Oak Knoll School neighborhood resident Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti provided InMenlo with notes from the Safe Routes to School meeting held on Nov. 7
“About 25 people attended the meeting – a mix of current parents and older residents – as well as Oak Knoll Vice-Principal Kristen Garcia and the PTO President Allison Chao. My impression is that most of the people who came were concerned about biking to school safely, rather than car drivers. Someone pointed out that the name “Safe Routes to School” carries with it the impression that the scope is restricted to bikes, not managing traffic, including cars, more generally, which is the case. There was an understanding that including drivers in the assessment is important.
“Mark Spencer, consultant from W-trans, gave an overview presentation. I think the main points is that the current scope is an update to the 2002 plan in response to increased attendance and changes in the attendance boundary, there is some money that is being proposed for the 2012-13 budget for improvements in Menlo Park (so not yet approved by MP Council and wouldn’t include Atherton, although that could certainly be part of future efforts in conjunction with Atherton), but that the hope is to identify additional measures that could be included in future SR2S budget requests.
“Mark’s main goal was to collect from participants their input on the problems, needs, and ideas for solutions. Several large maps were available at the back for participants to write on and/or place colored dots to highlight particular areas (green is working okay, yellow is a caution area, red is problematic).
“Mark passed out a survey of parent practices. Getting a broader survey exposure is desired. One attendee suggested using Survey Monkey, and there was general support for that idea. Kathy Schrenk mentioned that the District had recently sent out a similar survey, so there was some discussion of coordination and concern if parents would respond to two similar surveys, especially if it were confusing.
“My impression is that participants are much more concerned about the behavior of drivers than in structural implementations. Lots of specific examples of parents making dangerous U-turns, parking or stopping in restricted areas to unload, blocking driveways, etc. Enforcement came up as a huge topic.”