One-way hallways prove impractical

Abbie Goldstein '22 and Emily Goldstein '23, Paper Features Editor, Staff Writer

Throughout the school, there are one way arrows taped to the floor in the hallways and staircases, showing students the direction they should walk in. (Photo by Abbie Goldstein ’22)

The bell rings. I frantically race to my class, maneuvering through hallways and down stairwells. I slide into my seat, interrupting the teacher as they begin class. All because of the one-way hallways.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), schools should “provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times.” Staples decided to implement this as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, with the first and third floor arrows pointing left, and the second floor arrows going right. 

Although the intention to keep students and faculty safe is clear, this precaution is impractical and unreasonable. Instead, all hallways in the school should be split into two lanes.

Staples High School consists of three floors and spans a large distance. It is extremely illogical for students to be forced to walk down flights of stairs and back across the entire school to reach a classroom. Even if a class is right down the hall, but in the “wrong” direction, students are required to walk all the way around, making many people late. Being tardy to class disrupts the teacher as they start the lesson, distracting fellow peers. If the one-way hallways weren’t put in place, being late would not be a concern.

It would be more effective to open these hallways completely for both directions so kids continue to flow through and there aren’t large groups of students on certain levels of the building.”

Students are only allowed to walk in one direction, so they are forced to go downstairs or upstairs to reach their class, even if it was on their original floor. This protocol drives students into general areas, defeating the main reason for the one way hallways, which was to maintain social distancing. It would be more effective to open these hallways completely for both directions so kids continue to flow through and there aren’t large groups of students on certain levels of the building.

In addition to one way arrows, there are do not enter signs throughout the building, making it clear that students cannot walk that way. They are placed in the stairwells, as well as the hallways. (Photo by Abbie Goldstein ’22)

In addition, it takes longer for students to get to their class, causing them to be in the hallways for longer periods of time. While it used to take students two or three minutes to reach their class, now it is taking them the full amount of minutes in passing time, sometimes even more. The goal to keep the school less crowded is not working.

As an alternative to the one-way hallway situation, every hallway should be split down the middle into two lanes. This will prevent collisions with the people in the opposite direction and help kids reach their classes on time. Due to the impracticality of the one-way hallway policy, it needs to be reevaluated by the administration.