It is already back to school! After more than a year in distance learning, we all hope for a return to a more “normal” routine, including commuting to and from school and work. With the pandemic, many families started to walk or bike as a way to spend time together and get some fresh air and exercise during the day. If this is the case, you might want to continue this new habit by walking and biking to school with your students or let them do it by themselves. Not sure where to start? We have plenty of resources for families on safe walking and biking.
One of them is the “suggested routes to school map.” The Safe Routes to School program has developed for each public and private schools that serve Menlo Park families “Walk and Roll maps” that show existing pedestrian and bicycles facilities (walking paths, bike path, bike routes, crosswalks, etc.), school entrances, student loading zones and also identified suggested routes to walk or bike to school in each attendance area. The Walk and Roll maps were created with the input of the schools and other key stakeholders from the Safe Routes to School community.
The suggested routes to school are usually located on low-stress streets that have bike and pedestrian infrastructures and where crossing the street is easier and safer for children, for example where there are crossing guards, marked or enhanced crosswalks or traffic lights. The map also contains a page with safety tips for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. The map shows the distance in time from the school (e.g., 10 or five-minute walk) of the suggested routes, to help families plan their trip to school. The Walk and Roll maps were created in 2019 and are being updated for the 2021-22 school year.
More recently, the City has worked on an online version of the suggested routes. The interactive “suggested routes to school map” includes:
- All bike and pedestrian routes for all the schools
- Peninsula Bikeway route
- Sam Trans bus routes and bus stops
- Traffic lights, stop signs and crosswalks
- Private and public schools
You can find all the Walk and Roll maps on the Safe Routes to School webpage.