|More than 30 people attended a workshop last Saturday at the Mountain View community center to discuss how to make the Rengstorff neighborhood more walkable.
"Walkability means that you don't have to get in your car any time you want to access a service," said City Council member Ronit Bryant. "You have safe routes that are welcoming and convenient."
Led by "walkability expert" Lucy Wicks, participants walked to several neighborhood locations, including the intersection of Rengstorff Avenue and El Camino Real and the train crossing at Rengstorff and Central Expressway.
Molly Stenhouse was one of the Leadership Mountain View members who helped organize the event with the help of County Supervisor Liz Kniss. She said some of the more interesting comments came from the Rengstorff neighbors who wanted better street lighting at night and an anonymous police tip line. Many of the neighbors, who are Latino, are afraid to report crime for fear of deportation, she said. Some communicated through interpreters and some were members of the Community Action Team.
Leadership Mountain View is working on a proposal for neighborhood improvements to present to the city. (Information currently is being posted on the Google group "LMV walkability group project.")
Some attendees weren't sure what Mayor Tom Means would think of the workshop in light of published comments where he seemed to dislike the term "walkability." But Means proved to be a good sport and demonstrated what it's like to cross the infamous rail crossing at Rengstorff and Central, where pedestrians have been hit and killed by passing trains. A grade-separated crossing under the train tracks and Central Expressway has been a longstanding goal for the city.
Leadership Mountain View is also organizing a "walkability celebration" next month at the farmers market. The farmers market is located at the downtown Caltrain station, and the event will be held on April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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