Safe Routes Newsletter


Fall 2017

The Countdown Begins: Walk to School Day 2017

Make It Official: Register Your Event

With Walk to School Day just around the corner, over 2,900 schools have registered events on walkbiketoschool.org.  Forty-nine states and Washington, DC are represented. Here in Marin 36 elementary schools, 8 middle schools and 5 High Schools will be participating.  We urge our Marin Schools to register on the national site.  Check it out and make your school’s participation official. Events instantly appear on the Who’s Walking Map.

 

Team Leaders Gear Up for Action

Neil Cummins Team From left to right: Daniela Kratz; Jennifer Harrison;Megan Acevedo;Leila Mongan

With kids’ healthy transportation habits in mind, parent volunteers communed at the August Safe Routes to Schools luncheon to gear up for International Walk to School, Walk and Roll Wednesdays and the Green Sneaker Challenge this fall. Safe Routes’ parent volunteers extend the programs’ community outreach. The goal is to make events as “turn-key” as possible providing guidebooks, supplies and on-going support to all our volunteers. “We really want parents to have fun while doing these events and to share in the happiness that kids feel when they approach our welcome tables,” said Program Director, Gwen Froh. “Validating kids’ enthusiasm and praising them for using their feet, encourages them to walk or bike to school again.”

To reduce pollution around schools, Team Leaders were asked to promote Park and Walk locations away from campus for those who live too far. The New Wheel provided electric assist bike demonstrations, promoting the e-bike as an efficient way to overcome additional objections such as “I have too much to carry.”

 

Fairfax Bike Spine is Connected

This summer the last segment of the Fairfax School Bike Spine was completed, linking White Hill Middle School to the two-mile long designated school bike route through the Town of Fairfax. The project, funded through the Transportation Authority of Marin’s Safe Pathways to School Program, made a number of enhancements:

  • Provided a widened path between Glen Drive and the White Hill Middle School pathway
  • Narrowed the wide openings at Glen Drive and Shemran Court by reducing the curb radii, which reduces turning speeds and the crosswalk lengths
  • Built a retaining wall west of Shemran Court to enable provision of a future widened pathway into the school
  • Installed high-visibility crosswalk markings

Students traveling to school can now complete their journey along the north side of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Students cycling home should use the new pathway and cross the street at the Glen Drive crosswalk and crossing beacon, and then continue along the buffered bicycle lane on eastbound Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Thank you Town of Fairfax!

 

Be Alert Be Safe

When everyone looks out for everyone else, we can all share the road safely.  Whether you walk, bike, drive or ride the bus, remember to always:

  • BE PREDICTABLE – follow the rules of the road.
  • BE ALERT – Expect the unexpected.
  • BE VISIBLE – The more other road users can see you, the safer you will be.

PARENTS:

  • Teach your student how to share the road safely.
  • Help your student choose the best walking or cycling route – it may not be the same way you would drive in a car!
  • Students who regularly practice safe walking and biking skills when young are more likely to make safer choices as teenagers.
  • Obey adult crossing guards. They are there to help you cross congested intersections safely

More Safety Tips

Tamalpais Complete Streets Project is ... Complete!

This summer, the Town of Corte Madera renovated 3,500 feet of Tamalpais Drive and Redwood Avenue between Madera Boulevard and Corte Madera Avenue. The extensive upgrade, funded partially through the Transportation Authority of Marin’s Safe Pathways to School Program, made the following improvements:

  • “Slurry-sealed” the roadway with emulsified asphalt to maximize the life of the roadway pavement
  • Enhanced crosswalks by providing attractive corner bulb-outs, thereby reducing crossing distances and improving visibility
  • Restriped crosswalks with high-visibility crosswalk markings
  • Added “rectangular rapid flashing beacons” at key pedestrian crossings across multiple roadway lanes
  • Narrowed vehicular travel lanes to discourage vehicle speeding
  • Reallocated roadway space to create new bicycle lanes, and where not possible, to provide buffer areas for cyclists

The Town’s improvements will certainly benefit travel to and from Neil Cummins Elementary School. Thank you Town of Corte Madera!

