Gas Line Break Closes La Pata

Jenna Clemente, Editorial Editor

On October 30, students were on lockdown for an appalling amount of time due to a broken gas line on Ortega Highway. The announcement was made during sixth period that student were not allowed to leave campus. School administration attempted to assemble food and water for the student locked down, but this measure was not needed.

The intersection of Ortega and La Pata was closed, making it impossible for anyone with cars to get in and get out. This problem could have been avoided if the road from San Clemente was completed.

Starting this spring, there will be construction on La Pata extending from Ortega Highway to Vista Hermosa in San Clemente. It will be a 4 lane road complete with a bike lane and a sidewalk for pedestrians to use. “The new road will provide an easier access to SJHHS for students residing in San Clemente and other towns south of SJHHS,” says Antoinette Smith, senior.

If the road was finished sooner, student could have been able to leave campus using the road going to San Clemente. It would have been a longer drive for students in Ladera Ranch, but it would have been better than sitting at school. “There would be more ways to leave campus and more students from the south could go to SJHHS,” says Jessica Boerner, junior.
A new road could reduce the amount of traffic coming in from Ortega, which also means less cars cutting in at the front of the line, stress, and accidents. It could be the answer to many car related problems students and parent face when driving to SJHHS.
Although a new road may seem to be of value, it could cause more traffic problems. If drivers are coming from the south, they would need to turn left when the traffic light is green, causing drivers from the north to have to wait until it is their turn to turn right. This would make it take longer to get into the parking lot or to the drop off and could cause students to be late and create more detentions.
The benefits to having a new road outweighs the negatives of the new road.” think the school needs a new road coming from San Clemente,” says Amber Born, junior. “It could cut the drive time and we would use less gas for those in San Clemente.”  It could relieve traffic problems, and could be an emergency route during the construction on Ortega.