Valparaiso Avenue

Project description
The goal of this project was to prepare a safe routes to school (SR2S) plan for children and their families that use Valparaiso Avenue and the surrounding streets to travel to:

  • Encinal School
  • Hillview School
  • Menlo School
  • Oak Knoll School
  • Sacred Heart School
  • St. Raymond's School

Current project status
Consistent with the Valparaiso Safe Routes to School Plan, the community’s vision, and school districts’ effort to promote alternative modes of transportation, the City will implement the following improvements on Valparaiso Avenue this year:

  • Continuous AC pedestrian pathway on the south side between Politzer Drive and University Drive
  • Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (info link) at Elder Avenue and Emilie Avenue
  • Dashed green bicycle lane markings at approaching intersections and bicycle safety signs on both sides
  • Speed feedback signs eastbound near Robert S Drive and westbound near Hoover Street
Other pedestrian and bicycle related improvements will also be implemented on Glenwood Avenue and Middlefield Road (dashed green bicycle lane markings) and El Camino Real (audible pedestrian push buttons at 6 intersections).

Next steps
Develop a detailed construction schedule with construction expected to commence in Summer/Fall of 2016.

History

The City of Menlo Park developed and implemented safe route to school plans for City of Menlo Park students that attend schools in Menlo Park and Atherton such as Hillview School, Oak Knoll School, Laurel School, and Encinal School. During the fiscal year 2009-10 project priorities selection process, the City Council approved a project to develop a Safe Route to School Plan for school children that use Valparaiso Avenue and other neighboring streets to travel to Menlo School, Sacred Heart School, Hillview School, Oak Knoll School, and St. Raymond's School. 

 The purpose of a Safe Routes to School Plan is to:

  • Enable and encourage children, including children with disabilities, to safely walk and bike to school and per Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) guidelines, travel to school via access routes
  • Encourage walking and bicycling to school as appealing modes of travel
  • Facilitate the planning, design, and implementation of projects that will inspire safety, the environment, and the overall quality of life
  • The City was awarded a One Bay Area Grant in 2013 to implement selected high-priority project elements in the Valparaiso Avenue and Glenwood Avenue corridors.

Project activities
  • The third Transportation Commission Meeting to present the final draft of the Valparaiso Safe Routes to School Plan was held on October 10, 2012.
  • The third Community Meeting to present the draft Safe Routes to School Plan was held on May 30, 2012.
  • The second Community Meeting was held on March 29, 2012. At the meeting, residents in the study area were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the different alternatives for improvements to bicycle and pedestrian safety on Valparaiso Avenue and other neighboring streets.
  • City Council awarded the construction contract on June 7, 2016.