September 28, 2017 (Kate Bradshaw, The Almanac)

Parents seek safer ways for kids to bike or walk to school

What can be done to keep kids safe who ride their bikes or walk to school?

A recently formed Menlo Park-based group of parents got advice on doing just that from a longtime leader of Palo Alto's Safe Routes program, Penny Ellson, at a parent education night hosted by the Menlo Park City School District on Sept. 19.

Palo Alto has reported major successes in diverting kids out of their parents' cars to get to school, according to Ms. Ellson, a longtime leader for safe routes in that city. The number of kids who rode their bikes to school doubled between 2006 and 2016, she said. Read More → 


14 September 2017

Five Child/Bike Related Incidents in Menlo Park in Eight Days!

Parents for Safe Routes has just learned about a fifth (yes, 5th!) child/bike-related incident that has occurred over an eight-day period. 

9/5 - 3:20pm, Case # 17-2794

12 year old turning left from Middle onto Arbor broadsided. Minor injury reported.

9/6 - Approx 8am - Case # 17-2905

Middle school child doored on Olive before Santa Cruz. Fractured collar bone.

9/11 - 3:34pm - Case # 17-2878

Crossing Santa Cruz at Oakdell. Middle school child turning onto Oakdell and car leaving Oakdell turning left on Santa Cruz collided. Child with scrapes and bruises.

9/12 - Approx 5pm - Case # 17-2897

Middle school child riding on sidewalk hit while attempting to cross Middle Ave. on El Camino Real. Minor injury (hurt wrist).

9/13 - 8:01am and Case # 17-2901

Middle school child had a bike accident while entering crosswalk on bike, heading to Hillview at El Camino and Ravenswood. He collided with a minivan that was turning right, and his left foot was run over. Swelling and crutches.

Thankfully, none of the above accidents resulted in serious, life-threatening physical injury. 

Is this rate of collision typical for the start of the school season?* Are there more of these incidents occurring that are left unreported? How many near misses are experienced every day? At what point do we say, as a community, "enough!"?

NOW is the time to get serious about Safe Routes. Parents, neighbors, community leaders, business owners, schools, police, fire, everyone, must come together to make our streets safe for children. We must work together to engineer Safe Routes, educate ourselves and our children and enforce (both via the police and ourselves) traffic rules. We can do this!

Parents for Safe Routes is here to help lead, but we need YOU. 

Please come to our talk on September 19th at 6:30pm at Hillview (details below) to learn what you can do to be part of the solution. Please forward this message to your personal network, post on Facebook, and encourage those you know to attend. Have folks join our mailing list ( This is important.

We don't have to accept the status quo. Together, we can make a huge difference.

*We have requested info from the Menlo Park PD to see if these rates are unusual or typical.


11 September 2017

Parents for Safe Routes Kicks Off MPCSD Annual Speaker Series on September 19th

You are invited to attend the kick-off event of the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) annual speaker series. Jen Wolosin, Founder and Chair of Parents for Safe Routes, will deliver "Between Home and School: Why Safe Routes Matter and How to Make Them Happen." Following Jen's talk, there will be a panel discussion featuring:

  • Kirsten Keith, Menlo Park Mayor,
  • Bianca Walser, Menlo Park Complete Streets Commission Chair,
  • Theresa Vallez-Kelly, San Mateo County Safe Route to School Coordinator, and;
  • Penny Ellson, longtime Palo Alto Safe Routes Parent Champion.

In 1969, 50% of kids nationwide walked or biked to school and enjoyed the benefits of healthier bodies and minds, increased independence and confidence, and greater community connectedness. In contrast, just 13% of American kids walked or biked to school in 2009. If you're tired of driving your kids less than a mile to school, and/or are worried about traffic and safety on our streets, come learn how many are advocating for children in our community to be able to walk and bike to school safely, and be inspired to join the Safe Routes movement. 

Tuesday, September 19th at 6:30pm

Hillview Middle School, Performing Arts Center
1100 Elder Ave., Menlo Park, CA

Free and open to the public

Free onsite childcare (and pizza!) for potty trained children
Light snacks and beverages provided

PSR Newsletter (August, 2017)

Back to School Newsletter


Welcome back to school! We hope everyone enjoyed summer and are ready for a great 2017-2018 school year! It is our hope that this new school year brings even safer streets for kids and an even better quality of life for our community at large. Check out our back to school newsletter to learn about two big Safe Routes events - the opening of the Oak Grove Bike Route (coming soon!) and information about an upcoming Safe Routes talk on 9/19 by our Founder and Chair, Jen Wolosin, titled, "Between Home and School: Why Safe Routes Matter and How to Make Them Happen." The newsletter also contains key tips for getting to and from school safely. Happy reading!

Daily Post (July 20, 2017)

Stoplight’s construction shelved until next year

The Menlo Park City Council has voted to shelve construction of a $350,000 pedestrian-controlled stoplight on Middlefield Road at Linfield Drive and Santa Monica Avenue until next yea. The decision came even though the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board voted last month to go forward with the stoplight project near Fire Station No. 1. The district hopes to share the installation costs with the city. Read More → 

Daily Post (June 21, 2017)

Proposed stoplight gets green light

The Menlo Park fire board decided last night to go forward with installing a $350,000 pedestrian-controlled stoplight on Middlefield Road at Linfield Drive and Santa Monica Avenue near Fire Station No. 1 in Menlo Park. Read More → 

The Almanac, Town Square Post (April 17, 2017)

Does Menlo Park really care about Safe Routes? We'll find out at City Council Meeting

Much lip service has been paid in Menlo Park to the concepts of "Safe Routes" and "Complete Streets". In theory, providing safe biking (and walking) infrastructure for our kids sounds great. In fact, the Menlo Park City Council, on January 24, 2017 took two actions that supported these concepts:  Read More → 

The Almanac, Guest Opinion (February 15, 2017)

Safe Routes to School can help everyone in community

Did you know that nearly half of all children used to walk or bike to school? That was back in 1969. Today, that number has plummeted down to about 13 percent. We're currently trapped in a vicious school-related traffic cycle:  Read More → 

InMenlo (Wednesday, January 25, 2017)

Menlo Park parent Jen Wolosin launches initiative to make school routes safer for kids

When Jen Wolosin moved from San Mateo  to Menlo Park four years ago, one of the things she was practically excited about was how close her new home was to Laurel School where her daughter would be attending. Then she encountered Coleman Avenue. Read More → 

Almanac Town Square (Monday, January 23, 2017)

Menlo Park Streets Need to Be Safer for Kids

While many have set their eyes on Washington DC over the past week, a growing group of concerned citizens have also had their gaze focused on Menlo Park. On Tuesday, January 17th, we launched Parents for Safe Routes (  Read More →

The Mercury News (January 19, 2017)

Grassroots effort to install coordinators at each school to make roads safer for kids

A Menlo Park parent is spearheading an effort to make roads safer for local schoolchildren by working directly with schools. Read More →