The majority of Head-Royce students do not walk to school, but arrive and depart in individual cars, chartered buses and AC Transit buses. Each day, nearly a thousand people in vehicles funnel bumper-to-bumper to the entrance of the school. Often impassable traffic congestion develops on both sides of Lincoln Avenue and extends uphill to Highway 13 and downhill past Tiffin Road toward MacArthur Boulevard. Large buses block part of the lanes in both directions, forcing cars to cross the double yellow line into oncoming traffic to get around them. The increased use of ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft by students, faculty and staff adds to the traffic woes.

Despite opportunities over the years to include drop-off and pick-up areas for students as part of the design and construction of new school facilities, Head-Royce has continued to spread its growing traffic problems further onto neighborhood streets. Because drivers headed down Lincoln Avenue to drop off students cannot make a U-turn at the school entrance to go back uphill to Highway 13, Head-Royce has mandated that drivers take a prescribed route through narrow neighborhood streets. Charter buses and large AC Transit Transbay buses that do not fit around corners easily on these residential streets also use this HRS-mandated route and other neighborhood streets to change direction. Residents of more than 250 homes situated on the route endure noise, speeding drivers, and confrontations with drivers on the narrow neighborhood streets. Disrespectful and dangerous behavior on the part of school traffic is common.