Walk and Bike to School

Graham encourages all students to consider walking or biking to and from school. Research has shown that active commuting delivers health and academic benefits, and this step toward independence helps students build self-confidence.

The school goal is to match some of the neighboring school districts by achieving high levels of participation (Recent surveys show that some local schools have more than 70 percent of students walking or biking.)

Please review and follow the Traffic and Safety Rules provided by the Traffic & Safety Team from the Mountain View Police Department.

New traffic patterns

Over the summer, the city re-striped Castro Street in front of Graham to make it a safer road for the students. There is now only one car travel lane in each direction. To the right of that is the car parking lane, and the bike lane is protected between the parked cars and the curb.

Entering Graham from the south
(Miramonte Ave to Castro St):
Thanks to the bike lane, entering Graham from the south requires only checking for pedestrians on the sidewalk and turning right into the parking lot. Please be careful when turning right from Miramonte to Castro - the striping requires cars to move over more quickly than before and there will be a learning curve for drivers.

Entering Graham from the north
(El Camino Real to Castro St):
From the opposite side of Castro St, walk your bike across the crosswalk at the corner of Harpster Drive and walk down the sidewalk into Graham. Please do not ride your bike against traffic on the sidewalk (or road).

There is also the back entrance to Graham off Lane Ave that leads directly into the bike cage.

"Drop-a-Block" and Other Ways to Be Safe During

To provide safer student travel routes, we are encouraging parents to either have their student ride a bike or walk to school. If you must drive your student to school, we encourage you to use one of the alternative locations to drop your student. To support these activities, we are partnering with Mountain View VERBS Program to assist with these changes.

Bicycling: The furthest distance from school is an approximate 20-minute bike ride for a student. In the coming weeks, VERBS Staff will assist students riding to school by providing travel times along three main routes to school and a group leader to 'lead' the bike train to school. Look for future announcements about this program.

Vehicles: We have identified alternative locations for students to be dropped off. We refer to this program as "Drop-a-Block." The locations are an easy 5-minute walk to the school campus and a great meeting point for students to be picked up after school. Remember to park on along the curb and students are to exit the vehicle on the curbside. Do not double park and please don't block driveways.

For those traveling eastbound on El Camino Real (coming from the Castro School neighborhood), travel past Castro Street and make the first right turn on Lane Avenue (just past Chase Bank); make the next right turn on Victory Way, and pull alongside the Chase parking area. Students walk from the Victory Way to Lane Avenue and enter campus via Lane Avenue.

For those traveling westbound on El Camino Real (coming from the Landels School neighborhood), turn right on Hope Street (street before Castro Street) and drop your student next to KFC and California Bank and Trust. Students walk along El Camino to Castro Street and cross at the light. Students continue up Castro Street, making a left on Victory Lane and right on Lane Avenue.

For those traveling north on Grant Road (coming from the Huff School neighborhood), turn left onto Cuesta Drive toward Miramonte Avenue. Make a right onto Begen Avenue. (next street past the light at Montalto Drive) and proceed up to Barbara Lane. Drop your student near Barbara Lane. Students walk along Begen Avenue, turning left on Hans Avenue, right at Miramonte Avenue and then right again at Castro Street.


Safety Tips and Rules

Download Sharing the Road, a brochure on bike riding prepared by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more tips: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

Use hand signals

Use hand signals

Safe Left Turns

There are two proper methods for making a left turn on a bicycle:

Using Traffic Lanes

As you approach the intersection, look over your left shoulder for traffic. If it is clear, signal your turn and move over to the left side of the lane or into the left of center turn lane. Position yourself so that vehicles going straight cannot pass you on your left while you are making your left-hand turn. Yield to oncoming traffic before turning. If you are riding in a bicycle lane or on a multi-lane road, you need to look and signal each time you change lanes. Never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you're in a bicycle lane.

Using Crosswalks

Stay on the right as you approach the intersection. Stop and either cross as a pedestrian in the crosswalk or make a 90-degree left turn and proceed as if you were coming from the right. If there is a signal light, wait for the green light or the WALK signal before crossing. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Do No Harm: Bike and Skateboard Safety

We have been noticing many students coming to school on bikes and skateboards without helmets. It is illegal to ride without proper fitting helmets. We need your help keeping your children safe coming to and from school. Your child will be cited by law enforcement if he or she does not have a helmet.

Please refer to following section of the Vehicle Code:

SECTION 1.Section 21212 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read: (a) A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger, upon a street, bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public bicycle path or trail unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards of either the American Society or Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Planning Ahead

Consider carefully whether your student is ready and plan to walk or ride the route together beforehand to get comfortable with the route. Make sure students know how to stay safe.

Try and establish a routine, and take a dry run before the start of school.

Prepare ahead of time and leave a buffer so that your student is not rushed. Chances are there will be other students arriving at the same time, and numbers improve the safety for all.

Bike racks, lockers and pathways onto campus are provided to support our active commuters.

Suggestions for improvements are also welcomed.

Dos and Don'ts of the Road

  1. Bicyclists should ride far enough away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door.

  2. A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists, marked by a solid white line and typically breaking into a dotted line at the corner. If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room.

  3. Bicyclists must obey stop signs and signal lights. It's a good idea to stop for yellow lights, too. Rushing through a yellow light may not leave you enough time to make it across the intersection before the light changes.

  4. Bicyclists should not bike against traffic on the road.

How to avoid citations when traveling to/from school (car, bicycle or by foot)

Here are some great reminders on what drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can do to not only stay safe, but also avoid potential citations.

As we can all benefit from being reminded of the safe and correct behaviors, we have listed them below for your reference.

If you are driving a car, AVOID citations by:

  • SLOWING DOWN - stay within the 25 miles/hour speed limit outside the school.
  • STAYING ALERT - put down distractions such as cell phones.
  • PULLING OVER ONLY IN THE DESIGNATED AREAS - don't impede traffic by pulling over in the right turn lane just before the car-park to let your children out of the car.
  • MAKING U TURNS ONLY WHERE LEGAL - right outside the school (northbound on Castro Street) is NOT a legal U-turn area as the traffic sign indicates.

If you are riding a bicycle, AVOID citations by:

  • WEARING YOUR HELMET ON YOUR HEAD - do not wear hats underneath your helmet, do not hang helmets off your bike.
  • HAVING WORKING BRAKES - even on your 'fixes'.
  • HAVING REFLECTORS and a LIGHT when riding in the dark or twilight hours.
  • RIDING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD WHEN IN TRAFFIC - it is possible to receive a citation if you ride on the road against traffic
  • STOPPING at STOP signs and RED traffic lights
  • USING APPROPRIATE HAND SIGNALS to indicate to other cyclists and drivers what you are going to do - yes using incorrect or lack of hand-signals can be reason for a citation.

NOTE: you will not receive a citation if you ride on the crosswalk, however it is strongly recommended to stop and walk your bike instead.

If you are a pedestrian, AVOID a citation by NOT entering the crosswalk once the traffic light starts flashing red (yes this is citable and unsafe).

Last but not least, one officer said: "Change your mindset, let's work together to keep everyone safe."

Thank you for keeping out Graham community members safe.

Please click here to refer to the following vehicle codes for further details.

Thank you.


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