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Parents for Safe Routes - Goal Setting Priorities

From: domainremoved <Jen>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2019 09:54:20 -0800

Dear City Council Members,

Thank you for inviting the community to weigh in on what areas should be
prioritized during your 2019 goal setting. As a local advocacy group
committed to getting kids to school safely via non-single occupancy vehicle
trips, Parents for Safe Routes would like you to apply a Safe Routes lens
to your process. Specifically, how will the priorities you set enable
children, families and the community at large, to travel around town on
bike and foot in a safer and more inviting fashion? With climate change
happening, obesity rates rising and traffic turning our streets into
parking lots, there is no better time to invest in and implement real
multi-modal infrastructure. With that said, our asks include:

   - Close bike/ped infrastructure gaps along school routes (at a minimum,
   though we would like to see a full 8-80 network to parks, offices, stores,
   etc.). Regardless of the TMP process, work should not wait. To do this,
   expand the scope of the Safe Routes to School Coordinator that the City is
   hiring to be a full-time job and have that person work on infrastructure as
   well as programmatic issues. Another way to increase this capacity would be
   have a full-time bike/ped person on staff, that includes Safe Routes to
   School.
   - Develop city-wide road standards that prioritize safety and traffic
   calming. Palo Alto welcomes visitors with a sign saying that the speed
   limit within Palo Alto is 25 mph unless otherwise noticed. They have also
   made huge investments in other traffic calming initiatives that remind
   drivers to stay under 25 mph. Many of these tactics involve nothing more
   than a can of paint and some plastic sticks. We can do it, too.
   - Create a city-wide crossing guard program, in collaboration with
   schools and other local agencies. Making key crossings safer for kids
   doesn't have to wait until engineering plans have been developed. A handful
   of additional crossing guards at key locations throughout town would make a
   huge difference.

With regards to specific projects, Parents for Safe Routes, as a group, is
hesitant to advocate for one piece of roadway to be addressed over another
piece of roadway (Coleman Avenue vs. Sharon Road vs.
Middleifled/Linfield/Santa Monica vs. Ravenswood/Alma vs. on and on). They
all need attention and it is our hope that a fair and objective criteria is
used in prioritizing what should be done first. Whether this criteria is
determined via the TMP process, or a one-off community meeting of key
stakeholders, we would like to see this done soon and we would like there
to be a strategic road-map that states when help is coming for all areas
that need attention. Using a train station as an analogy...we all feel much
calmer when we know that a train is 12 minutes away because of the digital
sign letting us know, rather than just waiting anxiously with uncertainty.

   - One exception to the individual project lobbying is with regards to
   the Middle Avenue Bike/Ped Under-crossing. Given the timing of the Stanford
   project, this must be addressed immediately. In addition, it must include
   improvements all along Middle (in front of Safeway, Nealon Park, etc.) and
   even along Olive to Hillview, to make it a true Safe Route. If not now,
   when?

Safe Routes can mean many things to different people and can be a nice
feel-good phrase to throw around. That being said, please think about it in
real-life terms and do so considering your own children, grandchildren and
the kids in our community...what improvements need to be made to our roads
so that they can be comfortable and safe walking and biking? When you
answer that question your priorities should be clear.

Thank you for your consideration and for your service.

Sincerely,
Jen
-- 
*Jen Wolosin*
Parents for Safe Routes
www.parents4saferoutes.org
jen_at_(domainremoved)
Received on Tue Jan 29 2019 - 09:50:59 PST

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