Traffic Problems at Adams: Lines of Cars Snake for a Mile


Braedon Potts

Students trying to exit the Adams parking lot after school.

The old-school cliche of high-school students celebrating after the bell rings and class is dismissed has been flipped on its head. 

At Rochester Adams High School, the sound of the bell is more comparable to the bell at a boxing match, signaling the start of a brawl. This is a result of the traffic problem plaguing the school. The bell now means the clock is ticking to beat other students to their car, and this causes a free-for-all in the school halls as students try to beat the rush.

Overall, the past few years of traffic, accidents, and complaints have presented a challenging problem for the Adams administration, and the end-of-school rush is only one facet of the issue. 

Although the Board of Education has made traffic a point of focus in recent years, the lines of cars can still stretch nearly a mile to Dutton Road, and accidents aren’t uncommon. The plague of traffic seems to be incurable. Inevitably, students are becoming increasingly frustrated with the issue.

“The traffic is unbearable. The fact that no one has put in the time or the effort to come up with a viable solution is very disheartening,” said senior Alex Degrieck.

Some parents of Adams students feel the same. Dropping off or picking up students from the loop by the main entrance can be an hour-long journey. Numerous complaints from parents come in weekly to the Adams police liaison, Deputy Prachar.

To avoid traffic, students find shortcuts. Many of these involve driving through nearby subdivisions. Unfortunately, this creates an entirely new set of problems. Children who live within a 1-mile radius of the school aren’t eligible to receive bussing. So, the options are to walk or drive, which results in an increase of students walking to school in the morning putting more children are at a higher risk of being hit by a driver avoiding traffic.

“My parents and I worried about the children who choose to walk to school every morning. Cars can go speeding by our house,” said Georgia Gurzick, a senior who lives near Van Hoosen Middle School.

While many see the traffic as a problem and accidents have occurred, it is not from a lack of effort from Rochester Community Schools or the city. Two traffic studies have been conducted over the past fours years. These include drone flyovers and detailed analysis. The parking lot was redesigned in 2018 as well.

A car crash near the Adams auditorium entrance. (Braedon Potts)

“[The redesign] cut down on our crashes, for sure,” said Deputy Prachar.

However, there is no easy fix to the congestion of vehicles. The number of students at Adams, the people going to work in the morning, and a neighboring middle school require an enormous amount of people to pass through the intersection at Adams and Tienken Road.

“I don’t think there is any magic solution. The roads were just designed for fewer people,” said Prachar.

While there are some dissatisfied with the school, it would seem that just as many parents and students understand this sentiment, including a father of two at Adams, Joe Dicresce.

“We all have to be extra patient and extra careful with so many young and new drivers,” said Dicresce.

So, what is the best course of action? Well, for students and parents, the only way forward is to be patient and understanding. Keep in mind the inexperience of student drivers and be safe.

Minor adjustments continue to occur to ease the vehicle build-up. But, members of the local community will keep a watch on the next move by the Adams administration and the school district, hoping for a new course of action.