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Safe Routes to the Laurel Schools

From: domainremoved <Witney>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:49:02 -0700

City Council Members:

I am writing to express my support for a formal evaluation of Safe Routes
to and from both the Lower and Upper Laurel Schools. I am not able to
attend tonight's meeting, but I appreciate that the Council has added the
topic to its agenda.

I believe that the City should conduct a formal evaluation of the
neighborhoods within the Laurel district (not just the neighborhoods
adjacent to the schools) to identify infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks, bike
lanes, stop signs, etc.) and operational (e.g., crossing guards)
deficiencies that inhibit Safe Routes for pedestrians and bikers. I would
also ask that the Council commit to funding the execution of a plan to
improve the Safe Routes to these schools. A formal evaluation will not
only ensure the safety of children who currently walk and bike to school,
but also to demonstrate to other families that biking and walking is a
viable option in our community.

I understand that under the current City guidelines, residents living in
neighborhoods where there are proposed street improvements are given a
tremendous amount of power to veto any changes. While I respect that
residents need to be informed and engaged during any change process, I also
believe that *our streets belong to the entire community* and that when it
comes to safe bike and pedestrian infrastructure, we are all affected
constituents, regardless of our address within Menlo Park. I urge you and
City staff to think more broadly about how your define "affected
constituents" when it comes to engaging the community on topics related to
the safety of our streets.

In closing, while tonight's topic focuses on the Laurel Schools, I would
also urge the Council to *support formal evaluations of Safe Routes for all
of the schools in Menlo Park every 5 years*. Every resident of Menlo Park
benefits from our great schools, whether you have a child in the district
or not. It is far past time for us to start prioritizing the safety of our
school children on the City's agenda.

Witney McKiernan
Menlo Park Resident
Received on Tue Aug 23 2016 - 16:55:14 PDT

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