Nothing Will Replace the Overpass, but We Don’t Have a Choice


Fatimah Khan

Map of Mamaroneck High School with several routes drawn.

Molly O'Connell

As the new school year approached, Mamaroneck High School was faced with a transportation crisis: how would students move across the building without the use of the all-too-small overpass? During previous school years, students and staff have used the overpass to move between Post and Palmer. However, the number of people crossing the school causes a significant amount of crowding in the hallways. This year, crowding would not allow for social distancing if you were trying to move through the overpass. Luckily, the MHS administration was able to come up with a solution: different routes for students to use when moving between Post and Palmer.

Students have a few options for routes between the buildings. When moving between Post to Palmer, students have to exit the doors by Starbucks and walk across the track to Palmer’s main entrance. In order to get from the Science Wing to Palmer, they have to exit by the AP office, and enter by the Nurse’s office. To go from Palmer to Post, they can just use the overpass. Students seem to be responding well to these new routes, however, different factors are going to start to become a problem as weather becomes more extreme. 

Although we have not had a ton of consistently cold weather yet, as winter kicks in, weather will become much more of an issue. And, as weather becomes more of an issue, students will not want to walk outside and, if accommodations are not made, it is likely that students will begin to use the overpass no matter where they are going. Without accommodations, to the weather the safety precautions put in place by the school with these new routes will be thrown out the window. 

 Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors already have at least one normal year of high school under their belt, so their normal is different from that of the Freshmen, because older students have been able to simply use the overpass to move between each building in previous years. Because of this, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders might be more inconvenienced, but it is all that the Freshmen know.

As a junior, all but one of Annie O’Connell’s (‘22) classes are in Post, but, nevertheless, she still does not like the system that the school has going.“I hate having to go outside, but other than that everything is fine.” she says. “I think that the school should try and find a solution where students do not have to go outside as much. Being able to use the overpass would be so much nicer,” she continues. When asked about having a schedule similar to Hommocks where each grade has its own schedule that they follow, O’Connell believed the solution was unrealistic. “That would be too complicated,” she says, “because some classes have kids from a few different grades, but it is a good idea [since] that would allow us to use the Overpass and still social distance.” 

Sylvie Runte (‘24) has more positive feedback regarding the new traffic patterns. “Personally I don’t think the routes are that bad,” Runte say, “However, some students don’t even follow these routes, they just use the overpass for everything.” Runte continues,  “I think they’ll [the administration] need to modify the system for winter and rainy days, since they can’t just adjust the class times every single day like they’ve been doing.” Additionally, she believes, “it would be nice if [students] could use the overpass and be able to social distance, but students should still be given the option to go outside.”  Runte agrees with O’Connell that a schedule similar to Hommocks would be “ [the high school]too complicated because classes are already shortened, and there are more people.”

Clearly, the system in place is somewhat flawed. The weather is getting colder, and students do not want to stuff giant jackets in their backpacks for the five minutes they are going to be outside during their school day. And the school won’t be able to just shorten periods every time it is too cold or it is raining, since periods  are already shortened to just 40 minutes and should not be getting even shorter every time the weather blocks the use of the outdoor routes.

 Freshmen, like Runte, seem to have no issue with the routes. But, then you have juniors, like O’Connell, who hate having to go outside, even if it is just once a day. Students who have been here longer are annoyed with these routes, and that speaks volumes considering that they have already had normal years at MHS, showing that there is room for improvement. Hopefully the school is able to find a solution to these problems, because the system in place is flawed, and, soon, it is going to become more and more apparent. For now, students are just going to have to bundle up and deal with facing the weather between classes.