Traffic congestion isn’t as simple as it looks

Traffic congestion isnt as simple as it looks

Scott Hyon


School administrations are (finally) doing all they can to curb extensive traffic problem

It’s a problem that has The city and schools are in the midst of fixing the crowded routes to school, like McClellan Rd. above. Photo by Scott Hyon.been explored years too late. It’s a problem that authorities did not give enough attention to in the past. Fortunately, for MVHS students, it is a problem that the city of Cupertino is finally tackling with gusto.

For years, the traffic problem in the MVHS-Lincoln Elementary School-Kennedy Middle School area has been a huge headache for everyone involved. With the three schools all within a mile of one another, countless drivers, bikers and pedestrians have silently cursed the crowded routes to school. In short, the ritual of getting to school has been a complicated, chaotic mess. That being said, the solution is not as easy it may seem at first glance.

Disregarding the risk for potential failure,  the Cupertino Safety Commission has allocated almost $40,000 in funds to the two programs, Boltage and traffic coordination, to conduct a major test of the area’s congestion. Despite the delayed arrival of these latest measures, the new programs show that the city has at least begun to realize the enormity of the tri-school area’s traffic problem.

In order to minimize this obstacle, the new Boltage system involves students carrying radio frequency tags that are picked up by sensors located near the three schools and will reward students who walk or bike to school. In addition to this new system, two crossing guards and additional police deputies have been assigned to McClellan Rd. to help coordinate traffic. With the inclusion of sophisticated technology in Boltage, the Safety Commission has come up with a creative solution that will also be environmentally friendly at the same time. The long-awaited crossing guards will at least temporarily enforce some vestige of order as students walk to and from school.

The pilot program and Boltage system are only the first of other plans to come. The pilot program, in particular, is set to run until December, after which the Safety Commission will reevaluate the results. In addition, several meetings have been scheduled by the FUHSD to periodically review the problem.

For students, it will be a relief to actually feel cared for by the city and the school districts. Regardless of whether these measures succeed or not, the fact that the school district and the local government are finally pursuing solutions to the issue is reassuring. A great deal of credit has to go to the school administrators and city officials, some of whom even participate in directing traffic in the mornings.

For all this progress though, it would not be wise to be too optimistic. The fact is, the red headlights of cars in mile-long lines have been synonymous to the MVHS area for years, and one cannot expect it to disappear overnight. Still, let us hope that the recent traffic mitigation measures don’t go along with the saying “too little, too late.”