 

Edna's Pathway Just Got a Sweet Makeover

The path to Edna Maguire Elementary was bumpy and broken, but with improvement projects completed this summer, students now have a smooth and direct route to school. The Mill Valley path north of Blithedale Avenue was repaved and an entrance to the path was officially opened for the first time providing a safer access from a neighborhood. Students who ride along Ashford Ave can now access the path directly instead of taking lengthy detours. Ring Mountain Day School families also  benefit from this improvement.

Bike parking at Edna is conveniently located at the path entrance to campus. Newly installed there, are Safe Routes themed art tiles that students created.   Though many schools have student art tiles on display, this is the first school in Marin where students have included SR2S inspired artwork.   

 

Electric Cargo Bikes are All the Rage

Picture this: You have two young kids that you’re picking up at school, one of them is bringing a friend over, the school is 3 miles from your place, the kids have backpacks, and you need to get groceries on the way home. What do you do?

Fear not.  You don’t have to stop riding your bike now that you have children.  Cargo Bikes have been around for years but with new electric assist technology, they are now becoming much easier to use to transport your children, their gear and your groceries.

While your trusty old commuter bicycle enables you to replace a car for the majorityof trips you’ll take in a day, a cargo bike enables you to step up your game and leave the car at home for basically every local trip. Traveling with kids? Gardening equipment? Tools? No problem, your cargo bike can handle it.

Cargo bikes are, in essence, a workhorse that you don’t have to feed. They enable the transportation of many more pounds of goods than you could possibly carry on a regular bicycle, with much more economic and environmental efficiency than you getfrom a car. They’re your family vehicle, your work truck, your moving van, your party bus. They’re everything you would need a car for, but much more affordable, much more sustainable, and much more fun.

Check out Momentum’s guide to Cargo Bikes or you can test ride on at the New Wheel

 

Shop United: Support Safe Routes to Schools

Throughout October, United Markets will donate 5 cents to Safe Routes to Schools for every grocery bag saved. Bring your bags and make a donation. Your nickel a bag goes a long way towards educating and encouraging students to walk and bike to school.

 

No Car Idling on Wednesdays

Thirty elementary schools are engaged in The Safe Routes “Walk & Roll Wednesdays” program this year in efforts to decrease school traffic. The program aspiration is to embed a regular weekly travel day, which builds strong community by motivating neighborhoods to walk, bike and carpool together. If a family lives on a steep hill and/or far away from campus, then driving partway and then walking with others is recommended.

On the first Wednesday of every month, parent volunteers and their “mini-ambassadors” host a friendly welcome table to greet students. This year Honey Stinger donated organic waffles for our “meet and greet” tables. Modest incentives are provided by Safe Routes to Schools throughout the school year to make the program fun in a commitment to making green transportation a lifelong habit for kids.

To learn more about embedding a regular green day travel at your school, then please contact laura@marinbike.org

 

Tam Junction to Be More Bike Friendly

Construction is underway at Tam Junction to install bicycle lanes and pedestrian improvements after many years of community input, planning and agency coordination. The project will close a gap in the bike lane network and will add Class II bike lanes from along both sides of Shoreline Highway from Coyote Creek to Almonte Boulevard and Flamingo Road.

The gap in the bike lane network through this busy area was a continuing community concern, especially with the student population making their way from Tam Valley to Mill Valley Middle School. The timing of this project coincides with the completion of the Miller Avenue improvements, allowing continuous bike lanes from Coyote Creek to Camino Alto and to Downtown Mill Valley.

The project also includes drainage improvements to address periodic flooding in the area. Construction is expected to be complete by late October.

Transportation Authority of Marin is funding the project with the majority of funding from Measure A, Marin’s 1/2 -cent sales tax dedicated to transportation improvements in Marin.

To view the construction advisory