Skip to page body Home About Portola Valley What's New For Residents Building & Planning Sustainability Town Government

Safe Routes to School Program Background


Safe Routes to School Logo


SRTS programs can improve safety, not just for children, but for a community of pedestrians and bicyclists. They provide opportunities for people to become more physically active and rely less on their motor vehicles. SRTS programs benefit the environment and a community’s quality of life by reducing traffic congestion and motor vehicles emissions:
  • Safety – provides safe options for walking/biking/busing to school
  • Health – promotes physical activity; studies show that children who walk/bike to school are more active in general
  • Transportation – reduces traffic congestion and emissions
  • SRTS programs use a variety of education, engineering and enforcement to strategies to make routes safer
  • SRTS programs use encouragement strategies to entice more children to walk/bike/bus
  • Safe Routes to School Guide – from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Town Support

The development of the Safe Routes to School Program is a priority for the Town as noted in the elements of the Town’s General Plan and the recommendations from the Town’s Climate Protection Task Force.

Sustainability Element of the General Plan

Goal: Transportation – Provide for transportation needs by methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. To encourage means of transportation that do not rely on non-renewable sources of energy (for example, biking and walking) and to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic in town that relies on non-renewable sources of energy.

3. To reduce motor vehicle trips in the town.

Circulation Element of the General Plan
The street system is designed to provide efficient access to the most frequently visited locations in the town. It also provides for a wide range of types of transportation: motor vehicles, bikes, horses and pedestrians. The design of the circulation system and provision for multiple forms of transportation results in savings in energy consumption and reduction of local air pollution.

Trails & Path Element of the General Plan
The trails and paths element provides a comprehensive system of hiking trails, equestrian/hiking trails, pedestrian paths, bicycle paths, multiple use corridors, bicycle routes and bicycle lanes. The system provides facilities that access major destinations including schools, and civic and commercial areas. The multi-modal system helps reduce reliance on motor vehicles. The system provides for recreation and accordingly for the pleasure and health of residents.

Climate Protection Task Force Recommendations to the Town Council – Transportation

  • Continue promoting the schools efforts to encourage students to walk, bicycle and carpool to class.
  • For existing student car drop off, establish a no idle lane.
  • Consider alternative fuel vehicle bus/shuttle service for students.

Climate Protection Task Force Recommendations to the Town Council – Education & Outreach
As part of a three-pronged strategy for reducing the size of Portola Valley’s carbon footprint: With community and business support, we will make Portola Valley a more user friendly town for residents who are willing to use carbon free forms of transportation. We will also promote bicycle safety and other programs that support safe behavior on multi-use roads and trails.

Work Done

  • Organized yearly Bike Rodeo for 3rd Graders at Ormondale
  • Organized yearly Bike/Walk to School Days in October and April
  • Developed Safe Routes to School & Sam Trans Map, which identifies safe walking/biking trails for children to use to get to school as well as bus routes and schedules
  • Relocated the bus stop at the Town Center to within the boundaries of the Town Center so children do not have to cross Portola Road
  • Exploring location in Town to sell SamTrans bus passes and tokens

Innovative Programs

For More Information

Brandi de Garmeaux
Sustainability & Resource Efficiency Coordinator
Town of Portola Valley
phone: 650.851.1700 ext. 222

Last updated: 8/3/2012 12:56:22 PM