Back in 2012, a trio of students hit by vehicles near Graham Middle School spurred parents and school officials to push the city for safety improvements. Those road upgrades are now beginning to come online, but it isn't quite the safe route to school that everyone had envisioned.
One parent told the Voice that traffic around the campus has been snarled to a near standstill every morning this school year. This is partly blamed on a "road diet" that reduced traffic along Castro Street from four lanes to two. This reduction was meant to provide space for protected bike lanes, but parents say the changes have made it so simply trying to drop off students has turned into a 20-minute slog.
Some Graham parents say the problem is also caused by the ongoing construction in the area. The city's $1.17 million road improvement package -- dubbed Castro Complete Streets -- is incomplete, and construction is underway while students try to get to class. But this has caused confusion for some parents because different lanes and sidewalks are reportedly cordoned off each morning. Making the traffic situation worse, there is also a frenzy of construction activity just down the block for a planned 164-unit apartment complex.
Graham Principal Kim Thompson acknowledged on Wednesday that the traffic situation has been "a little tight" around the school, but she gave assurances that the situation would soon be improving. Road construction in the immediate vicinity of the school should be finished by the end of September, she said. In the long-term, she said she was confident that the project will be a boon for the school.
"It's still a great project -- we're going to get protected bike lanes and everything we want to keep kids safe," she said.
Mountain View city officials could not be immediately reached for comment.