Safe Routes News Nov. 2009

This is the November issue of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools ENewsletter. This newsletter provides you with monthly updates of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools program, including highlights of the month.

Highlights of the Month
Photo Gallery of Walk to School Day
Get Street Smart! Did You Know…?
Wade Thomas Offers Route Maps
Walking School Bus Vests Available
Redwood High School Students Bike for Pizza
Ross Valley School District Discusses School Site Issues
Mill Valley Middle School Students Learn Bike Skills
Alameda County Safe Routes to School Job Announcement

Redd School

Photo Gallery of Walk to School Day
Visit our photo gallery to view invigorating pictures taken in Marin during International Walk to School Day October 7, 2009. at

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Get Street Smart! Did you know…?

Did You Know

What would Marin parents allow their children to do if motorists drove safer?  Forty-three percent of Marin parents would allow their children to walk or bicycle to school.

How far does a car travel before coming to complete stop after traveling 40 mile per hour?  One hundred twenty feet.

How do drivers behave differently when pedestrians use a crosswalk?  Drivers are 40 percent more likely to yield for pedestrians crossing in crosswalks than at intersections without crosswalks.

These questions and answers, plus many others, are part of a brief educational package called "Get Street Smart! Did you know …?" which is available for free simply by downloading it from TAM's Street Smarts website:

Compact discs are also available from TAM upon request and availability

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Wade Thomas Offers Route Maps

Community Walk screenshot

Ted Fehlhaber, team leader at Wade Thomas Elementary School in San Anselmo  took advantage of the web site to create a route map for bicycling to school  Parents can to use the map to identify a route to ride to school.  The web site makes it easy to create the routes of all types using Google maps.  You can check out the map at

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Walking School Bus Vests Available

walking school bus vest

We have Walking School Bus vests available to any school that organizes Walking School Buses (or Bike Trains).  These vests can be worn by the adult leaders to identify themselves.  They come in bright yellow or orange colors and were donated to Safe Routes to Schools by Kaiser Permanente.  Contact Peggy Clark at for more information.

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Redwood High School Students Bike for Pizza
The day after International Walk and Bike to school day, the Redwood Environmental Club organized a lunch-time bike field trip which was extremely successful. Over 60 students participated.  They biked to Red Boy Pizza where they got a free pizza slice, courtesy of Safe Routes to School. This event was advertised through posters, the school newspaper, and through Facebook. Riders were given a survey form to determine their bicycle use and a completed survey was their ticket for the free pizza. About half the students bike to school every day and one-third bike at least once a week.  About 15% of the attendees rarely bike to school.  The vast majority, 80%, said that the event encouraged them to bike to school that day.  The Redwood Environmental Club is planning to do this event again using club funds.

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Ross Valley School District Discusses
School Site Issues

The Ross Valley School District is deliberating over difficult issues related to where to open a new school due to increasing enrollment.  A circulation assessment was prepared by KC Anderson and Associates, Inc. to evaluate the Red Hill and Deer Park sites, as well as the Marin Town and Country Club site. 

All of the sites pose serious traffic considerations.  The Deer Park area has narrow roads that could be hazardous for kids on bikes.  It also has an incomplete sidewalk system.  The Red Hill area is generally inaccessible to bikes and pedestrians and would result in traffic problems due to the heavy traffic volumes on Sir Frances Drake Boulevard and the difficulty of accessing the site through the Red Hill Shopping Center.  The Marin Town and Country Club site would result with the least traffic impacts but would require a new access bridge that could cost over $1 million, not to mention that the  district does not own the site.   

The board discussed the sites given the new information and concluded that the Deer Park site is probably the best of the choices because it has a much larger concentration of children who would live within walking distance from the site.  The consultant recommended a one-way loop system on the main access road to avoid conflicts.  The board wants to conduct more community outreach in the neighborhood and also wants to ensure that the popular Fairfax-San Anselmo Children’s Center could be provided an alternate site given that many of its students attend Ross Valley schools as well.

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Mill Valley Middle School Students Learn Bike Skills

Mill Valley Middle School

Q. What happens when you put a group of middle school bicyclists in a “chaos box?” 
A. They quickly learn the value of law and order and why rules of the road exist.
The “chaos box” was one of many engaging bike drills Mill Valley students learned in order to confidently and legally bicycle on the streets.   Mill Valley Middle School’s Head PE Teacher, Sarah Patrini, coordinated the two-part classes during PE with Safe Routes to Schools Instructors for approximately 700 students. 

With the “Drive Your Bike” game-show, SR2S Instructors engaged students to share their knowledge and critical thinking regarding the laws and best practices for riding on multi-use paths and in the street.  Mill Valley Firefighters attended several classes to reinforce the need to wear bike helmets, not only for their bicyclist’s own safety, but to serve as role models for younger kids who look up to the teens.  The new level of independence of middle school students can present challenges to their safety if not addressed.  These classes will also be offered at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael and at Miller Creek Middle School in Marinwood, and as an afterschool program at Kent Middle School in Kentfield and White Hill Middle School in Fairfax.

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Alameda County Safe Routes to School Job Announcement
The Alameda County Safe routes to Schools program is looking for an education coordinator.  Here’s a link to the job announcement on their web site:

Transportation Authority of Marin


is a program of the
Transportation Authority
of Marin
3501 Civic Center Dr.
San Rafael, CA 94913

Project Manager:
David Parisi

For general
on the Safe Routes
Program Director:
Wendi Kallins

For information on
school activities:
Project Coordinator:
Laura Kelly
415-456-3469 ext. 2#

For information on
school classes:

Project Coordinator
for Logistics:
Peggy Clark
415-456-3469 ext 8#

For information on SchoolPool or Street Smarts
Deborah Cole










SchoolPool carpool, walk, bike together





















the right and wrong way to wear a bike helmet






Safe Routes to Schools, Marin logo