The Trail’s Fate Determined by the City Council


Brendan Gibson

The City Council of San Juan Capistrano meet to discuss among other topics, the SJHHS fire trail.

Katie Brubaker, Feature Editor

On a Friday afternoon after the last bell had rung at SJHHS, students made their way down to the bottom of “the trail” where they encountered a peculiar sight. A group of women were passing out papers and explaining that the trail might be closing. As someone who has to walk the trail every single day in order to leave school, this news was a bit disgruntling.

A large portion of the SJHHS community must weather the trail both in the mornings and the afternoons. Many of these individuals have no other alternative for coming and leaving school due to parent’s work schedule, geographical location, or after school activities that don’t allow them to wait thirty minutes to get out of the SJHHS student parking lot.

For a long time, it has been apparent that the inhabitants of the communities surrounding the trail and the road that connects it have had negative feelings towards the busy traffic that occurs before and after school hours. This is also seen in that the city has sent police officers to monitor the head of the trail and the road connecting it to ensure that no parent tries to park and create further traffic.

Evidently, these tensions have escalated to the point where the neighborhoods are now hoping to get rid of the traffic dilemma by eliminating the trail as a whole. If this was to come to pass, the traffic that so many have to wait through going up La Pata will only become even more horrific.

Students, such as Chloe Tilton, that must walk the trail can’t think of any alternative to the trail that would fit her family’s schedule. “My mom and my dad don’t get off work until 4:00 p.m, so I typically have to walk home from school. Trying to get to my house from the SJHHS campus would take me hours otherwise,” said Tilton.

Furthermore, students, like Ava Bachelder, that have after school activities must walk down the trail in order to make it to their destination on time. “After school I have art classes in Mission Viejo at 3:15. If I had to get picked up and drive to my classes, I’d be around a half hour late,” said Bachelder

Assistant Principal Mr. Jindra attended the city council meeting where they discussed the trail matter. He explained that after the city council meeting, it was ruled that the fire trail and those who must walk it will not be disrupted.

Use of the trail will remain status quo, which means that nothing will change and use of the trail will remain as it always has

— Mr. Jindra

Some students drive to where the trail begins, park in the parking lot by the trail, and then walk up the trail in the morning. As a result, the city council had voted to change the protocol of the parking lot. “With regard to parking in the pocket park at the intersection of San Juan Creek Road and Camino Lacouague, there will be five parking spaces in the parking lot marked as two hour parking so that city residents will have vehicle access to the park during the day. The remainder of the parking lot will remain open parking,” said Jindra.