The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Breaking News: Horseshoe is Closed After School Amidst Safety Concerns

By: Staff Writer Abha Kulkarni

From January 9, the horseshoe will be closed to after school pickups due to a host of problems such as traffic violations and student safety concerns. Upon careful observation and monitoring by Student Resource Officer (SRO)  William Malcomson, Campus Supervisors, and administration during the first semester, MSJ administration has decided to close the horseshoe after school due to the safety risks. The initial decision was to gradually shut down the horseshoe on January 31, however, after a near collision between a vehicle and Campus Supervisor Veronica Rodriguez, the horseshoe was closed immediately. 

Beyond safety concerns, the horseshoe traffic flow created  gridlock on Palm Ave. in which cars could not enter or exit the loop, further exacerbating the congestion. Amidst the chaos, the Fremont Unified School District school bus that helps transport students to the Mission Valley Regional Occupation Program (MVROP) became trapped in the traffic, creating logistical concerns for students and their schedules. Furthermore, frustrations about poor driving practices have accelerated this decision. “Our concern as campus supervisors are the students and most of the students have only been driving for a few months … so that’s our main concern.” said Campus Supervisor Daniel Grant. There have also been concerns about parking in the handicapped parkings and designated police spaces, and the combination of these issues further elevated concerns for school safety. 

While the closure may lead to minor traffic inconveniences on Palm Ave., the horseshoe will reopen at 3:40 p.m. after school, once the initial wave of traffic has passed. In addition to this, alternative pickup locations include the Mission loop, which siphons off Mission Blvd, or along Palm Ave., which leads to Washington Blvd. Despite the closure, the school is looking for alternatives to ensure safer traffic flow. “The only thing right now that we can do is go back to prior practice, in the name of safety, but I’m always open to talking to parents.” said Principal Amy Perez.

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