There is only one thing in the morning that is worse than getting out of bed – the walk from the Red Spring parking lot to school. As winter approaches, the groans have become louder and more frequent as juniors (and even some seniors) get out of their cars to make the treacherous walk through the whipping winds and geese feces to AHS. Although the lot provides more parking spaces for students, I can’t help asking myself, “isn’t there a better (and faster) way?” Well, maybe there could be. Introducing the AHS Morning Tram, a multi-passenger golf cart that would travel to and from Red Spring parking lot every morning, bringing kids to school.
I live on the western side of Andover, so it normally takes about 10-15 minutes to get to school every morning depending on traffic. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that I also have to factor in the 8-10 minute walk from Red Spring to school into my daily commute. This means waking up earlier just so I can arrive to school on time. Studies have shown that sleep is one of the most important things that a teenager needs to function properly, and though 10 minutes might not make a huge difference to some, for others it can be the difference between a good day or a bad day, an A or a B on a test, or a blue or a gold tardy pass.
Not only has this morning walk messed up my sleeping patterns, but it has also become a safety and fashion hazard due to the possibly muddy, frozen, or snowy terrain. One morning, I felt as if I were ice skating trying to walk across the pavement after slush from the day before turned to ice overnight. Do I predict a broken ankle in the near future?
The winters are the most difficult season to make the trek. I can remember hearing rumors as a freshman that parking in Red Spring means a new pair of snow boots. Now as a junior parking in Red Spring, I am starting to wonder if I’m also going to need snow pants and a winter coat once there is a thick layer of snow on the ground. Because that would not be an ideal “fashion statement,” and because it also requires lugging too many articles of clothing back and forth every day, I might resort to being driven to school by my mom or dad. Not only is this wasting their time, but it also wastes the money they spent on the parking spot in the first place.
My solution, once again, to this messy problem is simple: the Tram. This way, students would not have to worry and stress about potentially being late for school because they don’t have enough time to walk from the parking lot. If a student feels that it might be quicker to walk then they can, but at least they have the option of using the shuttle. Andover High recently installed flat screen televisions in the cafeteria that has a slideshow of daily updates, birthdays, and even sports performances on a loop. Maybe I have a slight prejudice, but I believe that a transportation vehicle is just as important as having TV’s in the cafeteria. I think it’s an idea with merit and is worth looking into. I am also sure that both present and future students who park in Red Spring would be eternally grateful if the high school adopted the AHS Tram.
Who knows if this dream will ever become reality, but perhaps the AHS Morning Tram could be a glimpse of the future. It could be just what students who park at Red Spring need to have a “great day of learning,” as Dr. Lord says. But, for now, I’ll have to settle using my own two feet… and some new snow-boots.