Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

City releases two road safety plans

Kensie Pao
HOMEWARD BOUND — Junior Evan Chang rides his bike on his way out of school. He reflects on current bike safety in Palo Alto “I think changes would always be beneficial,” Chang said. “There’s always things to improve upon with the biking system.”

This month the City of Palo Alto released two upcoming comprehensive initiatives aimed at revamping the way residents navigate the city’s streets.

The first initiative involves updating the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, set to conclude in the fall of 2025. This update focuses on community engagement, progress review from the last plan update, safety data analysis, and planning for expanded cycling and walking.

“The last time the city updated its bike and ped plan was in 2012–over 10 years ago,” Project Manager and Senior Transportation Planner Ozzy Arce said. “It’s good timing that we’re updating this document now.”

I encourage the community to take the survey, visit the interactive maps, [and add] any comments before the end of the [November] month.”

— Ozzy Arce, Project Manager and Senior Transportation Planner

The second initiative, the Safe Streets for All (SS4A) Safety Action Plan, seeks to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and life-changing injuries on local streets. It applies the Safe System Approach, emphasizes safety in investment decisions, and encourages collaboration among stakeholders.

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“Safe systems is a contemporary approach to active transportation and goes beyond looking at just bikes and peds [pedestrians],” Arce said. “It expands the view, focusing on all mobility and includes a vehicle collision analysis as well.”

Both initiatives prioritize safety for all road users, make streets accessible and incorporate sustainability. The project is currently in its first phase, so Arce encourages the community to participate by sharing feedback through an online survey and interactive map, ensuring that the transportation network reflects community needs in addition to aligning with the city’s comprehensive and sustainability plans.

“I encourage the community to take the survey, visit the interactive maps, [and add] any comments before the end of the [November] month,” Arce said. “Follow us along on these efforts to update the city’s bike and ped plan and develop a safe systems for all action plan.”