Getting to school
Ohlone families are encouraged to walk, bike or carpool to school. We believe that our community will benefit from getting more children traveling safely to school on foot or bike. Consult Ohlone’s Walk and Roll Map to find your best route. When evaluating your commute to Ohlone, consider entering school via the less congested back entrance. Arriving a little earlier to school also helps ease the morning congestion-children may arrive to school starting at 8:00 a.m.
If Commuting by Car
To help reduce car traffic around Ohlone at arrival and dismissal times, consider parking in the neighborhood before entering the school zone. Please be considerate of residents and do not block driveways. Nearby street parking is available on Amarillo near Greer Park, on Greer Road, southbound Louis Road, or surrounding streets. Carpooling whenever possible also helps reduce the numbers of cars in the school zone.
No Parking zones:
- Northbound Louis. The entire length is zoned No Parking from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. for the designated bike lane.
- Amarillo Avenue adjacent to the main driveway entrance and exit.
- The staff parking lot behind the multipurpose room and 2/3 wing. (This is also a no-entry zone, not just no parking.)
- No parking or dropping off in the Friends Nursery School or Buddhist Temple parking lots.
At Ohlone’s back entrance via Colorado Avenue, our Friends Nursery School neighbors allow ONLY those on foot or bike to pass through their parking lot. Please DO not use the Friends parking lot for drop-off or parking. Safely park your car on the street before letting children enter or exit your car. Please drive safely and slowly, and look for pedestrians and bicyclists as the back entrance has more traffic than in previous years. We have new pedestrian flags to aid visibility of those crossing Colorado on foot.
Ohlone entrances are very congested at arrival and dismissal. When using the curbside loading zone, please follow these safety guidelines:
- Enter the Loading Zone from the Louis direction, and exit to the right towards Greer.
- Drive all the way to the forward-most available space to allow others to access the loading zone behind you.
- Un/load children only at the designated curbside loading zone.
- After loading or unloading, move your car safely into the passing lane to exit the loading zone.
- The loading zone is for active loading and unloading only. Make sure your child is ready to enter or exit the car as soon as you stop. The driver should not get out of the car.
- Respect the Ohlone Guides, Crossing Guards, and staff, and volunteers who direct traffic. Remember to model our Core Values of “Trust and Respect” and “Cooperation and Collaboration”.
Do not load or unload:
- from the middle of the parking lot
- from the bus/shuttle spots
- when double-parked beside another car
- in the fire lane
Prepare your child for smooth unloading:
- Finish conversations and have your children gather their belongings before you reach the loading area.
- You, the driver, should not get out of the car.
- Have your children get out of the car on the curbside, not the driver’s side. Children should be able to exit on their own.
- If you need to get out of the car, find a parking space on the street. Do not use the staff parking spaces.
Driving Safety Tips
- Drive slowly in school zones. The safe speed may be below the 25 mph speed limit.
- Avoid making U-turns, passing stopped cars, and other unsafe maneuvers.
- Be alert for young children on foot or bike and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not double park in bike lanes, or block red curbs or driveways.
- Never reverse your car in the drop-off area. Children are small, hard to see, and likely to be focused on something other than you.
- Don’t rush—even when you’re running late.
The many benefits of an active commute to school include promoting health through exercise, getting to see friends and neighbors along the way, teaching your children street skills, and relieving car congestion. You don’t have to bike or walk everyday, even once in a while helps to relieve traffic congestion. You can start by picking one day, like a “Walking Wednesday” to leave your car at home. Or, just participate in the Fall and Spring Walk and Roll to School events.
If Commuting by Bike
Biking is a great way to commute to Ohlone. Many of our families do! Consult the Walk and Roll to School Map to find the best route from your home, and practice your route. A safe biking route may not be the same as your driving route. As Ohlone’s front entrance on Amarillo is especially congested during arrival and dismissal hours, consider using the back entrance to Ohlone, the fire lane, or dismounting from your bike and walking into school. Once on school grounds (which includes the walkways to the bike racks), walk bikes, scooters, and skateboards. Park and lock bicycles at the bike racks located by the Kinder yard, in the fire lane, or at the back entrance by the 4/5 wing.
Bicycle Safety Tips
- Wear your helmet. It’s the law! Persons under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or using inline skates. A good fit is snug, level, and covering your forehead.
- Bike on the right side of the street.
- Use bike lanes and bike in the same direction as car traffic, as wrong way riding is extremely dangerous.
- Bike on the roadways where you will be most visible, and avoid biking in sidewalks. Drivers are not expecting bikers on the sidewalks, and do not routinely scan for them when backing up or making turns.
- Be predictable. Bike in a straight path, and do not weave in and out of parked cars.
- Obey ALL stop signs and traffic lights.
- Keep both hands on your handlebars. Use a bike rack, basket, or backpack to carry your belongings.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing and reflective gear to be more visible on the road.
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Be especially careful at intersections and driveways, and watch out for right-turning cars.
- Become a pedestrian. If an intersection is especially crowded on the roadway, walk your bike on the sidewalk. Amarillo is especially congested during peak hours, and bicyclists may want to walk as they approach school.
If Commuting by Foot
Share your commute by walking with friends. It’s a fun and active way to start the day! Choose the safest and most direct route with the fewest street crossings. See the Walk and Roll to School Map for suggested routes. When using the back entrance, use the new pedestrian flags to aid visibility when crossing Colorado Avenue.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Be alert. Everything else on the road is bigger and moving faster than you are – from scooters to bicycles to cars.
- Don’t assume drivers see you. Make eye contact - especially at intersections to make sure drivers see you and stop for you before entering the street.
- Cross at crosswalks and corners. This is where drivers expect to see you. Look both ways to scan traffic before crossing. Allow plenty of time to cross safely.
- Be predictable. Do not run off the curb for a fast start.
- Teach children to recognize and obey traffic signals and markings.
- Obey crossing guards. They are there to help you cross safely at difficult intersections. An adult crossing guard guides crossing at the intersection of Louis and Amarillo. Student helpers help direct pedestrians at Ohlone entrances on Amarillo.