Encinal School parents received an unexpected "welcome back" in the form of an emailed announcement that parents would no longer be allowed to park anywhere near the school, not on Encinal Ave and not on any of the adjacent public streets in Felton Gables. Never mind that the school is under construction and that parking is exceedingly tight and will remain so for the next year.
The ostensible reason for the ban is that the Felton Gables children felt unsafe walking home past parked cars. In reality, they have been no less safe than the children whose parents were parked on those streets; parents are aware of the safety issues and drive very carefully there.
In exchange for a modest increase in safety for a handful of children who live in Felton Gables and attend Encinal, the safety of hundreds of other children will be compromised as their families must resort to maneuvers that may prove substantially riskier than parking briefly on a public street would have been.
The let-them-eat-cake response of Felton Gables residents -- who knowingly bought their homes adjacent to a school that's been around for 60 years: "ride your bikes." Never mind that all the streets that those students would have to use -- Laurel, Middlefield, Encinal, El Camino -- are extremely dangerous for young bikers, with heavy traffic and many parked cars. Or that it may simply be impossible for many families to use bicycles to get to school.
Why did Menlo Park agree to allow this travesty to occur, and even worse, to give the school only a few days notice? School begins Tuesday, and thanks to the selfishness of some self-entitled residents and the complicit city staff, hundreds of young families will be at minimum greatly inconvenienced and at worst exposed to dangerous traffic conditions.