Milford High School attempts to fix traffic issue


Photo by Brandon Vivian.

The new parking lot added over the summer of 2021 has helped out traffic flow tremendously. Assistant Principal Eric Dziobak said over 250 cars can come through in 15 to 20 minutes.

Brandon Vivian, Staff Writer

The massive lines of traffic getting into and out of the school have been routine for parents and students at Milford High School for years. Traffic on Milford Road coming from the south can back up almost all the way to Rowe Road, and coming from the north, traffic can be backed up almost to Colasanti’s.

The traffic situation certainly has not been helped by the school having to rotate bus routes (only run certain bus routes on certain days) due to a bus driver shortage, meaning more students are coming to school in cars than ever. But has it been worse?

Eric Dziobak, an Assistant Principal at Milford High School, says that the traffic is the best he has ever seen. “We can get more than 250 cars to go down Watkins Boulevard, drop off their students, and go back up Watkins Boulevard in a 15 to 20-minute period everyday.” Dziobak stated.

That is about 13 or more cars per minute, which is an impressive number. One of the reasons that so many cars can be cycled through is because of the new parking lot that was added over the summer. “The new parking has helped the traffic situation tremendously,” Dziobak said. “There is no way we could have gotten traffic to flow this well without the new parking lot.”

The new parking lot also means that people dropping off students can also leave the school using Lone Tree or Watkins Boulevard instead of only being able to go down Watkins Boulevard. While this new parking lot mostly affects people dropping off their students, students driving themselves also benefit since traffic is flowing at an improved rate compared to previous years.

While the traffic has begun to flow better, the amount of traffic has increased. This is primarily because there are fewer busses running due to a bus driver shortage. This means that more people are driving students to school instead of riding the bus.

“I think that we would see around 200 cars or less instead of 250 or more if the bus routes went back to full capacity,” Dziobak pointed out. This decrease in cars would greatly help decrease the traffic jams, but it wouldn’t solve the problem completely. There are still going to be long lines to get onto Lone Tree and Watkins Boulevard.

Possible solutions to these problems include roundabouts at the intersections, adding a left turn arrow and a right turn lane at Milford Road and Lone Tree, and adding more lanes, but all of these solutions are ones that are out of the control of the school and are solutions that the Oakland County Road Commission would have to implement.

“The road commission only has a certain amount of time, manpower, and money,” Dziobak said. “Our situation here is probably a relatively low priority since there are much bigger projects that affect many more people.”

One temporary solution that has been implemented in the past has been having a traffic cop direct traffic at Lone Tree and Milford Road. Zack Bonza-Brodie, a Senior at Milford, commented, “Traffic was much better with the cop there.” He also said that sometimes it is even faster to cross over Lone Tree, turn around, and make a right onto Lone Tree rather than trying to wait to turn left.

The wait to make the left turn is one of the main reasons for the traffic back ups. Jack Salvati, a Freshman at Milford, says “It is usually a four to eight-minute wait to make the left onto Lone Tree.” He even said that “The longest I have ever had to wait was about ten minutes.” This is a huge amount of time spent waiting to make a left turn, but it is important to note that these times are without the police officer directing traffic.

While the traffic problems still do exist, there are solutions being implemented to try to help relieve the issue, and hopefully the students and parents at Milford High School will have a better traffic situation in the future.