Treating Hallways Like Roadways

Keaton Hughes, Staff Writer

WIN is a unique feature of Canyon that students and teachers alike enjoy. It allows students valuable instructional time for when they miss class or need extra help. For teachers it allows them to dive into one-on-one instruction which they can tailor to a student’s specific needs. For many, WIN is a much-needed time for rest, breakfast or finishing up that last assignment. That’s why it was so hard for many to hear that part of the time traditionally reserved for WIN was reallocated to passing periods.

There’s no doubt it can be a truly grueling journey from the music building to any of the upstairs math rooms or even more of a stretch to get out of a uniform from an athletics class and get to class on time. When students are in a rush crowded hallways and stairwells only make these delays worse. Passing periods can be a hectic time for a school as lots of people are moving at once in a disorganized fashion. In order to cut back on the chaos and even danger of passing periods, it was decided that WIN would be reduced by six minutes, allocating one extra minute to each passing period.

On the surface this seems like a simple and effective solution. With more time to get places, students would feel no rush and thus would walk more slowly and carefully. However, the hallways have yet to improve significantly since the implementation of the new schedule. Students still rush to classes, loiter in the halls and the pace of the hallway is as slow as ever.

The true solution may lie in guidelines and rules for the hallways. It is a well-known fact that many students do not enjoy additional rules and will always push back against restriction. However, if they were promised that the extra six minutes would be given back to WIN, the response to the changes would likely be positive. This would strike a balance between keeping students happy and the school running smoothly.

So what might these guidelines look like? One way to implement them is reminding students to treat the hallways like roadways. Many students are beginning to drive or have been for some time, and those who are not driving still understand the basic concepts. Encouraging students to “stay in their lane” by walking on the right side of the hallway would improve efficiency and more importantly, safety. Many students charge down the hallway, stepping in front of or into students walking the opposite direction. Often times the hallway becomes dominated by one direction of traffic that takes up an unfair 3/4 of the hallway rather than the half reserved for them. This leads to congestion of the foot traffic of the group with less space and conflict where the two groups meet that can end with injured students. Instating a clear boundary line with tape or simply reminding fellow students to keep to their side with posters and verbally could curtail this issue.

As bad as the straightaways can get, anyone who has been through the halls can tell you the intersections and stairwells are where the real problem is. Students push and shove their way through traffic jams in our four-way intersections and fight for space on the stairs. Even a simple left turn in the halls can end in a collision when a student hugs the wall going left while another student is walking normally. Again, looking to the roads can help us here. Students should be mindful to slow their pace before entering an intersection, looking for anyone who might be looking to cross at the same time. When making a left turn, walk into the intersection and make a wider turn. This will allow everyone time to react when two paths cross.

As for the stairs, during the first half of the passing period, give students going down the priority as they likely have a much further distance to travel, whereas all upstairs rooms are relatively close together. As for the latter half, students going upstairs should have the priority as students going down have either a short distance to walk or have delayed themselves. Those students who are just going up the stairs in the last minute or two have probably crossed most of the school and are trying to reach their class on time. Remember to always be extra careful and courteous on the stairs as the elevation makes falls more likely and serious.

Hallway etiquette is a matter of common sense and being polite. It may seem impractical, but if enough students engage with the idea, it could lead to safer and more efficient halls. Not only that, but if students can prove that they can use their time effectively in the halls, WIN could regain the full length of time it began with, leading to a better daily experience for teachers, students and administration alike.