The Twist: An Irving resident’s journey to CHS


Srihari Yechangunja

Coppell High School students that live in Irving must make a treacherous journey to school each morning. The Sidekick executive design/interactive editor Srihari Yechangunja describes one such journey with many twists, turns, and encounters with drivers with less than ideal driving skills.

Srihari Yechangunja, Executive Design/Interactive Editor

The Twist is a humorous column about life in Coppell. Please be warned that any and all disdain towards any topic is due to the writers’ similar situation as adolescents (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of these words to heart. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment. 

For the unfortunate few that don’t have access to a private jet, those of us that live in Irving have to deal with crazy traffic during rush hour when we travel to school in the mornings.

(I’m excluding all you Valley Ranch kids; too proud to say you live in Irving and yet you get to avoid all the traffic? Disgusting.)

You see, there’s currently construction taking place on S. Belt Line Road between Interstate 635 and Denton Tap Road. The construction has blocked up an entire side of the road, leaving a meager one lane for each direction of traffic. Nothing bad can happen when you reduce a three-lane road to just one, right? Right?

Let’s begin at home. The distance between my home and Coppell High School is 5.4 miles. Google Maps tells us that it will take 12 – 28 minutes to reach CHS. 

Google Maps lies. 

You see, it forgets to take into account the most unpredictable and random force in existence: Texas weather. And it’s now raining.

Alright, we’ve made it out of the garage and onto Belt Line. We’re cruising at a solid 45 miles per hour with barely any traffic. What a pleasant start to our day.

Uh oh, we’re going to cross Interstate 635 and enter Coppell, the city of expensive cars and terrible drivers. It’s all about to go downhill.

As we enter the first stretch of this doomed road, we see our first species of driver: the driver who somehow passed their road test without the ability to read road signs. This driver, seemingly intent on wreaking havoc upon half-asleep drivers, wishes to go straight ahead in a left-turn only lane. This forces all the cars who made the mistake of actually following road rules to adapt to this rogue autoist which slows down traffic even more.

Great, we’ve now added an extra minute to the commute. But, as we see the next green light coming up, a tinge of optimism springs up. Yes! We can cross through with no worr… and it’s red. Do traffic lights detect my presence and mock my efforts to get to school on time?

OK, fine, it’s another two minutes added, but the light’s now green. Why are the cars not moving forward? Ah, because of the second species of driver: the driver that somehow only receives text messages when they’re driving and at the most inconvenient time to all the cars behind them. Come on, if you’re texting, make it a quick text….or better yet, don’t! No, no, don’t go looking for emojis.

One more minute. We’re inching through the traffic, but after an agonizing 10 minutes, we make it to liberation: the intersection where Belt Line becomes Denton Tap. The light turns green and everybody slams on the gas to drive at a sweet 40 miles per hour on a three lane road. We don’t believe it, it’s so… clear.

But wait! Why are we going so slow? We should be going at sweet, sweet 40 miles per hour all the way. Ah, it’s because of the third species of driver: the driver that believes that the gas pedal has a cooldown time before you can press it again. This driver somehow goes 20 miles per hour below the speed limit and brakes at the oddest of times. Fine, we’ll just overtake this car and continue as normal.

No! There’s somebody ahead of us, the student driver that believes that the lane markings on the road are a mere suggestion. This driver perfectly illustrates the physics concept of simple harmonic motion by swinging from side to side like a pendulum. Ah, don’t get so close to me! I don’t want a single scratch on my 2014 Honda CR-V.

We’re now about to turn left onto Town Center Drive after a relatively painless drive through Denton Tap. Alas, the left turn signal seems to somehow turn red before I blink, so only a single car can turn per green light. How long is that? Another five minutes? Man.

There’s one positive thing, though: we’re now at CHS! Sure, it took a good 40 minutes and we can only drive at 20 miles per hour, but at least we can revel in the comfort of knowing that we won’t have to suffer any further. I guess that doesn’t apply to the people that park in general parking.

What if you want to avoid the traffic, though? You could take the highway and reach CHS in just 15 minutes, but that’s kind of a pain in the gas. Literally. It’s almost double the distance of taking the regular route. Wait, the math doesn’t seem to work out. Double the distance in half the time at double the speed? Oh, right, it doesn’t factor in the traffic lights that anticipate my every move.

Now for the question that’s on everyone’s mind: the construction will surely finish soon, right? It’s been going on for almost a year. Well, it’s projected to be complete by the summer of 2023, but what use will that be to me? I’ll be off to some college somewhere (hopefully).

Follow Srihari (@_fgmx) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.