According to California law, anyone under age 18 must wear a bicycle helmet if using the following modes of transportation: bicycle, non-motorized scooter, skateboard, inline/roller skates or as a passenger. Not wearing a helmet can result in a traffic citation plus traffic class attendance with a parent. PAPD has allocated three traffic officers this year. (Information from City of Palo Alto - How to make sure that your helmet fits properly: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/53520)
Biking, scootering, skating, walking
Here is a map of suggested routes to Paly for bikers and pedestrians. Walk and Roll Map to Paly: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/66849. This map highlights streets which have less cars and less stop signs. Bryant St. (official bike boulevard) has less cars because parts are blocked off to cars but not bikes (at El Verano Ave., Matadero Creek Bridge, Lowell Ave.) Castilleja Ave. is also an official bike boulevard. Please press the buttons at Churchill to activate the flashing lights before crossing but wait until cars are stopped before crossing and stay alert, be sure the drivers see you before crossing, as they are sometimes looking ahead to the train tracks. Biking is not recommended on the street or sidewalk of Embarcadero Road (too unsafe, too many turning cars). Bikers must dismount from bikes if there is a pedestrian in the bike tunnel (PAPD monitors occasionally). (From the City of Palo Alto - High School Top 10 Bike Safety Tips: https://cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?t=53331.42&BlobID=70832)
Bike Theft: Unfortunately, bike thefts do occur on campus. U-locks are the recommended bike locks; cable locks are easy to cut. Locking the front wheel and frame is helpful.
How to properly lock a bike: https://cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?t=49853.96&BlobID=70531
The bike cage is never locked—bicyclists should lock their bikes. For after school activities, we recommend moving your bike to where there are people. Bike registration instructions with QR reader bike stickers are available in the Main Office in the multi-shelf unit in front of the window.
For more information on biking in Palo Alto: Palo Alto Safe Routes to School: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pln/transit/safe_routes_to_school/education_resources.asp
Stay out of the Door Zone: Ride in a predictable straight line about five feet to the left of parked cars. Weaving in and out of parked cars makes you less visible to drivers. "Sharrows" on the road show where a bicyclist should ride to be outside of the door zone.
What to do if you are involved in a bicycle collision
The Palo Alto Police Department recommends students always call either the police or their parents if they are riding a bike and involved in a collision with a car. Remain at the scene until help arrives, no matter who might be at fault. Add the PAPD 24-hour Dispatch Center number to your phone contacts: 650-329-2413. (Information on City of Palo Alto website: https://cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?t=57997.56&BlobID=70652)
Bike registration stickers and instructions are available in the Main Office or go to Bike Index website (https://bikeindex.org/) It's easier to register on a computer than on a mobile phone because there is no app. Please register under Palo Alto High and the City of Palo Alto. Bike stickers are not necessary but helpful if PAPD or someone else finds your bike because the QR code offers information (otherwise, the serial number can be used. The bike may be registered and QR sticker added later. If your bike is stolen, go to Bike Index and report it stolen. An in-person report to PAPD can also be helpful (check their hours first). Online bike theft reporting to PAPD is unavailable.
How Bike Index stickers work: https://bikeindex.org/news/bike-index-unveils-new-qr-stickers-and-partnership-with-the-city-of-pa
Pedestrians at the crosswalk (T&C to Paly) on Embarcadero Rd. should be sure the cars have stopped at the traffic light before stepping off the curb into the crosswalk (even if the pedestrian light indicates to proceed). This is a busy intersection and cars sometimes miss seeing the traffic light or run the red light. A safe alternative is to use the bridge over Embarcadero Rd. which also avoids the long wait at the traffic light.
When crossing Churchill Ave. at Castilleja Ave., press the button and the lights on the sign will activate, warning cars that a bike or pedestrian is waiting to cross.
Please avoid driving on Bryant St. and Castilleja Ave. (official bike routes). Cars on Churchill Avenue may not drive straight over the train tracks (towards El Camino) during 7:45-8:30 am on weekdays (left turn only).
Do not park in the Southgate neighborhood (houses near Churchill Ave.) for more than 2 hours without a Southgate permit (exclusive to the neighborhood).
Parking on campus: Parking permit must be visible, available for purchase at the ASB Bookkeeper’s Office in the Tower Building (for Seniors & Juniors only; limited supply available). Visitors to Paly may pick up a 1-day permit, available in the Main Office, Tower Building. PAPD is responsible for parking enforcement. Parking is available on El Camino until 4:00 but caution must be used entering and exiting the car on this busy street.
There are two FREE shuttles which travel on Embarcadero Road. The Embarcadero Shuttle runs approximately every 20 minutes, Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 10:25am and then 3:20pm to 7:15pm.
Both shuttles have times during the middle of the day when they are unavailable.
There are no bells on the shuttles—passengers must tell the driver where they need to stop.
Palo Alto Embarcadero Shuttle including procedures on using the shuttle: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/70023
Stanford Tech Line Route Shuttle: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/clinics/byers-eye-institute/docs/tech-line-schedule.pdf
Map of Stanford Tech Line Route Shuttle: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/clinics/byers-eye-institute/docs/tech-line-map.pdf