The meeting is set to start at 1 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, between Laurel and Alma streets.
At the meeting, council members will likely reconsider the 4-1 vote taken last week to approve a Safe Routes to School plan for Laurel School and apply for a $300,000 grant from the state to make the plan a reality. The deadline to submit the grant request is Nov. 16, the same day as the special meeting.
The bulk of the council's vote will likely stick — council members will still approve a plan that widens sidewalks, add crosswalks and slows traffic near the K-2 school. But at the Friday meeting, council members are expected to discuss pulling Coleman Avenue from the list of streets pegged for safety improvements.
Laurel School parents have labeled Coleman Avenue, a street which stretches from Willow Road to Ringwood Avenue, one of the more dangerous streets for children who walk and bike to school. They say the street is too narrow to handle pedestrians, bicycles, and cars.
But Coleman Avenue residents have opposed changes to their street, and recently submitted a petition signed by 16 of 19 Coleman Avenue homeowners that says changes to the road would ruin the "rural character of the neighborhood."
Last week, the bulk of council members said the safety concerns overwhelmed neighborhood opposition, but Mayor Fergusson said the council should reconsider its approach.
She and Councilman Heyward Robinson recently met with members of the Board of Supervisors, and they decided that any changes to Coleman Avenue could be resolved in negotiations separate from the safe routes plan.
Mayor Fergusson said Supervisor Rich Gordon has already been in talks with neighbors to add a path for bikes and pedestrians on Coleman Avenue, and she's confident a compromise can be reached that "retains the character of the neighborhood and provides safety for children."
According to city staff and a transportation consultant hired by the city, it's also in the city's best interests to drop Coleman Avenue out of the list of streets pegged for safety improvements in the safe routes plan.
Last week, both parties said that if there is opposition to the proposed safe routes plan, the state is not likely to fund it — an outlook echoed by Councilman John Boyle when he voted against the council's decision to include Coleman in the study.
Although Laurel School is located at the intersection of Ringwood Avenue and Edge Road in Atherton, the city of Menlo Park is leading the project because about 80 percent of the students live in Menlo Park.