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Apr 07

Public feedback needed for biking and walking safety near schools

Posted on April 7, 2021 at 1:10 pm by Lisa Atwood

Menlo Park's Safe Routes to School program will collect data on infrastructures near the schools this spring through a survey and community meetings. The community meetings are anticipated to be held in June 2021. The survey includes a public input map where participants will be able to locate and report issues from five different categories: sidewalks, street crossings and intersections, comfort, driver behavior and safety. Participants will also be able to submit a picture with their comments. The survey will be open until May 10, 2021.

In a second phase of the project, the survey will be complemented by community meetings to discuss concerns, survey key findings and potential solutions.

The intention of the project is to get more data and observations from parents, school staff and students on transportation at school hours and see if improvements can be made through current and future projects (e.g., Menlo Park Transportation Master Plan) or maintenance.

The public input map and the community meetings are preliminary steps to walk audits that would be conducted at Menlo Park public schools, as proposed (but not yet funded) by the Transportation Master Plan.

What is a walk audit? A walk audit is an assessment of traffic safety, walkability and infrastructures. During a school walk audit, a group of stakeholders is convened on the school campus during drop off and pick up hours to make observations. The observation part is generally followed by a discussion to identify potential solutions. The data collected is then analyzed by engineers who will then make recommendations and develop an improvement plan for the school site. The improvement plan includes Safe Routes to School countermeasures such as the creation of school loading zones, speed bumps, speed feedback signs, street lane striping, crossing guards, curb extension/bulb outs, high-visibility crosswalks, raised crosswalks or rectangular rapid flash beacon crossing signals.