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Getting to School

Greene encourages walking, biking, and shuttling to school. Over half of Greene students ride bikes or walk or take the shuttle-- this is great! But it's also important to observe safety precautions however you are making the journey. Below is some useful information for your commute, and the Walk and Roll suggestions from the City of Palo Alto.

Use these links to select a good route and read the safety tips on getting to Greene Middle School:

The PTA, the Palo Alto Police Department, and the Greene Administration have teamed up to provide the following safety tips for bicyclists and pedestrians. Although there are many ways to get to and from Greene (car, bike, walk, shuttle, etc.), the use of non-traffic causing means of transportation is highly encouraged. Please observe the following rules and precautions for the safety of all students.

Automobile / Parking Lot

Parents are not to use the small driveway near the C-Wing or small driveway near the back of the Multipurpose Room and the tennis courts for drop off or pick up before or after school. There are special “drop-off zones” designated in front of school (North California Circle) and Middlefield Parking Lot. Please pull all the way forward in order to accommodate as many cars as possible. These drop-off zones are NOT for parking. Please note handicapped and “red zones.” Police will issue tickets for parking in these zones. Please pull all the way into a stall for parking. DO NOT DOUBLE PARK. MAKING LEFT HAND TURNS is illegal between the hours of 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m. out of the Middlefield Driveway and the semi-circular driveway in front of the school. This is to prevent further traffic congestion. Please be advised that Palo Alto Police Department regularly patrols this area and parents have received tickets for the following offenses: speeding, illegal U-turns, use of red zones for loading and unloading, blocking bike paths, passing on the right inside the bike lane, failure to yield to pedestrians, and failure to obey the crossing guards.

Driver Safety

Drivers should take special note of congested nature of North California between Middlefield and Louis, and also Middlefield between Oregon Expressway and Santa Rita Ave/Portal Place.

  • DON’T RUSH!! When the weather is less than desirable for driving, leave a few minutes earlier.
  • Observe the 25 mph speed limit in school zones at all times.
  • Be extra alert. Congestion near school involves a large number of pedestrians, skateboards, and cyclists as well as cars. When preparing to turn right, watch for cyclists in the bike lanes.
  • Be aware of all school commute routes. Watch for sudden movement of bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. onto the roadway from the sidewalk.
  • Yield Right of Way to pedestrians in crosswalks, which exist at ALL intersections – when the crosswalks are not marked.
  • No Right on Red at the intersection of Middlefield and North California – when students are present.
  • Obey Crossing Guards and all personnel on supervision. They help students cross safety and reduce driver confusion during peak periods of congestion. Do not drive in the bike lanes. Dashed white lines to your right are indication that it is OK to merge into the bike lane when making a legal right turn. Using a bike lane to pass other traffic on the right is illegal.
  • Do NOT use the red curbs for parking particularly in the front of school. Tickets will be given out. That includes stopping to drop off or pick up passengers or even passing through the zone. Do not park in Shuttle loading area on No. California Avenue.
  • Do not open car doors into the bike lanes on North California. This is not a safe place for student drop off. Please pull into a parking place or pull to an appropriate spot off of the street so students can safely exit your car.
  • Do not use the "Bus Only" zones to drop off or pick up students.
  • Visitor Parking and parking for parents with business in the Main Office or meeting with teacher/staff is available in the North California Driveway and Middlefield Parking Lot.
  • Street Parking on North California (between Middlefield and Louis) is restricted during the hours of 7:30-8:30 a.m. (this is to help with the congestion in the bike lane).

Safety Principles

The City-School Traffic Safety Committee has recommended for pedestrians, bikers, scooters, and skateboarders, four safety principles:

  • BE PREPARED: Plan the route and ensure that bikes, skates, etc. are in good working condition. If a bike or skates are used, wear a helmet – it’s the law for bikers!
  • BE VISIBLE: Walk, ride, or skate where drivers expect to see a pedestrian or rider. Use lights and reflective clothing at night.
  • BE PREDICTABLE: Obey the "Rules of the Road." Bike, ride with traffic and behave like a motorist.
  • BE ALERT: Make eye contact with drivers and use clear signals intentions clear before moving. Look for hazards in the road and listen and look for traffic coming up behind.

Traffic Reduction

Single-student commuting to school by car is a real problem at Greene. Consider biking or walking in pairs or groups, using bus transportation, or forming a carpool. To facilitate the formation of carpools, Greene participates in a free service called the "RIDES to School Program" which matches interested parties into voluntary pools. Also check the website for the Safe Routes to Schools.