With the new school year fast approaching, here are some reminders for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to keep in mind while traveling to, from, and around schools in Atherton:
1) Passing a vehicle inside of a bicycle lane is illegal. A motorist can only enter a bicycle lane for the following reasons: 1) To park where parking is permitting, 2) To enter or leave the roadway, and 3) To prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection.
2) A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway. This means that you cannot ride your bicycle on the wrong side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
3) A person under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet while operating or riding upon a bicycle, a non-motorized scooter, or a skateboard, or while wearing in-line or regular roller skates.
4) Under normal circumstances, when you are walking on a roadway, you must walk facing traffic, with the outside edge of the road on your left hand side. This means you will be facing on-coming traffic.
5) The speed limit around schools in the State of California, and the Town of Atherton, is 25 miles per hour. Please watch your speeds, be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to stop in the event of an emergency.
6) Finally, traffic within the Town of Atherton will significantly increase during the morning and afternoon commute periods due to the beginning and ending of the school day. If your route takes you near a school, please be prepared for an increase in traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and allow for extra time to arrive at your destination.
The Atherton Police Department wants to help ensure a safe school year, but we need your assistance in making it happen. Please keep the above information in mind to help reduce collisions and keep everyone safe during this school year.