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What Can Montclair State University Do About Their Traffic Problem?

by Joseph Neira

The opinion pieces expressed in this publication, The Montclarion, are those of the author(s). They do not claim to reflect the opinions or views of the The Montclarion, other than Editorials written by The Montclarion Editorial Board staff.

The fall 2023 semester saw Montclair State University break its record for largest enrollment with over 22,200 students. The previous record-holding year was last year, 2022, with an enrollment of 21,671 students. In fact, this is the third year in a row that the school broke its record for the largest enrollment and incoming class.

To the school’s staff, this is great. With more and more students coming to Montclair State, this will help the school’s image and its popularity. And also do not forget about all the money coming from the new student’s tuition.

Although the school has a popular image and has more money, the students are still displeased.

The commuting students here at Montclair State acknowledge the fact that the traffic problem at this school is horrid.

If you unfortunately enter Montclair State with a long line of cars in front of you, it can take 20-30 minutes to even reach a parking lot. According to some students’ complaints, it can take up to an hour to find a spot to park.

After a long day of classes, trying to leave campus can even take the same amount of time as your commute.

Due to this, advice such as leaving an hour and a half before your class starts just to make the commute and find parking was born. I find the fact that this piece of advice exists ridiculous.

A good portion of the Montclair State student commute takes around 20 minutes. What is being advised is leaving for school for an amount of time that is quadrupled by the time of the average commute. Considering how busy students’ schedules are with classes, studying, assignments, work and their home and social life, this advice can easily lead to sleep deprivation. Since some students have packed schedules, they cannot afford to sleep earlier to get the hour head start. This will lead to students sleeping fewer hours in order to overcome the school’s horrible traffic.

Frustrations over traffic will continue to rise as the school continues to take the money from more new students.

The long lines to enter and leave school will continue to get longer, and fewer and fewer spots will be available at parking lots. It should absolutely be a question if the school board has even considered the fact that if they keep accepting students at recording breaking rates, eventually they will have no space to accommodate all of us.

With car traffic being a problem in this school, that means there is more traffic with the amount of people on campus. Complaints are frequently made about insanely long lines at dining areas. Previous reports have been about study areas and dorms having similar problems.

So it seems as if even when you are not in a car, there is no possible way for you to avoid Montclair State traffic.

Although it is easy to blame all the students for being here, just like how you get angry at the car in front of you during bumper-to-bumper traffic, let us not forget who allowed the record-breaking enrollments to happen.

It seems like Montclair State’s administration really wants the school to have the best image possible and a lot of money. Obviously, that is not what I am mad at, those two things are incredibly important, what I am mad at is the fact it does not seem like the administration knows when to stop. I hope Montclair State learns to slow down before the entry line stretches for multiple blocks and the last parking spot is taken.

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