MPUSD aims for safe routes to school for students

District, cities seeking input from parents

MPUSD safety handbook

SEASIDE, Calif. - Whether it's by bike, on foot or alongside a parent--a safe route to school for your child is always wanted, however not often guaranteed.

The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, along with the city of Seaside, Ecology Action and other groups are hoping to guarantee just that with the help of a two year project aimed at creating safe routes to schools.

"We're trying to make the cities more competitive for grant funding so the projects will include things like improved crosswalks, better bike facilities, sidewalks signage," says Amelia Conlen. A Planner for Ecology Action. "We're looking at all options for improving infrastructure around schools."

In order to make a list of projects for cities of Marina and Seaside to address, the "Safe Routes to School" plan will need input from the parents.

It's the sort of input which the city of Seaside in particular has addressed in the past and hopes to do so again.

"For example we had an issue over in San Pablo where a crosswalk didn't have a controlled stop sign or signal," explains City Engineer for City of Seaside, Rick Riedl. "It was dangerous for kids to walk there to go to school. We did a study and determined that it was necessary to put a stop sign in there."

Once a list is made of dangerous walking or biking areas around schools, cities will look over the funding necessary for those projects.

"This project is focused on safe routes for schools but it's really a great improvement for the community at large," says Gino Garcia--Ecology Action's Assistant Planner.

Marina or Seaside residents with students attending a school in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District can provide their input at one of two meetings taking place in August.

The first is August 29 at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Seaside. The second meeting is the next day, August 30, at Crumpton Elementary in Marina.

Both meetings are scheduled to start at 6:30 pm and last until 8 pm. You can also elect to stay informed using Ecology Action's website

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