Transit Notes: Future Events in Menlo Park City School District

Volunteers are hard at work preparing an amazing Bike to School Week.

Walk to School Day Success!

Hopefully you and/or your kids had a great time walking, biking or boarding to school on Oct 3,  International Walk to School Day! Let's keep the momentum going!

  • Ask your neighbors if they will bike, walk or carpool with you.
  • If you have to drive, park your car a little further from school; you'll get more time with your child, you'll both get some exercise and you'll reduce congestion near campus!
  • Check your closets: do your kids have rain boots that fit and umbrellas for rainy days (it's bound to rain some day, right?)?

A big Thank You to Walk to School Day volunteers Amy Hamilton, Nathalie Vasseur and Tim Christensen, who staffed tables at Laurel and Encinal to hand out healthy goodies and cheer on walkers, bikers and boarders!

Bike to Laurel!

Laurel Elementary volunteers are hard at work preparing an amazing Bike to School Week!

  • Wednesday: Folks who want to bike, walk or carpool but aren't sure how to get started can join me and an instructor from Silicon Valley Bike Coalition for coffee and bagels at 8:45 (at the arbor lunch tables) to get questions answered. Tell your friends!! 
  • Friday: Stop by the Bike Week Central table at the bike racks, for bike and helmet inspections by Menlo Velo Bicycles (7:45-8:50) and to pick up your Bike/scooter/walk appreciation prize!

Safe Routes on Valparaiso

Menlo Park and Atherton have been working to develop a plan to make Valparaiso Avenue safer for students riding to the many public and private schools the route serves. The transportation commission will evaluate the current draft of the plan and the public can listen and comment Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 801 Laurel Street.

Thinking about a Bike Train?

Encinal mom Elizabeth Ouren has been helping organize a bike train from the Linfield Oaks neighborhood for years. Here are some of the guidelines from her group to help you get your own started (this is a partial list of the guidelines; if you’d like the whole list, let me know). 

  • Wear your bike helmet.  Wear close toed shoes, no flip flops.
  • Bike as far right on the street or bike lane as you safely can unless you are passing someone or something not in our bike pool.  When biking home in the afternoon and there are cars parked along Laurel Street, bike closer to the white line to leave space next to the parked cars in case they open their door into the bike lane.
  • Bike in the same order the whole way to/from school and do not pass anyone in our bike pool.  We may at times pass other bikers or walkers that are not in our bike pool if the parent gives the okay.
  • Try as best you can to keep up with the biker in front of you so that we can stay together.  If there is a big gap, the bikers in front may need to bike more slowly.
  • Keep your eyes on the biker in front of you so if they have to stop or swerve suddenly for an unexpected reason, you can also stop quickly and won't crash into them.  They may need to stop or swerve to go around something in the bike land (squirrel, trash can, walkers, etc.).
  • Bike with both hands on the handle bars so you are ready to maneuver your bike for any unexpected events (squirrel runs in front of you, there is a dead squirrel in the bike lane that you need to bike around, trash/recycling cans in the bike lane, passing slower bikers or walkers that are not in our bike pool, etc.).
  • Be careful with conversations while biking.  Talking can be distracting and can cause an unsafe situation.  We can enjoy talking while we are gathering at the beginning of the ride, while waiting for a light, or once we get to school.  Anyone can nicely be asked to stop talking if it is causing an unsafe situation
  • Be kind, helpful, and respectful to all kid and adults in our bike pool (and everyone else in the world, every day).

Kathy Schrenk is the Traffic Safety Coordinator for the Menlo Park City School District.

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