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Not in Favor of Narrowing Vehicle Lanes to Widen Bike Lanes but rather Form Partnership to Provide Electric Buses for our Private and Public School Children

From: domainremoved <Mary>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2019 23:37:40 +0000

Hi Jen,

I’m on your Parents for Safe Routes distribution list and applaud your efforts. I am very sorry to learn of your spill. You were so very lucky to escape more significant damage to your body as I have relatives who have broken limbs and received concussions on minimal spills from their bikes. Imagine if you had young children on your bike with you or attached to your bike in tandem and how bad it could have been for them as well. Cycling may seem very innocent but it has inherent dangers not the least of which is a wrong move by driver –not to mention a wrong move by the cyclist.

Cycling children on many of our MP main corridor streets such as Santa Cruz Avenue, Middle Avenue, and El Camino has never been a preference of mine because our main corridors are simply not wide enough for the kind of safety that we need for cyclists and vehicles to coexist safely. I’m inferring from what you have written that someone is proposing wider bike lanes that would narrow the vehicle lanes. If that is the case, I am very much against that idea. Cars and emergency vehicles need a healthy width for safe travel and I believe we are already at our minimum width for the busy corridors in Menlo Park and Atherton. Furthermore, I think an unintended consequence of a wider bike lane might be that children and teens would ride 2 and 3 abreast and that this would most definitely defeat the purpose. We already see mature adults riding at least 2 abreast “within” a bike lane conversing with one another. I think we’d be naïve to think that children and teens wouldn’t do the same if they had more space.

I would like to suggest something that might have a larger impact on our community: that is a partnership between the private schools, the city of Menlo Park, the town of Atherton, the Fire District and the Las Lomitas, Menlo Park City and Sequoia Union school districts to provide a fleet of electric busses for the specific purpose of transporting all of our Menlo Park and Atherton resident school children (no exceptions) from their homes to the schools. In the very least, all of our k-8 schools, both public and private, should be forming such a partnership with the local public agencies. I believe that eliminating most parents and nannies from driving their individual children to and from school every morning and afternoon would be a significant step towards reducing the horrible traffic we have twice a day 5 days a week as well as reduce the safety issues for those who wish to take on the risk of cycling to and from school or their jobs.

I hope you will reach out to decision makers of the various private and public schools, city and town councils and the Fire District to encourage a dialog in this regard. I think a fleet of electric buses for our school children would make a quality of life impact on everyone in our community – not just cyclists. Again, I am very appreciative of your organization’s efforts to make streets safer for cyclists but do not think the answer is narrowing vehicle lanes to make bike lanes wider.

Mary Gilles
31 Year Resident of Menlo Park

From: Parents for Safe Routes [mailto:info_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2019 3:04 PM
To: Mary Gilles
Subject: On a Personal Note

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On a Personal Note...

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago I had a big spill on my bike. While riding my two kids to school I took one hand off the handlebars to adjust my sweatshirt, lost my balance and hit the ground hard. I ended up with a mild concussion, a bunch of scratches and a bruised ego. How could I demand bike lanes when I made such a careless error and fell on my own?

People make mistakes. Even I, someone preaching safety, wearing a helmet, a bright yellow vest and modeling cycling for my kids, can fall. Thankfully, I have completely recovered from my accident. However, had my momentary distraction occurred on a different street or at a different time, with more traffic volume and speed, I might not have been so lucky.

We need to design our walking and biking infrastructure to allow for imperfect humans. People trip when walking, but they still need sidewalks. People fall when biking, but they still need bike lanes. This is especially true when we're talking about kids. Yes, kids should ride single file, avoid the "door zone" and follow all the other rules of the road. But we should also accept that this doesn't always happen. And when kids mess up, let's teach them the right way to ride. What we shouldn't do, is make mistakes fatal.

There are lots of debates taking place right now about how much of limited roadway bike lanes should get. Should bike infrastructure design assume near perfect cyclist behavior, or should human error also be factored in? Should "safe enough" be our community standard for bike lanes, or should they also be comfortable and inviting? Should designated "Safe Routes" require a higher standard of quality bike infrastructure than other city roads? What, if any circumstances, necessitate compromises to the creation of safe, inviting and comfortable Safe Routes?

Over the next few months, some street design projects (e.g. Middle Avenue) will come to City Council that will bring the above philosophical questions to the here and now. The most effective way for you to support Safe Routes is to watch for our Calls to Action and respond accordingly. Our advocacy efforts depend on you! Enjoy your summer break, but keep your eyes open.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support - and keep your hands on your handlebars!

Jen Wolosin (and the Parents for Safe Routes Leadership Team)

Rising 6th, 7th & 8th Graders! Sign Up for Middle School Bike Class - June 22nd and July 28th

Don't miss out on your chance to have your rising 6th, 7th or 8th grader get ready to bike to middle school with Wheel Kids. This is a specially designed 1/2 day class for Menlo Park students. One of the dates is already full. Room available June 22nd and July 28th. Register online here<https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fparents4saferoutes.us16.list-manage.com%2Ftrack%2Fclick%3Fu%3D7c899a2dfbc95a19599c39872%26id%3D5ea323b64e%26e%3Debf6b57df2&data=01%7C01%7Cmgilles%40apr.com%7Cc441da06e2234379417c08d6e86f5f2b%7C0d1ce1a5d1804d58a065c5dbebbc311b%7C1&sdata=6etkN5fUUsfDsm5pLgnKO1h3V5j8MYP2jD6qZG2uGvg%3D&reserved=0>.

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Received on Mon Jun 03 2019 - 16:32:06 PDT

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