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Help TIDE students bike to school safely--Item I-4

From: Lydia W. Lee <"Lydia>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:06:19 -0700

Dear Councilmembers,

At tonight's meeting, you will be looking at staff's recommendations to
remove on-street parking on Jefferson Dr. and Chrysler Dr. and installing
bike lanes. Jefferson Dr. in particular is a key route for students biking
to our newest high school, TIDE Academy, from Belle Haven and the west side
of Menlo Park. With parking on both sides, Jefferson is extremely perilous
for bicyclists. It has a 90-degree turn that is particularly dangerous
because of parked cars that block sight lines. TIDE has extremely limited
on-site parking and is designed to be accessed by alternative
transportation. The whole area is transitioning from industrial to a
mixed-use neighborhood that includes a number of residential units, making
safe pedestrian and bicycle routes even more of a priority.

In a discussion with Facebook representatives and TIDE administration last
week, I heard that having a safe bicycle route along Jefferson and Chrysler
would benefit both TIDE students and Facebook employees, as well as other
community members navigating that area. (The ad-hoc bike route that
currently cuts through the parking lot of FB Building 24 may no longer be
viable once the bus terminal is installed nearby, since car traffic will be
rerouted along the bike path.)

The good news is that other infrastructure improvements will make it safer
to bike and walk in the area. By the end of this year, there should be bike
lanes on both sides of Chilco and an improved "Dutch-style" intersection at
Chilco x Constitution, which will help bicyclists making a left from Chilco
onto Constitution. (The uncontrolled intersection at Constitution x
Jefferson still needs to be addressed.) However, a bike route is only as
strong as its weakest link, so these improvements are of limited value if
the obvious safety problems on Jefferson aren't addressed.

As we all know, removing on-street parking is an extremely controversial
issue in our town. However, with the development of this new neighborhood,
we have the opportunity to create "Complete Streets" that don't prioritize
car traffic over other modes, and ultimately cut down on the congestion
that is destroying the quality of life here. Please take the long view and
lay the groundwork so that our younger residents can get to school
independently and safely.

Thanks for your consideration,

Lydia Lee
Member of the Safe Routes to School Subcommittee, Complete Streets
Received on Tue Aug 20 2019 - 13:59:23 PDT

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