Traffic Continues to Frustrate Niles West Community


Staff member, Joshua Torres, directing traffic entering into the front of the school.

By Cristina Davison, Staff Writer

As the school year begins, so does the dreaded Niles West traffic, specifically found in the front of the school. Community members grow increasingly impatient with the lack of staff dedicated to the heavy traffic that comes from Oakton. Last year, a new traffic plan was introduced to students and parents, which was also covered by Niles West News and can be found here.

Some students who now take the bus, remember what traffic was like when they used to drive to school. “Oakton street, it’s terrible there, it’s like 20 minutes just sitting and waiting there. I have been there many times, and there is so much traffic. People coming in and out of the school, and winter, it’s a whole other ballgame,” junior Mehrose Sabah said.

Staff member Joshua Torres shares a different point of view on the after-school traffic. “My experience, it goes by pretty smoothly. There are a lot of oncoming cars from different angles, I have to watch out for all the students that cross. And just to make sure everybody crosses safely, at the same time make sure the parents drive at a good speed,” Torres said.

Torres often finds himself directing the traffic of those exiting and entering from Oakton while also managing students crossing the street. “It is challenging when there are a lot of cars I have to deal with because I constantly have to watch over my back,” Torres said.

Torres helps direct traffic both in the morning and afternoon hours, helping students cross and directing drivers to lanes and where to go. “After school is more challenging because it’s after school. Everybody is trying to get home, everybody is kinda like ready to get out of here,” Torres said. “Morning is easier because it’s slower, but the afternoon is more chaotic.”

Math assistant Rosalie Koontz parks in a specific place in order to avoid as much traffic as possible. “I park down by the football field, and the reason I do this is because when I leave at 3:30 p.m., there is so much traffic in the front of the lot that it’s hard to pull out with all the parents lined up,” Koontz said.

Koontz feels that more precautions should be taken for the traffic. “I think there should be policemen or more security guards by some of the exits, since there is now a policeman by Gross Point Road, directing traffic. So, we should have more directing traffic at other exits.”

“I think there could be more people out there, for more eyes, for the crosswalk, because there are a lot of students that come out,” Torres said. “A lot of students come out for after-school activities, going home, and stuff. I think more people would help me, not just me, but the safety of everyone.”

According to one junior, steps could be taken to improve traffic flow and parking.

“They should build us more parking spaces,” junior Alham Aijaz said. “They should fix it. They should have better and faster directing and communicating.”

While many students and staff share a similar concern about the Niles West traffic, junior Melanie Molitor pointed out that heavy traffic results in students arriving late to first period.

“If we are late because of traffic, we shouldn’t be penalized,” Molitor said.