Ross Valley Safe Routes to Schools Task Force
Friday, May 13
Ross Valley School District
Attendance: Karen Baigrie- Team Leader Hidden Valley, Sean Condry- DPW Director, Laura French- Team Leader Brookside, Bret Joyner- Director of Maintenance Ross Valley School District, Carey Lando- Senior Planner DPW County of Marin, Elmer Arce- Officer Central Marin PD, Erin McAuliff- Marin Transit, John Reed-Fairfax Town Council, Ashley Tam-Engineer Parisi Assoc., Mandy Thomasson- Team Leader Manor, Nancy Vernon- Aide to Katie Rice, Rico Tabaranza- Sergeant Fairfax PD, Wendi Kallins- Safe Routes to Schools, Peggy Clark- Safe Routes to Schools
Infrastructure and Police
Town of San Anselmo
Sean reported that in June new sidewalks and other traffic calming measures including drainage improvements, and hopefully road re-pavements, will begin on Berkeley to Boardmore Avenues. San Francisco Blvd and Sir Frances Drake Blvd (Drake Blvd) will get an improved new signal. The paving on San Francisco Blvd has been delayed this summer due to a PG & E project.
There are several Safe Routes to Schools projects moving forward. The project not moving forward is the proposed guardrail at Drake Blvd and Broadmore. This was decided on due to the extremely high cost. Possibly this summer utility poles will be removed and the sidewalk widened.
Another SR2S project that has gone out for proposal is for the sidewalk on the north side of Drake Blvd at Suffield Road toward Brookside School. The DPW plans to have the project designed this summer. Comments were made to make sure vehicles do not park on the corner or near the inside strip near Suffield Rd. A sidewalk does not need to be paved to be designated as a sidewalk. Illegal parking can be enforced for vehicles parked on dirt pathways.
DPW engineers are working on a design for a proposed roundabout at Butterfield and Suffield that would support all road users including pedestrians and cyclists. There is also consideration for a roundabout near the Center Street Bridge.
The Bike Spine to Wade Thomas School is proposed and the DPW has re-applied for funding a Bike Spine to Brookside School.
Town of Fairfax:
John reported an extension of the Bike Spine is out to bid for Glenn Dr at Lefty Gomez Field. A 10ft widening is planned for the north side of Drake Blvd. A grant was awarded to address the reconfiguration of the Bike Spine. The entrance to Sherman will be narrowed to include a Class 1 bike route. The goal is to have the projects completed by the start of the next school year.
Fairfax and San Anselmo are working together on the Landsdale bike lane onto Center Blvd. Parisi Associate engineers will be meeting with the town’s DPW representatives to develop the best possible facilities for pedestrian and cyclists.
Fairfax passed a Safe Routes to School Policy. The intention of the policy is to outlive council members as it lays out a structure to be adopted that supports the goals of the Safe Routes to Schools program. Many Marin County School Districts have adopted SR2S policies already. The next step is for cities and towns to also adopt a policy.
On May 31 at 1:00pm at the TAM offices all elected officials who are appointed Safe Routes Laisons will meet to discuss Task Force progress and share ideas. It would be helpful to have Sean or a representative from San Anselmo at this meeting to present on the 15 mph project.
The Fairfax Town Council will host a series of workshops this summer to address the Downtown Section of the General Plan. The first meeting will be on June 14 at 6:30pm. There will be 2 or 3 more meetings. It would be very helpful to have SR2S representatives at these meetings.
The pedestrian “flag program” implemented by 8th grade student Emma Lotter has been working well. People are using the flags as an aide to cross specific streets. Pedestrians must still be responsible when attempting to cross all intersections with or without flags.
The Town of Fairfax is using funds to develop a Steps, Lanes and Paths program. The North Bay Conservation Corp has been helping with the project; it will take time. There are situations when property owners have encroached on lanes with fences, there are paths that are very steep and paths that have been cut over time by people wanting access to reach town center. Other towns that have developed a Steps, Lanes and Paths project have benefited schools by identifying safe routes to local schools and improving those pathways.
The new BPAC in San Anselmo will be addressing this project too.
