Safe Routes to School – Portola Valley
Safe Routes to School is a national effort to promote walking, biking, and carpooling in an effort to build connected communities, promote health, decrease school traffic, and improve air quality.
In the fall of 2009, the Town of Portola Valley and the Portola Valley School District formed a Safe Routes to School Coalition. Town staff and the school district worked together to form a coalition of key people to gather information, identify issues, explore funding sources, organize incentive-based events, and promote the SRTS program.
Over the next two years the Coalition introduced Bike/Walk to School Days for both schools, in both the spring and the fall; a route map of trails and safe roads to both schools; and carpooling to school opportunities. The Coalition also worked with the Trails Committee and Town Engineering to improve the trail from Indian Crossing to the stop sign at Alpine Road. This trail improvement in 2010 accommodated a growing number of student pedestrians and bike riders commuting to and from Corte Madera School, and allowed for the trail to be useable year round.
San Mateo County Office of Education launched a broad Safe Routes to School initiative in 2011, with funding for schools throughout the county. In 2012 Portola Valley School District received their first grant of $26,000 from the SMCOE to help grow their SRTS programs. In this first round of funding, the school district is focusing on bike rodeos, incentives, signage and banners, web design, and a coordinator position.
Exciting developments this year in our Portola Valley SRTS program include:
- a new bike rodeo for all students at Corte Madera School
- a bike rodeo for children of all ages at Town Center
- a guided ride on Portola Valley roads for bicyclists of all ages to learn safety tips
- additional crossing guards at Priory, Alpine and Corte Madera, and possibly Golden Oak and Alpine
- a resolution adopted by the Board of PVSD in support of Safe Routes to School
- a school-wide survey and tallies conducted by Alta Design
- launch of a new SRTS website for PVSD in early 2013
- an ice cream party for the class at Corte Madera with the greatest participation in Bike/Walk Days in the school year
- rewards for volunteers participating in Bike/Walk Days