to do stuff like eat, or talk to your friends.
Fox said that they might open up more zero period classes so kids can go to school for periods zero through five, instead of periods one through six. This will make it so people can leave school earlier, and the traffic coming out of the school will hopefully decrease. More zero period classes will hopefully make it so fewer students would leave at the end of the day because they would get out an hour before the regular time gets out. There would be fewer cars leaving the school at the same time, which will hopefully alleviate some of the traffic.
The best way to resolve this problem is for parents and students to carpool.
Other than that, the school doesn’t have much control over this problem. Fox hopes that by the end of October, this problem will have worked itself out. He mentioned that “The traffic has been just kind of like a perfect storm. All the construction, new start times, the city not having the infrastructure. What I mean is, roads to handle this traffic at one time, it’s a really interesting problem.”