Carry reported the County is still addressing the Butterfield rapid flashing light at Green Valley Court. One neighbor has expressed concern about the light reflecting into her home. Several neighbors have stated they do not see a need for the light and they feel the light will take away the rural feel of the neighborhood. Additional research will be conducted during the next Safe Streets community meeting.
It is important to remind neighbors safety improvements are for all in the neighborhood including the students going to the local school.
Additional traffic monitoring will be conducted on Butterfield. San Domenico School is requested to conduct traffic counts three time a year.
Police Dept. update-
Officer(s) reported vehicle drivers continue to pass school busses when the stop sign is activated. It was suggested the Town Newsletter include safety information as well as providing this information through homeowner associations. A driver safety campaign was suggested for the start of the school year, possibly including a street banner for Drake Blvd and possibly a banner for the school busses. Important to include the vehicle code and the penalty for passing a school bus when students are present.
Vehicles parking on Butterfield is still an issue. There is not enough space for cyclists to pass without forcing them into traffic. If the community approved a policy not permitting parked vehicles to block the lane the police could enforce it. The challenge is the lane on Butterfield is not a designated bike lane and it is in the Marin County District not the town’s.
Bus program update for the fall
The first year of the program has gone very well- thanks to all for the efforts from the School District.The pricing for next school year will be finalized during the next district meeting on May The prices may increase which could be very discouraging for the program. The bus has been well received; however, the pricing remains a big issue.
Passes will go on sale starting May 23rd until the end of the current school year. The busses are pretty full now; however, there are a few seats/passes to sell that will help the overall pass price. Meeting attendees suggested a pass just for Butterfield students; possibly sell a pro-rated pass for Butterfield residents only.
Nancy reported the County of Marin is looking into a County wide yellow bus program. Representatives are looking at the cost of the program for the next 3 years and more. Ultimately the county will need a program to support the need for busses in all school districts.
Safe Streets Butterfield and Oak Manor
A meeting for Sleepy Hollow is scheduled for May. There has not been a meeting held since last fall. The agenda will address issues that have been acted on, issues not addressed and new issues. The committee will evaluate the collaborative nature of the committee and how it has been successful. The local HOA could be more involved and steps need to be identified to increase the success of the community outreach.
The County will continue to send out notices to property owners requesting vegetation be cut back. The Safety Committee would like to support this effort as many owners do not comply; this could be a good task for the committee to address locally during a meeting.
Oakmanor- Additional red painted curbs have been added near Manor School. There has been some pushback from neighbors for the digital speed feedback signal. The location and type of lighting for a sign has been challenged. There are various types of lighting systems that may help address the ambient light emitted or there may be a way to position the signal.
Manor School: The crossing guard has expressed concerns about speeding drivers. It remains a challenge to cross Drake Blvd at Oak Tree. The Green Sneaker Challenge was a huge success this year including over 200-300 bikes counted on Bike to School Day. The town has been supportive and the school is very grateful.
Brookside School: Bike to School Day was great with about a 20% increase in participation. The Wed Walk and Roll program and Active 4 me are going very well. There is a new principal for the school. The Team Leader would like to start a Walking School Bus for next school year including 5th grade students as walking buddies. The recommended ratio is 2-3 students per 5th grader, including a parent to walk with each group. Nancy said she may know of some neighbors willing to walk with the Walking School Bus groups.
White Hill School- The school hosted its first Bike Day with a trip to the Bike Museum. Marin IJ- Thanks for helping with White Hill’s Bike Day was a great success. The event was planned and supported by Safe Routes to Schools- Teens Go Green program. Teachers and students either cycled or walked from White Hill School to the museum. The Fairfax Police provided a welcome escort. Students participated in Bike Safety drills with Safe Routes to School instructors, a bike math gear ratio exercise and a tour of the museum. It was a great education model to be implemented in the future.
Hidden Valley- Bike to School Day and the Active 4Me events are going very well. Fairfax Scoop donated to the incentive program. There was a noted increase in younger students’ participation in Bike to School Day this year. The Golden Sneaker Challenge winner was recognized during the school assembly.
Vehicles are still parking on Fawn Drive; increased enforcement was requested.
Preparing for next school year The Fall Team Leader meeting will be announced soon. The next Task Force meeting will be on Sept 9th. Thank you all and have a wonderful summer!