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Old 02-12-07, 07:30 PM   #1
Ed Holland
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Elementary school...

I am very fortunate to live in a very nice part of the SF Peninsula, in an area extremely popular with cyclists. Generally there is next to no traffic except for... The school run

If I leave for work at 7:30, everything is fine. If, however I delay for 10-15 minutes, there is gridlock at the bottom of the driveway. The line of SUV's carrying (individual) precious pumpkins to school is like something from a festival parade. On the opposite side of the road, empty 300 horsepower child transporter pods queue for the stop sign lower down the road.

It's very frustrating not to be able to leave one's own drive... I'm wondering what course (if any) I can take with the local authorities here. It's such a localised and relatively fleeting problem, but I detest the wall of traffic which besets our neighborhood every day. A letter is in the stages of composition, but has anyone else a view, or experience?

Ed
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Old 02-12-07, 09:02 PM   #2
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You can try writing a letter to Mr. Roadshow and see what he suggests.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/mr_roadshow/
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Old 02-12-07, 09:31 PM   #3
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Perhaps a Bakfietsen giveaway?
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Old 02-12-07, 09:33 PM   #4
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Get a ban on parking and streetside stopping within half a mile of the school, within 60 mins of start and end of school day.
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Old 02-12-07, 09:37 PM   #5
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Consider yourself lucky! I have a local high school, middle school, and elementary school within 0.5 miles of my house and only two ways to exit the neighborhood. The H.S. traffic is first, then there's a short break, then the middle school traffic picks up, followed by another break, and finally the elementary school traffic.

The only thing you can do is to make sure that you leave the house on time. Also, it's easier to get through the traffic on a bike than it is in a car.

I seriously doubt that Mr. Roadshow can help and your letter probably won't generate much sympathy as I suspect the school was there when you moved in.

Steve "in Cupertino" E.
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Old 02-13-07, 06:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SteveE
I seriously doubt that Mr. Roadshow can help and your letter probably won't generate much sympathy as I suspect the school was there when you moved in.

Steve "in Cupertino" E.
Yeah! You made your bed now lie it, damn you!

Ok, just kidding!!

I understand your pain... I ride with my son to school and while I don't have to deal with the parade of SUVs near my home, they are a triffle difficult to deal with once he and I arrive at school. Most of the drivers don't understand when he signals for a left turn - oh, they stop and let him pass but their faces register shock and their lipsticked mouths form perfect little 'oh's'. It is beyond them that anyone would choose an alternative form of transportation.
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Old 02-13-07, 07:54 AM   #7
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I too live within a half mile of a HS, Middle School and an Elementary school. I find that I have no problem filtering forward along the right hand side of the road to the intersection where I make my right turn and travel away from the motorized chaos. I find that although the hoarde of minivans and SUVs provide an impenetrable barrier to motor vehicles, they are but a minor nuisance when I am on my bike.
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Old 02-13-07, 08:36 AM   #8
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I have to ride past a elementary school on my way into work. If I get out early enough, I get a chance to wave to the nice lady who does the cross guard stuff. If I'm just five minutes late, I hold up a long line of vans and suvs taking kids to work. Fortutantly no one has given me much of a hassle and hopefully them seeing me biking in the area will encourage a couple of the kids to bike in.
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Old 02-13-07, 10:49 AM   #9
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2 elementary and 1 HS here. I'm at work before those kids are even out of bed, but on the way home I have to deal with them. On the particularily crappy days the look on their faces is like the look on a baby's face when he's seeing something for the first time and you know the gears are inside whirling away trying to make sense of it. (run-on sentence ftw!)
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Old 02-13-07, 11:01 AM   #10
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Thanks for your views everyone,
I will try writing a letter, but certainly don't expect immediate (any) action . Nor do I regard the issue as a "major threat to world peace" - just a minor niggle in an otherwise lovely place. Certainly others have traffic prblems of a far more serious nature on their doorstep.

The amusing part was that two courteous drivers actually allowed me out to make the left turn in safety this morning

Cheers,

E
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Old 02-13-07, 11:02 AM   #11
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Why not educate the school administrators about the Safe Routes to School program? It helps a great deal with cutting down on traffic and the number of kids driven to school. The program is in almost every state. I believe it started in California.
http://www.dhs.ca.gov/routes2school/
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/saferoutes/
http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/
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Old 02-13-07, 11:14 AM   #12
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In a previous job I knew all the back roads and still was stuck with the choice of which school. Public High School, middle school or elementry or the Church school. The direct route went by the Church school and it was not all that bad (they had things well planned and really moved cars in and out).

