Stairway Traffic at OMS: How Can We Make It Better?


Photo Credit // Mia E

Rohan Pingle

Getting around Ottoson Middle School isn’t easy. With over 900 students, the stairwells can get very crowded.  “[I think] the Ottoson stairwells are [genuinely kind of] annoying [to go up].”, says OMS student Milo Gurney-Nager. It’s true that there are plenty of stairwells in the school, but as Milo says, “…they always seem to be crammed.” Milo adds that “People [constantly] get knocked down, up to a point where someone might get injured.”



So how do we fix it?

As Milo mentioned earlier, there are a lot of stairwells in the school.  Students like Calvin Ferolito have found a solution. “[I] go up the back stairs in between Tech and [Family and consumer science] classes.” This is a great way to reduce traffic. If we distribute students between stairwells, they can get to class faster and don’t need to worry about being hurt. Calvin adds, “People rarely go up them (the back stairwells).”



While the distribution of students amongst stairwells will reduce the people there, trouble can still be caused. Some students do jostle others so they can get to their class, but doing this just holds up the rest of the line. Instead, we can have a hall monitor during the breaks to each class to watch traffic. The traffic monitor would ensure that everyone stayed to the right, waited in lines for classes, etc.


Something else we can do is increase the time between classes. Many students are rushing up and down the stairs because they only have two minutes to get to their next class. Increasing this break reduces the stress of getting to class, and can help ensure that students aren’t late. However,  there are some downsides to this. Seventh grader Tudor Ibanescu recognises some of them. “[I think that some] people might [still] rush to class, and there will be moping about [in the hall] more, but [in general I think] it could help [traffic] a lot.”


Whether one of these strategies or all of them are utilized, they can all be used to make Ottoson a better and safer place.