The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

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Plans for a Second Bridge Soon to be Unveiled

Ryan Sheehan, '17, Editor

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Whether you traverse it every day, or hardly ever venture across it to the northeastern part of Strath Haven’s campus, the bridge uniting the high school and middle school campuses is an undeniable landmark. This monument to mobility has been a constant in the changing tides of road rage that one is likely to observe if they care to peer through the chain-link cover enveloping the bridge (There have been at least three accidents visible from the bridge just this month). However, it is this careless driving in itself that we must credit the creation of our bridge, for without it, we Panthers would not have this catwalk.

Long ago, when our beloved bridge did not yet exist, there was only one way to access the middle school from the high school or vice versa: on foot. This ill-fated trek involved waiting on the edge of Providence road for just the right moment until the opportunity to play a game of student frogger presented itself. After waiting for what could have felt like an eternity (probably like 5 minutes) as cars continued to rush by—at a speed that was definitely above the 15 mph regulation school zone speed limit mind you—could students finally complete their journey. Unfortunately, these poor conditions resulted in an accident. In the wake of this accident, the school took a long moment to consider how dangerous these circumstances really were, and as a result, plans for a bridge on school grounds was proposed and eventually carried out, much to the delight of bridge-enthusiasts everywhere. Over the years, the bridge has become more and more embedded into Strath Haven’s culture, and eventually a comingof-age ceremony for 8th graders, coined “the bridge crossing” was instituted that undoubtedly cemented this cement masterpiece’s role in the community. People flocked from all over the WallingfordSwarthmore school district to see the stampeding masses of the fabled marching band futilely attempting to mark time on the forty-five degree incline of the bridge by day. And by night they came again to behold far-off fireworks displays above the Commodore Barry, the likes of which our bridge provided an exclusive vantage. The bridge was undisputably loved by all, and cross-campus travel had never been safer—or so everyone thought.

History always finds an inexplicable way of repeating itself, and this time another tragedy unfolded before the community’s eyes. Everyone believed that the bridge would prevent all pedestrian casualties indefinitely, so nobody was quite prepared to deal with all the traumas that surfaced when just last month a Strath Haven freshman was struck by a bicyclist (who was distractedly texting while biking) while he was crossing the bridge on his way to ping-pong club. Luckily the freshman survived, but the damage was done and already had the sense of security that the bridge presented everyone with been destroyed. Still reeling from the news of the accident, an impromptu school board meeting was called for, from which an official verdict was reached: there is to be a second bridge built. The initial bridge’s successor is to parallel it in all dimensions, aesthetics, and dynamics. In fact, the only notable difference between the two is that the projected location of this second bridge appears to be six feet above the original structure that has supported us Panthers for years. This call to action hopes to divide the flow of traffic once again, and as the original bridge set out to divide pedestrians from motorists, this second bridge aims to further separate the bicyclists and the bipedalists. Bridge number one will be set aside for those wishing to stick to the primordial classic of walking to and fro, while bridge number two will be for those wishing to get around via bike, razor scooter, heelys, or any one or two wheeled non-motorized vehicle of your choice (apologies to those tricycle commuters out there).

While many community members are content with this new development—relieved that their students will be safer on school grounds—others are still frustrated, asking questions like, “What happens when a roller blader crashes into a unicycler on this new bridge, huh? Are we just gonna build a third bridge to further separate our students?!”. This frustration is not isolated to say the least. At a recent school board meeting a parent spoke up against the bridge, calling it, “a bridge to the land of wasted tax dollars” (this comment was followed by a faint echo as several other spectators called out, “ooo burn”).

As the dust created from the news of this second bridge continues to settle, nobody’s quite sure if it will ultimately affect the community for better or for worse, but as of now it’s here to stay. Regardless of the effects, the new bridge is sure to influence the student body and district as a whole. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves a few questions as we proceed on into 2017, but I for one know that I feel safer with this newly announced addition in mind.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
Plans for a Second Bridge Soon to be Unveiled