Orchard Park School – Safe Routes to School

     In October of 2007, Orchard Park Elementary, the first and only kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school in the Antioch Unified School District held its dedication ceremony. Orchard Park School is within the Antioch Unified School District and serves students from both Antioch and Oakley. During the 2008-2009 school year, Orchard Park will serve students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. In subsequent years, the school will grow a grade level a year until it serves Kindergarten through 8th grade. In addition, Orchard Park School has an extended day Kindergarten program. It is located on Live Oak Ave. a two lane unimproved road in Oakley.
     It is common sense and prudent policy for a School District to coordinate with the city or county where it is building a school to make sure there are safe pedestrian routes to the schools. But, because the State has pre-empted local development review, the School Districts in California have a habit of not worrying about the safe routes and dump that burden on the city or county. Orchard Park is just one example of this in East County.
     The City of Oakley has now spent time and money after the fact to come up with a proposed solution. The solution involves an asphalt path to Oakley Rd, trying to utilize existing right of way. It is a little tight and we will need to put some delineators up to separate the roadway from this path, but we think it will help. This was done in front of the YMCA on O’Hara. Again, all of this should have been coordinated prior to the school being built. City staff did express these concerns to the District, but the District was assuming it was going to buy property up to Oakley Rd. When that deal fell through, they should have still obtained a sliver for a sidewalk, but didn’t.
     A note to those parents upset at the City for “allowing” the school to be constructed without safe routes. I can only say that the City has no authority over the school district.

About Kevin

Councilmember - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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1 Response to Orchard Park School – Safe Routes to School

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes which will make the largest changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

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