I also lived quite close and could go home for lunch. A few times busy days ment very late lunches. If you thing morning is bad try when school lets out. Morning is drive up open the door and kick the kid(s) out. Picking up means the kid has to get to the car, which takes at least twice as long, often much longer. Now that is a mess.
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Old 02-13-07, 12:28 PM   #13
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Know what I'd do? I'd probably ride very slowly on the sidewalk until I got out of the logjam, being anal-retentively careful about cars backing out of driveways (but there shouldn't be any, since their driveways are blocked by the backed-up traffic).

I know, I know. Sidewalk biking: bad.

But.

That's what I'd do. The good people of Mountain View will just have to deal.

Or walk the rig for the few blocks where traffic is a problem. For extra exercise, maybe you could run with your bike, CX style. That would amuse the kiddos, wouldn't it?
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Old 02-13-07, 12:40 PM   #14
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My wife and I both work. Our 5 year old son has to be in his school seat and ready to go at 7:45 AM. If he is at school prior to 7:30 he must sit in a line on the cafeteria floor, being still and quiet. Very hard thing for a 5 year old to do. This leaves us parents a very narrow window in which to drop off our most precious possessions. He is one of 550 kids in his school, which is kindergarten through 6th grade, so the line can get quite long. But the alternative is to let a 5 year old try to walk to school. Not an alternative in my opinion.

Stop and think that the parents you are complaining about are not happy about the situation either. Perhaps you can attend the next PTA meeting at the school and voice your concerns, try to start a parent/citizen group to come up with a solution. Perhaps just alerting the parents/staff to the the fact that there is a problem would go a long way.
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Old 02-13-07, 05:50 PM   #15
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I have a local high school, middle school, and elementary school within 0.5 miles of my house and only two ways to exit the neighborhood.
I'm in a similar situation, luckily there are about 5 ways out.

Traffic usually isn't that bad in the mornings, except right outside the schools. They have fairly large parking lots, and roads specifically designed to hold excess trafic, so it's not that bad.
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Old 02-13-07, 05:53 PM   #16
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I appreciate your point Jeff,

I don't mean to attack the parents, but I would like everyone realise that their actions - collective in this case - are not without impact. With this in mind, I'd be grateful for the traffic on this small street to be more considerate of its residents - which on the occasion of this morning, was the case
When & where I grew up schools were within easy walking distance and parents were able to walk with us until we were old enough to make our way safely. Times have changed for the worse IMO.


bbonn
Biking upon the sidewalk is not an option - there is none, besides I would not do this on principle. Also, I need to turn left from our driveway, so need to cross the street anyway. There are very good bike lanes once the turn is accomplished.

There are instances when I need to drive - on those occasions there is nothing to do but sit and wait. I'll concede that drivers are more likely to give me a break when on the bike.


Ed
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Old 02-13-07, 06:35 PM   #17
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No suggestions, other than to second what others have already mentioned. They're all good ideas. Don't expect much though. Your observation speaks to a much deeper problem in this country.
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Old 02-13-07, 06:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RonH
Why not educate the school administrators about the Safe Routes to School program?
Mountain View received funds two years ago for crosswalk signals. There's not much push for non-facilities grants, unfortunately. A change in mindset is desperately needed to get parents to allow their children to walk or bike to school.

(work in Menlo Park, ride through Mtn View sometimes, member Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition)

RFM
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Old 02-14-07, 07:27 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jsharr
My wife and I both work. Our 5 year old son has to be in his school seat and ready to go at 7:45 AM. If he is at school prior to 7:30 he must sit in a line on the cafeteria floor, being still and quiet. Very hard thing for a 5 year old to do.
Really?! Making small children sit still like that is almost... well... obscene! Why can't they let them enjoy the gymnasium, the library, or the computer lab? That is what they do at my kiddo's school. And if they act up, they get sent to what they call the "recovery room" - a room where you just have to sit and stare at the wall.

I think I would be having a chat with your school administrators about why they are, if effect, punishing children for being punctual/early.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:25 AM   #20
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This has a big impact on your neighborhood. I have spoken to your neighbors? Perhaps with greater numbers you can get a better solution that doesn't have such a negative impact on the quality of your neighborhood.

It's strange but I live 2 blocks from an elementary school but because most of the kids that attend are from poor families I hardly see any traffic at all.
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