Transportation and Traffic Safety

Safe Bike and Pedestrian routes through our Town.  We need to improve the safety of our bike routes through town.  This is a critical task to achieve because at this time parents do not feel comfortable having their kids ride their  bikes or even walk across town to go to schools because there are not designated paths.  We need more Atherton residents to help support this effort.  We are lucky that Menlo Park has hired a Transportation Safety Coordinator, Kathy Schrenk, who is working with Atherton and Menlo Park to improve the safety for children taking alternative means to get to school.  Atherton is home to 10 schools — and our town population nearly doubles every day that school is in session because of the numbers of school children entering Atherton.  We need to do better to keep these children and other bicyclists safe in their passage through Atherton.  (See this YouTube video showing how difficult it is to cross El Camino at Selby Lane.)

Safe Streets and reduced traffic – It is no secret that regional growth is impacting our rural, bucolic residential community. We have become a “pass-through” commute route. While much of this problem needs to be tackled on a more regional level there is much that we can do.  Facebook has committed funds to Atherton to help study and address traffic impacts from its campus on arterial roads, including Marsh Road and Middlefield Road, in Atherton.

For the past 2 years I have served on the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance a San Mateo County regional board. We develop policies and programs to take cars off streets by providing shuttle services from transit hubs to businesses and promote biking, carpooling and mass transit use.  Integrating the efforts of these groups with our own town planning (such as thinking critically about where we place county buildings in our town) can have a meaningful impact on traffic impacts.

High Speed Rail – is still a potential threat to our community, as is the loss of Caltrain service to Atherton during the work week.  I have been serving on the Atherton Rail Committee where dedicated resident volunteers meet regularly to plan and lobby against the full 4-track – HSR system and to advocate for better local rail service.  This fight will continue.

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