Keep Larkspur Marina Children at Neil Cummins


The Larkspur-Corte Madera School District is in the process of making decisions about attendance parameters for the District’s grammar schools, which could have a drastic impact on the residents of Larkspur Marina.  Essentially, the decision could mean that the commute distance for children in our neighborhood will triple, from about one mile to over 3 miles, across a major highway.  In addition, the new route would mean they will no longer be able to walk or bike to school.  We believe this would have a deleterious impact on our children, our neighborhood and our property values, so we the undersigned ask that the following factors be considered:

1)  Effect on Quality of Life. Presently our children can easily walk or bike to school along a beautiful path that runs along a creek teeming with birds and other wildlife.  This is a wonderful and relaxing way to begin and end their school days.  It also helps community-building, because the walk gives them an opportunity to interact and form friendships with other children from the neighborhood.  And for older children, it provides a safe environment to go to school by themselves, an important opportunity to develop a sense of independence and autonomy;

2)  Health Impact. Walking and riding bikes to school is also beneficial to our children’s health. At a time when childhood obesity is a national epidemic, it seems unwise to adopt a policy that would take away opportunities for healthy daily exercise and time spent outdoors enjoying nature;

3)  Environmental Impact. Walking and biking are also good for the environment.  Every child that walks or bikes to school is one less car on the road.  Conversely, if our children are sent to the East Corte Madera school, all of them will have to be driven to school.  Given that our schools are working so hard to educate kids about environmental sustainability, and to promote “green” behavior, it seems counter-productive to adopt a policy that would increase automobile traffic and prevent our kids from using environmentally positive alternatives;

4)  Traffic Impact. Our neighborhood lies adjacent to Doherty Blvd and Lucky Drive.  Presently, these streets are incredibly congested during the school commute time with traffic going to Hall Middle School and Redwood High School.  What’s more, this situation is going to be even worse because 69 new homes are being built on Doherty, and a 180 unit apartment complex is being constructed on Tamal Vista.  If our children have to be driven to East Corte Madera, we will have no choice but to use these already over-crowded streets, creating even more congestion.  Adding to the significant traffic problems on these street seems like an especially bad idea since the emergency services headquarters for the police department is located right in the middle of this congestion;

5) Impact on Property Values. For many of us, the fact that our kids could walk to school was a big factor in the decision to buy a home here.  A decision that changes this will not only diminish our expectations, but will likely have a negative effect on the property values of our entire neighborhood.  This would be particularly unfair to many of our older residents who are getting ready to sell their homes, as it undermines an important selling point of this neighborhood.

We understand that the Trustees have a difficult decision and have to find a way to make sure the new school has sufficient students.  However, we believe that sending children from our neighborhood to East Corte Madera would be a solution that creates many more problems than it solves, and just doesn’t make sense under the circumstances.