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Austin High Traffic

Elizabeth Kent and Zayna Chouman

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Traffic at Austin High is a problem for both students and staff. Complaints are heard on a daily basis, leaving many feeling hopeless.  

“I rode the bus freshman year and for the first semester of sophomore year,” senior Ian Smith said. “But when I started driving, it took 4 minutes to get home and now it takes around 10 or 12. It’s not so bad on mopac, but the parking lot is a total mess.”

AISD high schools now release at 4:30 because of new state laws that measure the school time by minutes instead of days. Late start days now only count as about 370 minutes instead of one full day. That’s why we end up needing an extra 15 minutes downtown every day.

“Now with the 4:30 release, traffic has just gotten worse,” Assistant Principal Adriana Longoria said.

According to Principal Amy Taylor, if 4% of the students at Austin High walked or biked instead of driving, it would reduce the traffic by 30%. Some kids are too far to walk or bike, so carpooling is a great option. Some students who could bike, might be dissuaded by the lack of available bike rack space. Upon student suggestion, Austin High will order more bike racks for the school.

“Biking allows me to leave school whenever I need to, as I am not dependent on getting a ride to pick me up,” senior Ryanna Chouman said. “It’s also a good way to get my brain working in the morning,”

The city has also been working to come up with solutions for many of the traffic problems. A Traffic Demand Management study was conducted last spring that resulted in the following recommendations to reduce traffic:

  • AISD school bus
  • Carpooling- Try the next door app
  • Walk or Bike- its fuel efficient and is great exercise
  • City bus- There are a lot of bus stops throughout the city
  • Walk across the MoPac bridge- have your parents drop you off at the parking lot by the lady bird lake trail

Austin High’s location is one of the many reasons the students love it – we’re by the lake, there’s a lot of wildlife, and we’re downtown. But our location affects traffic the most. Per Principal Taylor, there are pros and cons to our location.

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Austin High Traffic