The Radish
How To Leave the School in Under an Hour: Alternative Routes to Avoid Radnor’s Construction Traffic
Map of Radnor High School Parking and Exit Routes
Sarah Tachau, Radish Associate Editor
June 10, 2021
Seniors, and Juniors who are parking in the Senior Lot, is the 3pm bus traffic driving you insane? Do you ever question, “Would there be any consequences if I sped past the security guard or drove over the grass?” Perhaps you’ve considered stealing more staff spots to get around the busses, or parking on the field. Yet the fear of losing parking privileges keeps you from doing so. Fortunately, there are many routes to avoid waiting 30 minutes for the busses to leave, and none result in consequences, if you’re speedy, that is. 
Senior Lot Alternate Routes
Due to its close proximity to the school’s construction site, making a quick escape from the Senior Lot is inevitably challenging, but not impossible. 
Route 1: Drive Through the Soccer Field 
This route takes the approach of speed, requiring students to drive 75mph over the soccer field. Such speed will increase your ability to safely drive through the field and make it to North Radnor Chester Road before the security guards can take note of your license plate. Though the speed limit in school zones is 15mph, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has expressed that this 15mph is “only a recommendation.”
Additional tips:
Don’t forget to turn your blinkers on once you reach the main road. It’s always important to signal to other drivers which direction you will be turning, especially after entering the road from an unexpected location. 
Route 2: Drive Through the Construction Zone
Despite what Defensive Driving says, on the road, fences and cones are only recommendations. To successfully use this route, be sure to increase speed right after exiting the Senior Lot, and accelerate through the fences blocking the construction zone. 
Additional tips: 
Defensive Driving and PennDOT require drivers to use their headlights or daytime running lights when driving through a work zone. Failure to turn on these lights can result in up to a $500 fine. 
To be unrecognizable as you speed past the security guards or administrators, wearing sunglasses is recommended. 
Wedge Lot Alternative Routes
The Wedge Lot is by far the most difficult to leave from, causing many students to take their frustration out by beeping at the security guard. Though the Beeping-Horn-Repeatedly Method has become the most popular hack to make a quick exit, this approach has time and time again proved unreliable. On May 11th, the administration went as far as to make the following announcement on the loudspeaker: “Please refrain from beeping your car horn at the security guard, he has feelings too and no one likes to be yelled at.” 
Route 1: Drive Around the Security Guard
To be polite to the security guard, instead of honking your car horn, try driving around him. Though Defensive Driving instructors have voiced their concerns of this strategy due to “pedestrian safety protocols,” all moral reasoning points to the fact that if the pedestrian is willingly standing in the road, they are happy to share it with oncoming traffic. 
(Bonus points for passing the security guard a cookie as you leave the Wedge Lot)
Route 2: Drive Over the Grass
By far the simplest approach, drive over the grass to exit the Wedge Lot. Though seemingly straight-forward, this approach requires great speed to successfully drive away without drawing attention to yourself. Park by the grass, and while other students are attempting the Beeping-Horn-Repeatedly Method, accelerate and make a quick but sly exit.
Junior Lot 
Route 1: Drive Through the Fields
Driving through the fields involves the same speed technique as Route 1 from the Senior Lot. However, leaving the Junior Lot by this route is actually safer, as the district’s brand new multi-purpose running trail may be used by drivers to merge onto the road. To successfully drive this alternate route, use caution for obstacles such as geese that may be in the field or on the trail. Do not worry about pedestrians using the trail, you have the right-of-way.
Route 2: Bribe the Security Guard
Due to the location of the Junior lot, there is no room to drive around the security guard without being stopped and ultimately shamed for making a failed exit attempt. Instead, try bribing the security guard with any of the following items: multi-colored traffic cones, compliments, sing him happy birthday, or, as a last resort, provide a friend of yours to substitute in so the guard can go home. 
Additional Hacks to Leave School Early:
  1. Park in Staff Lots: if a teacher or security guard reprimands you, state that you are insecure of your parking skills and don’t want your peers to see
  2. Park on the sidewalk
  3. Barricade the busses: if they can’t leave, the students must be let go first
  4. Trick the security guards into thinking school ends at 5pm
  5. Organize a student walkout in protest of construction traffic 
Regardless of which alternate route you choose, each is speedy, efficient, somewhat safe, and only breaks a few minor* Pennsylvania vehicle laws. The PennDOT Driver’s Manual, Chapter 3: Learning to Drive, Everyday Driving Skills: Managing Speed, says it best, “What is a safe speed? How fast is too fast? There are no simple answers to these questions because there is not a single speed that is safe at all times.” This statement reveals what is common knowledge to all experienced drivers: speed limits are overrated rules that force you to conform to driving the “safe” way. Thus, as long as you are speedy, each route is guaranteed to allow you to bypass the monotonous construction traffic pattern.
*minor PA vehicle laws: resulting in no more than a $1,000 fine**
**no less than a $500 fine either
About the Writer
Sarah Tachau, Opinion Section Associate Editor
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