School Traffic Mitigation
Busing to make a come-back?
Lalahpolitico: At the Jan. 27 meeting it was good to see Duncan MacVicar make a public comment recommending busing for serving a 900 student k-8 Bullis Charter School. He suggested that 20 buses could do the job. Have all BCS parents drop off their children at their designated LASD School. Buses there would take them to the BCS school. Later in the public comments, Derek Pitcher, a Covington parent, agreed that busing was something the District should do.
Busing for all schools was an idea that was advocated by Val Carpenter while she was on City Council a few years ago. Lalahpolitico: Suppose we charge typical parents what it actually costs — but have public-private bus fare subsidies for disadvantaged kids in the free lunch program.
Rrestore Junior High Sites’ Rear Access Routes
Lalahpolitico: All our 3 LASD Junior High sites were originally designed with rear pedestrian access. Egan had one on Thames Lane at Kingswood Way. Covington (and St. Williams School) had one on Rosita. Blach had/has one on Carmel-Altamead. [The pedestrian path west of Blach at Muir and Eastwood remains unencumbered.] Over the years the City has been complicit in abandoning or attenuating the public’s right to use these right-of-ways. And sadly, I learned at the Jan. 27 meeting the current city council has decided that “collector” streets deserve any and all increases of traffic, even for peak travel times. “Truly residential” areas must be shielded. In the case of Egan, this means City Council believes home owners on Portola are less worthy than home owners on Kingswood! Don’t get me going on road grids vs. cul-de-sacs…
LALAHPOLITICO WRAP UP:
1) LASD finally produced 3 “what if” site sketchs for a permanent 900 student school building to house Bullis Charter. All were on publicly own landed. Before this, the district has liked to frame discussions ambigously in terms of “a new school” without clarifying how big or for whom. “Oh, it could be 300 in k-2 , or 500 in k-5 or 900 in k-8 students…it could be for a new North of El Camino attendance area, or could be for the charter school.”
2) It sure sounded like LASD is working up to moving all 6th graders to the two junior highs. It would mitigate the jarring impact on the 6th graders of being thrown in with the 7th and 8th graders by keeping the 6th graders in their own safe, sheltered “village” most of the time. [Measure N funds would be spend because this would be the key solution for “addressing enrollment growth” at the elementary schools.] Total students at both Egan and Blach would rise from 750 each to 900 each. Trustees Logan and Ivanovich kept stressing how awful it would be to have BCS k-8 co-located at Egan because that would be a total 1800 students on one site, even though it is 900 in each school. Mayor Bruins and Councilperson Pepper seemed dumbfounded by the “logic.”
3) LASD attempts to negotiate to buy private land are still heading nowhere. The Old Mill Office complex is a no-go. The unpromising Los Altos Village Court site is still being kicked around.
4) LASD seems headed to some kind of participation in the likely 2-year long Los Altos Community Coalition effort for a visioning of the combined downtown / civic center area. LASD trustees like Tamara Logan seem to hope a city-owned school site at Hillview could be part of the outcome.
For those of us like Lalahpolitico who voted for LASD’s Measure N hoping it would speed up a reasonable resolution of the LASD vs. BCS facilities struggle…it just isn’t working out that way. Settle in for a long wait. Can this get done before their 5-year long BCS-LASD facilities truce is set to expire?