Making our roads safe and attractive for pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters and equestrians
Making our roads safe and attractive for all users will encourage those inclined to walk or ride to and around town center. Many express the desire to walk or ride in town but do not feel safe doing so. We should change this by making sure our roads are designed for the safety and comfort of all users.
Placing new housing near town center will minimize driving, especially if we make the roads attractive and safe for pedestrians, scooters, bicyclists and equestrians.
When I was a student at Woodside School in the 1950s very few parents drove their kids to school. The school had a bus and many kids walked or rode their bikes.
As traffic increased in the 1970s the Town Council, led by Mayor Joan Stiff, lobbied Caltrans to widen the pavement and install bike lanes on both sides of Woodside Road. This provided safe passage for kids on bikes.
When I participated in the School Library Committee in 1989, we took a look at the campus plan as a whole. A big issue was providing ample bike parking since over a hundred kids rode their bikes to school.
Ten years later in 1999 on the Gym/Upper School Committee we once again looked at the campus plan but this time almost no kids walked or rode to school.
The difference was that parents who drove kids to school started parking in the bike lanes, making it too dangerous for any kids to ride bikes.
The recently constructed path along Woodside Road near the School is an improvement for kids walking to school however it makes it more dangerous for kids to ride their bikes.
State and Federal standards call for 12' wide shared paths and allow 8' in a pinch. Our path is 5' wide, causing the kids on bikes to weave out of the path into traffic to avoid kids walking.
Some of the kids on bikes use the north bike lane, riding against the traffic in the afternoon. Wrong way bicycling has a fatality rate much higher than riding with traffic.