Getting to School
Students must wear helmets, it's the law!
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.
Information from City of Palo Alto - How to make sure that your helmet fits properly.
Biking, scootering, skating, walking
Here is a map of suggested routes to Paly for bikers and pedestrians. 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.
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. Learn how to properly lock a bike.
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 see the Safe Routes to School Program.
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.
If involved in a bike accident with a car
Please do the following:
- Get the license plate number (take a photo, text it to someone, or remember).
- Call 911 and parents.
- If you feel comfortable, ask the driver for ID and take a photo of it.
Remain at the scene until help arrives, no matter who might be at fault. Collisions are traumatic events and it is often difficult to know what to do. It is highly recommended to get help immediately from the police or your parents.
Add the PAPD 24-hour Dispatch Center number to your phone contacts: 650-329-2413. Information on City of Palo Alto website.
Bike registration stickers and instructions are available in the Main Office or go to Bike Index website. 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.
Here is how to find the serial number on your bike.
Bike stickers are not necessary but helpful if PAPD or someone else finds your bike because the QR code offers information. The bike can still be identified by the serial number without a QR sticker. The bike may be registered and the 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.
Pedestrians at the crosswalk (T&C to Paly) on Embarcadero Road 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 Road 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).
Parking for more than two hours in the Southgate neighborhood (houses across from Paly's Churchill Ave. entrance) is not available without a special Southgate neighborhood permit.
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.
Parking permits will not be sold until the campus reopens for classes.
There is currently only one shuttle which travels on Embarcadero Road - the Stanford Tech Line Route Shuttle. (The City of Palo Alto has terminated the Embarcadero Shuttle due to budget cuts.)
- There are times during the middle of the day when it's not available.
- There are no bells on the shuttle - passengers must tell the driver where they need to stop.
- Map of Stanford Tech Line Shuttle Route
- Schedule of Stanford Tech Line Shuttle (Note: this shuttle not in service now due to COVID-19)
Questions? Email: Paly PTSA Transportation Safety Representative (TSR).