Rancho Romero wishes to give a big shout out to our community partners for committing to work together for the common good of our schools, our children and our residents. Over the last several months various members within the community have provided direction and support for improved traffic safety protocols.
Rancho Romero was originally built in 1959. At that time it consisted of 12 classrooms and a small teachers' room/office combination. Students walked or rode the bus to school. Danville Blvd. was the main thoroughfare until 1964 when I-680 opened through the San Ramon Valley encouraging unprecedented growth.
Over the years the community of Alamo has built up from approximately 3,000 residents to 15,000. Rancho Romero now has 20 classrooms, 325 families and 510 students. One of the biggest impacts on the small neighborhood school has been the increase in traffic, an impact unanticipated fifty years ago when the school was built. More and more families now rely on personal vehicles to drop-off and pick-up children, creating long lines of cars down Hemme Ave. Unfortunately, there is no place to expand lanes, parking or turn arounds. Hemme does not have an exit, so cars come through the school drive, and turn back down the street toward Danville Blvd.
Traffic problem-solving conversations have been continuous and this past summer a group of community members made some movement that should have positive implications for our students. Cheryl Iacone and Kristen Threlkeld (parents), Steve Rohwer (CCC Traffic), Jennifer Quallick (Field Rep - Candace Andersen's Office), Elizabeth Graswich (SRVUSD PR), Jason Haynes (Lieutenant, Alamo Sheriff's Dept.), Susan Rock (Alamo MAC), Street Smarts and Rancho Romero administration met to lay out an improved plan of action. Working in the spirit of a community team, the following was/is being accomplished:
- Arrival and dismissal procedures have been revised and published in hard copy, webpage and weekly school newsletter.
- Teachers and staff are educating all students on traffic safety, which have been included in the school wide behavior expectations and Safe School Plan.
- An additional sign was placed on the existing signal pole at the Iron Horse Trail crossing. The sign directs pedestrians to manually activate the crosswalk warning lights before crossing the street
- The County paved and repainted the crosswalk and added a Keep Clear zone on the east approach to the Iron Horse crosswalk to further enhance sight-lines allowing drivers to have a better view of pedestrians entering the crosswalk.
- The County is in the process of conducting a traffic/student count in cooperation with the School District to determine if the section of roadway on Hemme meets criteria to have a crossing guard. In the meantime, school personnel are walking with students to the Iron Horse Trail to educate, practice and monitor safe practices.
- Street Smarts provided an informative and interactive assembly on pedestrian and bicycle safety on August 24. Local law enforcement, local dignitaries and the District Superintendent attended.
- An annual Bike "safety" Rodeo was held at the school August 31.
The traffic dilemma for Rancho Romero is not new. Residents, along with parents and families have demonstrated incredible patience over the last few years, most adjusting to or accepting the fact that dropping off and picking up students during arrival and dismissal times in cars creates more traffic. However, by continuing to engage in healthy conversation, listening to diverse perspectives and considering alternatives incremental progress can be made.
Many many thanks to our community partners.
Upcoming September Events:
9/5 School Holiday (Labor Day)
9/13 Minimum Day (Teacher Professional Development)
9/21 Rancho Romero Morning Run Club Begins
9/23 Camp Rancho School wide Event
9/30 No School (Staff Development Day)