Viewpoint - January 12, 2011

Letter: Help needed for boards, bikes to cross El Camino

My name is Cole and I live in Atherton. I am 14 and I love to longboard and bike.

Many of my friends live on the other side of El Camino Real, and I have always wanted to longboard to their houses. My parents, however, will not permit me to do this, which is a huge letdown because I either have to wait for my mom to take me, or if that is not possible, my only other option is to stay home.

The reason they don't let me longboard is because of the lack of safety for pedestrians. First off, there is only one real crosswalk across El Camino in our area, and it is about five blocks away. This pushes people to often cross illegally. In fact, in the past half year, I have heard of two people being killed crossing streets in this area.

I think this problem could be solved by adding just one safe crossing along El Camino Real, perhaps near Watkins Avenue, whether it is a full traffic light or just flashing orange crosswalk lights. The result of this simple change is that lives could be saved in coming years and many kids could safely have fun together.

(Also, because of this problem, a lot of kids struggle to get their parents to let them cross El Camino to bike to school.)

Cole Shaffer, Marianna Avenue, Atherton


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