HHS Turns Away from New Traffic Pattern


By: Monica Disch
As teachers and students returned to Hopkinton High School on January 2nd, the Thursday following winter break, they were surprised to see a new traffic pattern implemented by the town to prevent traffic backups and accidents. The new traffic pattern caused even more problems with traffic and safety, however, so it was abandoned the following week.

“It was brought to the superintendent’s attention that there was a safety issue for pedestrians and students walking within the cars and that was the goal for it; to make it safer for everyone, ” said Officer Powers, the high school’s resource officer and a town police officer.

Before winter break commenced, the town hired a crossing guard to direct traffic in front of the high school, and to get the town accustomed to organized flow of traffic before and after school.

Student Resource Officer, Phil Powers, is glad to see that morning traffic is back to its usual place. Photo By: Rachel McLean
Student Resource Officer, Phil Powers, concerns himself solely with the safety of students at HHS, and hopes that the old traffic pattern will help improve that safety.
Photo By: Rachel McLean

“The person [traffic guard] being out there has control over the intersection, where he can let the buses out; if a student needed to cross in the crosswalk, he was able to stop the traffic to allow that to happen,” explained Powers.

On December 26th, parents of Hopkinton High School students received an email regarding the new changes made.

“Beginning on Thursday, January 2nd, all vehicles entering the High School area (except school buses) will be routed to exit onto Hayden Rowe Street via the Hopkins driveway. This will eliminate the unsafe convergence of traffic from the High School, Middle School, and school bus parking area,” stated the email from Hopkinton High School.

Students and town residents were not pleased with the new traffic pattern, however. It caused a long line of traffic in the entrance to the high school, which in turn caused a blockage on nearby roads.

“The traffic pattern caused my commute to school to take longer. Usually it takes eight minutes [to get to school] and after the pattern was started, it [took] fifteen minutes,” said Kelsey Babigan, a senior at Hopkinton High School.

“The pattern caused more problems than it was supposed to solve. I get how they were trying to make it safer, but it may have led to more accidents since it causes a lot of backup,” stated senior Ashley Windheuser.

On Tuesday, January 14th, the superintendent and school administration decided to remove the new traffic pattern because of its disadvantages.

“We all had a meeting with the superintendent and we all decided it would be safer and more convenient for the old way,” said Powers.

The pattern caused morning back ups all the way from Grove Street, located just down the street from the middle school parking lot entrance; to Colella’s Supermarket, in the center of Hopkinton.

“Because of the new pattern, traffic backed up quite a bit. The drop off took longer every morning to drop the kids off at school. The students were late to school and one day we even had five buses that were actually late,” said Powers.

After dropping off their children, the pattern caused a backup of cars which kept parents in the parking lot until after 7:30.

“I think with just that person [traffic guard] being out there directing traffic and having control over allowing buses to go out solved the issue,” continued Powers.