Posted on February 2, 2020 at 12:07 am by Clay Curtin
As we look back on 2019, we see a year in which the city’s Safe Routes to School program advanced a shared vision of Menlo Park’s transportation policies, infrastructure and programs helping students get to and from school safely.
Here are a few of our first year’s highlights:
- Safe Routes to School Coordinator Andre-Anne Cadieux joins Menlo Park
In March 2019, the city contracted for a Safe Routes to School coordinator. This position serves as a liaison between the city and local school communities to coordinate safe routes to school efforts and support community-led activities and events. This position is a key component of the implementation phase of the citywide Safe Routes to School program, and serves as a conduit to share information and gather feedback from the community.
- First Safe Routes to School Spring Party
The Safe Routes to School program officially launched during the city’s first Safe Routes to School Spring Party on March 24, 2019. A dozen organizations consisting of school officials, police departments, SamTrans, Facebook, Parents for Safe Routes, the San Mateo County Office of Education, Stanford Children’s Hospital, Wheel Kids, and Bay Area Bike Mobile participated in the event. Residents and children participated in bike repair activities and learned more about the Safe Routes to School Program in their communities.
- Citywide crossing guard program launches
During summer 2019, the Safe Routes to School program team worked with the three elementary school districts and Facebook to develop a citywide crossing guard program. Facebook agreed to fund 16 crossing guards (totaling approximately $200,000 annually for an initial 5-year term with a 5-year extension possibility) to help students who walk and bike across busy streets/intersections on their way to school. The city worked with the local school districts to identify new priority locations for crossing guards. These extra locations add to existing crossing guard programs, creating a wider network of safe corridors for students and their families. This helps to encourage walking and bicycling from one neighborhood to another. If you or someone you know is interested in being a school crossing guard, please review the crossing guard recruitment.
- Safe Routes to School strategy and Walk and Roll maps posted online
The city finalized its Safe Routes to School strategy and developed Walk and Roll maps for public and private schools based on stakeholder and community feedback. Throughout 2019, feedback from school officials, parents, students and bike/pedestrian safety advocates was gathered and incorporated into the strategy and maps.
- Safe Routes task force holds its first meeting
The first Safe Routes to School Task Force meeting took place September 18, 2019, at the Menlo Park City School District offices. This committee will help guide and implement the Safe Routes to School program. It is comprised of public school official, city staff including transportation and police, community members and stakeholders, who gather to discuss issues and concerns, and create recommendations to improve the overall program.
- Hundreds experience Menlo Park’s first pop-up bike lane on Chilco Street
From October 2–4, as part of the City's Safe Routes to School program, the city’s first pop-up bike lane demonstration project provided a preview of the permanent version planned for Chilco Street between the railroad tracks and Hamilton Avenue.
- Monthly Safe Routes to School newsletter launches
The city’s Safe Routes to School program began publishing a monthly update in November 2019. It provides program updates, as well as upcoming events and activities. Stay connected and sign up at menlopark.org/projectupdates and select “Safe Routes to School.”
We are incredibly thankful to all of the our countless program partners, including school officials, parents, students, city staff, consultants, community supporters and others, who participated in Safe Routes to School programs and helped to improve bike and pedestrian safety, inspire fun and build this program to support and serve the students of Menlo Park.