Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Community Forum: Safe Routes to School for Felton and SLV

Community Forum: Safe Routes to School for Felton and SLV  
Monday, May 14th, 2012
7:00 PM
SLV Elementary School Multi-Use Room
7155 Highway 9, Felton

Children of San Lorenzo Valley deserve safe routes to school. Currently there is no safe way for children to walk or bike to any of the three schools on the SLV campus from the surrounding community. Safe Routes to School SLV, a coalition of community members and local organizations, is holding a public meeting to promote the implementation of safe routes for walking and biking in the San Lorenzo Valley.

Students clearly see the need for improved infrastructure. “I’ve lived in the valley for all of my life and I’ve never felt safe enough to ride my bike on Highway 9,” says SLV High sophomore class president Abbey Sherman. “I think that it is really important that students have the ability to transport themselves safely to school without using cars or the bus.”

Safe Routes envisions a path system from South Felton at Redwood Drive, to the main SLV campus, and north to Glen Arbor Road. Phase one of the Safe Routes project would simply tie existing streets together with crosswalks, signs and minor improvements to a short section of Highway 9. The 2006 SLV Trail Feasibility Study identified this route as one of the most easily implementable and cost-effective.

Community activists agree. According to Micah Posner of People Power, “These improvements are feasible with existing funding sources, and SLV kids could be riding and walking to school within the next few years, provided we have strong leadership from the next County Supervisor.”

The meeting will feature presentations by local experts on what the routes could look like, and background on how the proposal would fit into the nationwide vision for Safe Routes to School. 

After public discussion, the candidates for 5th District Supervisor will be asked to make a commitment to make safe routes happen in SLV. Candidates who have committed to attending the meeting include Eric Hammer, Bruce McPherson, and Bill Smallman.

“This is a great project that will help parents and kids, and will also help link the community together,” explains SLV Elementary parent Bryan Largay. “I’m headed to the the meeting to make sure that our next supervisor commits to making this a priority”

“It is very exciting to see community members get behind creating safer routes to our Felton campus,” states SLV School District Superintendent Julie Haff. “For years, people have complained about the traffic on Highway 9 and how unsafe it is for bikes and pedestrians. Safe Routes SLV is to be applauded for putting out the effort to create paths that will give both our community and students a healthier and safer way to walk and bike in our beautiful Valley. Of course, this project also helps our commuters by reducing traffic congestion.”

The meeting is co-sponsored by: The Valley Women’s Club, the SLVUSD School Board of Trustees, the SLV Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Club Santa Cruz County, People Power,  and Green Ways to School.

For more information, contact Tawn Kennedy at greenways@peoplepowersc.org or (831) 425-0667.

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