Our Walk to School: Rivington or Houston?

Jed Lenetsky, ‘15

We all walk to school every day, five days a week. Our routes determine what we do every morning, whether we grab a bite to eat, or just a coffee, and even whom we see on our way. Our different paths have even divided the school. After all, at the end of the day, we all congregate outside the building and head our separate ways along our specific routes. But which route is the fastest, the most convenient and overall, the best? This topic is highly contentious and every student has his or her own vehement opinion. Although I am inherently biased regarding this topic (go Rivington!), I promise to try to be as objective as possible and simply lay out the facts.

Let’s start with the basics. The walk from the Second Avenue subway station to BHSEC while walking along Houston Street is .9 miles. This walk takes you onto Houston, which leads straight towards BHSEC. In contrast, the walk from the Essex St. station is much more complex. When you exit the station, you must walk past the Essex Street Market and turn east onto Rivington. From there, the street takes you a couple blocks until you reach the housing projects, where one meanders through the winding paths before you reach BHSEC, passing the Field. The total distance of this walk is .7 miles long, shorter than the Houston St. walk by a fifth of a mile (there are other routes which students take to and from school, but these two are the most popular).

In addition to distance, there are many other factors to consider concerning these various routes. For example, around once every two months, we all get emails about BHSEC students getting mugged in the housing projects when travelling to and from school. As a result, the BHSEC administration encourages students to travel along Houston St., a certified school safety route, which is patrolled regularly by school safety officers.

The availability of food along these routes is another crucial factor to consider. Exclusively along the Houston St. route, there are five restaurants, including Adinah’s Farm and Heaven’s Hot Bagels (both are delis and prepared food stores), Remedy Diner, and Gaia, an Italian sandwich shop and bakery. The Rivington route has eight restaurants, not including the Essex Street Market, such as Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop and Pok Pok Thai. In addition, Clinton Street, which has many more food options, runs perpendicular to Houston and Rivington.

To summarize, if you want to a safer route to school, walk down Houston St., but if you want a faster route school with more food options, join the approximately 66% of BHSEC students who take the Rivington St. route.

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