-22855 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302-

Calabasas Courier Online

-22855 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302-

Calabasas Courier Online

-22855 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302-

Calabasas Courier Online

Opinion: A possible policy to tackle morning traffic

Opinion%3A+A+possible+policy+to+tackle+morning+traffic
Callum Holt

As the year passes, the morning rush of traffic, present on and around the Calabasas stretch of Mulholland Highway, has done anything but dissolve. Yet as the traffic seems to get worse, one begins to ask oneself, is this really out of Calabasas High School’s hands?

Exactly how did the traffic get this bad? One possible explanation for the congestion is CHS’ location. Located in the midst of three high schools, two middle schools, two elementary schools, and three preschools, the Calabasas morning school run is undoubtedly difficult, challenging even the greatest of minivan drivers to get to school on time. Not to mention the hundreds commuting to work in the morning through the Topanga and Malibu canyons. 

An additional contributor to the traffic is the recklessness of individuals when driving to school in the morning and leaving in the afternoon. The issue has gotten so bad that CHS Principal Bennett Wutkee released an email via ParentSquare announcement on Sept. 6, calling out the behavior noticed by CHS staff. 

“We are seeing that students are dangerously crossing streets at locations that don’t have a crosswalk,” Wutkee wrote. “Families are making illegal U-turns in front of other cars, and cars are blocking the streets and the entrance into the school up to 45 minutes prior to the end of the school day.”

The fact that the majority of both Mulholland and Valmar are single-lane streets only adds to the issue, it is increasingly evident that as a community we must be cautious.

The time of year affects traffic too, with increased traffic near the start of the year due to many juniors not having their license at that point. 

“[The traffic] is worse at the beginning of the year because students like juniors don’t have their license,” said CHS Assistant Principal of Student Safety, Facilities and Athletics Tyler Lee. “Once the juniors get their license they start getting up earlier to get a spot and that does alleviate some pressure. ”

However, Lee says that this is an issue much larger than CHS. 

“A lot of it is the city, too, with how they plan the roads,” said Lee. “The roads aren’t for [CHS Admin] to control. Lanes, all that stuff—that’s not an us thing. We kind of have to work with what we are given, so that’s why it’s important for people to reach out to their elected city officials.”

The number of lanes is not within the control of the admin, however, the dropoff protocol currently enforced by Calabasas High does have that power. When it is an issue that could affect students’ mental and physical well-being, one would hope that a school as well-funded as CHS would come to a solution that would not only benefit the CHS students, but also members of the community and surrounding schools. 

The current dropoff protocol at CHS (shown below) is as follows: parents may enter campus from either direction at the gate closest to the PAEC and must continue out through the senior lot exit, creating a large amount of congestion at the Mulholland traffic light. 

https://www.smore.com/7y42s

CHS needs a traffic system that flows better and minimizes the number of unnecessary stops that students need to encounter en route before being dropped off or exiting their vehicles. 

What might a new system look like? Diagrammed below is a possible solution that does not allow left turns into CHS’ campus which would hopefully decrease this congestion. Students coming from the east on Mulholland Highway would be dropped off at the normal drop-off point on campus, whereas students coming from the west on Mulholland Highway and Old Topanga Canyon Road would have to be dropped off at the loading zones currently located outside the senior parking lot.

Many may ask, why bother changing the current protocol? Although a change like this would take some getting used to, it would ultimately relieve traffic tensions in and around campus, allowing students precious extra time in the mornings. The decrease in complexity within a new system like this would also make drop-off safer for students and members of the public. 

Caitlin Brockenbrow

The infamous Calabasas morning school run is a tale as old as time and by no means is an easy feat. The fact that it is a challenge for students to even get to school is a major problem. Whether this is handled as a city or school matter, there are solutions that can be met to mitigate traffic. School is hard enough as it is and the lack of CHS administrative action with something as simple as getting to school makes it even harder.

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About the Contributors
Callum Holt, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Callum Holt and I’m over the moon to be a staff writer for the Calabasas Courier this year. This is my second year in the Courier and it’s developed into one of my favorite passions. Outside of the Courier, I enjoy dancing, thrifting with friends, going on hikes and soaking up everything life has to offer!
Caitlin Brockenbrow, Perspectives Editor
Hi! My name is Caitlin Brockenbrow, and I'm the Perspectives editor this year. Last year I was a staff writer and before that, I was head editor of my middle school newspaper and magazine for two years. Apart from articles, in my free time, I write creatively—mainly murder mysteries. English has always been my favorite subject, but besides reading and writing, I love theater, typewriters and drinking root beer floats.
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