Woodside Town and The Woodside School are amazing. Getting our kids to school safely should be a top priority for our community. However, Woodside kids are up against increasing risks in their daily walk/bike to school due to worsening and unsafe traffic conditions. We feel it is time to address this issue aggressively as a community.
Every community in America has a "Safe Routes to School" program. In 2014 the Town of Woodside hired an independent consulting firm to recommend route safety improvements for our kids. The 2014 SR2S Report made clear recommendations that have remained largely un-implemented. Further, what aspects of the Plan have or are in the process of getting implemented are in our view "watered down" and do not go far enough to achieve the recommendations made in the Plan nor the desired result of addressing the broader critical issue of unsafe routes to school.
Contributing to our view is that since the Plan recommendations were made, we have seen a significant increase in commuter traffic (the "Waze effect") and specifically the use of Canada/Whiskey/Mountain Home roads as well as local roads as freeway alternatives. This has rendered our childrens' routes to school even more dangerous than what was observed when the original Plan and in our view merits further review and consideration for possible enhancements to the 2014 SR2S Plan.
Now is the time for our community to empower the Town Council and Circulation Committee to take action. Woodside citizens can do a better job of protecting our children! The families of Woodside desire for our kids to be able to safely walk and ride bikes to school. We are petitioning the Town to place much higher priority on addressing this important issue.
We are specifically asking the Council to:
- Implement on an expedited basis the 2014 SR2S Plan recommendations, and do not settle for half measures or non-implementation. This is too important and falling short is unacceptable when it comes to protecting our kids;
- Consider enhancements to the Plan as we believe it does not go far enough. Example enhancements include upgrading specific proposed and existing crosswalks to become lighted crosswalks (similar to the crosswalk at the School; specifically consider Romero (existing), Woody the Fish (proposed), Mountain Home (proposed) crosswalks). We believe Romero in particular remains very dangerous despite having a crosswalk and signage in place- we believe lighting is critical here;
- Establish a task force or mandate an existing committee to be aggressive and bold in analyzing and recommending additional Safe Routes improvements beyond the current Plan to address the growing traffic risks in Woodside including adding a crosswalk West of the School on 84 between Albion and Kings Mountain Road; consider adding a cross walk further up Canada near Laning or Olive Hill. The mandate should be to ensure safe crossing routes over the needs of vehicular traffic;
- Study the increased commute traffic in Woodside (on main roads as well as through neighborhoods - the "Waze-effect" that has dramatically increased rush hour traffic in Woodside) and develop a set of recommendations to slow down and/or reduce commute traffic through Woodside to increase safety and to restore the rural character of the Town. (We should have data on this and be looking to impact the data with changes.);
- Produce an annual report to the community on SR2S planning and implementation status (including cost/benefit analysis) as well as any additional recommendations that result from items 2, 3 and 4 above.
Overall, we believe there is not "too much" one can do on this issue –it is too important!
Thank you very much for your Support in signing this Petition today! We welcome any help in achieving the goal of Safe Routes to School.
Update #46 days ago
... for the strong showing at the event last night with over 50 parents attending the Town Council meeting. In response to our presentation the Town unanimously supported raising the priority of this issue and moving faster to address our concerns.
Next up- working with the town over weeks and months to see this happen; we will get our arms around what this means in the coming weeks as we dig in on next steps.
Stay tuned and more to come...
Your SR2S Team
Update #38 days ago
TOMORROW / TUESDAY JUNE 12 @ 7:35PM AT TOWN HALL - PLEASE JOIN FOR 20 MINUTES TO SHOW COMMUNITY SUPPORT AT THIS MEETING. And please also join us in telling your story at the meeting.
Thanks and see you Tuesday night!
Your Sr2S Team!
Update #214 days ago
Woodside SR2S Team -
Please join us next week - June 12 @7:35 pm at Town Hall - for the upcoming Town Council meeting where SR2S is on the agenda. It is critical to show our support in person and for those who wish to - also share a short 30 second anecdote on your family's experience(s) with unsafe traffic walking to school or elswewhere. The more we can illustrate the risks and concerns - the better.
Look forward to seeing you all next week and THANK YOU!
Update #1about a month ago
Thank you all - great first day supporting "Yes on SR2S"! I have a CRITICAL REQUEST: PLEASE also add your spouse, extended family etc. as signers to the petition (with their blessing of course). This process is initially a "numbers game" to reflect the support for this petition in Woodside - and we need as many votes as we can get!
And stay tuned for the next step - taking action - starting with an event we'll be holding in early June! And yes, there will be T-shirts.
Thank you! P,V,E&B