Andrew Hunter, a senior at Aliso Niguel High School (ANHS) in Aliso Viejo, was concerned about the traffic problem at his school.
Many of the 3000 students who attend ANHS arrive by car, so traffic on Wolverine Way, leading to the school, moves slowly. “The creep for a car can last as long as 15 minutes,” said Hunter. “Then, a car must grind its way back up the steep hill after dropping off a passenger.”
To lighten traffic and to decrease the amount of fuel consumption and carbon gas emissions, Hunter came up with a solution. In early 2012, he approached city officials with the idea of installing a traffic turnout at the top of the hill. Students could be dropped off at the turnout and walk down the hill to school.
“As an intern for the city of Aliso Viejo, I worked with individuals who I could go to in order to pitch such an idea,” said Hunter. City officials were interested, so Hunter conducted an experiment to prove that his idea would reduce fuel consumption.
He presented his findings to city officials, and then decided to see if he had enough support from the school community. The ANHS Energy Club, of which Hunter is a founding member, petitioned during registration in August. They obtained 1600 signatures in favor of the traffic turnout.
In a final meeting with city representatives on October 24, it was decided that there should be not only one, but four traffic turnouts at the top of the hill. The city promised support and installed the turnouts in December.
Hunter said this project would have been impossible without the help of so many others. “I’ve come to learn how much power many can have,” said Hunter, “when there is a clear positive vision, motivation and momentum.”