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Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety in Willow Oaks Park

From: domainremoved <Gloria>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2019 19:34:39 -0700

Dear Council Members,

Along with hundreds of others, we frequently walk the paths of Willow Oaks
Park. The park is used by children from the adjacent daycare center, dozens
of parents and nannies bring their little ones to use the equipment in the
playground, dog walkers, organized soccer and baseball teams, K-12 students
from the Palo School, veterans from the Menlo Park VA (both able-bodied and
those learning how to use assistive devices), and cyclists, skateboarders,
and scooterist of all ages and abilities. (For ease of communication, we’ll
simply refer to wheeled users as “cyclists.”) It’s a wonderful park but not
without its challenges.

We have had close encounters and near accidents with a number of cyclists
over the twenty years we’ve lived on Willow Road. With every new school
year, the number of cyclists increases leading to a dangerous mix of
pedestrians and cyclists. Many students are rushing to school and often
speed up to make the light at WIllow Rd. and Coleman.

This danger was manifested around 9:15 AM, Wednesday, August 28, 2019, when
Gloria Taffee was hit from behind by a young cyclist on his way to MA High
School. The accident resulted in multiple injuries to Gloria, including
fractures of the left hip and elbow. The young man was, fortunately,

We understand that accidents are by nature random. Yet we also know that
steps can, and we believe, should be taken to increase the safety of
everyone who walks the park sidewalks in the form of signage and path
markings, examples of which are provided below. The City has experts in
bicycle and pedestrian safety and transportation to guide mitigation
efforts. We request that this park be given priority attention in light of
this accident.

Gloria is now using a walker and will need to do so for the foreseeable
future until her fractures heal. Some form of rehab or possible surgery
will likely follow. We’d hate to see someone else injured and trust that
the City will take immediate steps to address this safety issue.


Gloria and Steve Taffee

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Gloria L. Taffee. M.S., NCC

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Received on Mon Sep 09 2019 - 19:27:57 PDT

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