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  1. #1
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    Let your children walk to school!

    I just came across an interesting article discussing the problems of children getting a lift to school instead of walking.

    http://www.bfa.asn.au/cyclist/201freedom.htm

    It is no news to regular commuting cyclist's, that traffic decreases when children are on school holidays. At the moment we have school holidays, and I get passed by about 30% of the traffic I normally see when children are back at school. The roads are so quiet.

    How can we as a society reverse the trend of driving kids to school.

    We had an initiative here that introduced free bus/train/tram travel to any school kid. It was fantastic, the buses were always full and the roads were less congested. Then we had a change of government and that system died a quick death.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  2. #2
    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    What I wonder is that yes children have a chance of being hit by a car on the walk to school. But is that chance higher than being injured in a car crash on the way to school?
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

  3. #3
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    yes, i totally agree that kids walking or bicycling to school is something we as a society and as governments need to help encourage --- or walk to the bus or train stop and combine a local school bus with existing public transit. Germany seems to do a very good job of this and most kids use a combination of walk/bike and public transit/special school bus to get to school.

    not only for traffic and pollution problems, but also b/c KIDS TODAY ARE GETTING FATTER AND FATTER and if they learn to be driven everywhere as a kid, what will they do as adults?

    sadly, the 2 biggest problems to this are the perceived dangers to their children that parents envision when they are not driven to school by their parents (particularly the paranoid USA)

    ** fear of getting hit by a car when biking or walking --- so we need to concentrate on motorist educaiton, traffic calming and maybe have a volunteer parent walk/ride with kids once a week or so (i think Britain has programs like this)
    ** general fear that kids will be kidnapped or whatever -- unfortunately a bad side effect of the media where you see a report of one kid getting kidnapped, so millions of kids across the nation are kept under lock and key ---- the dangers still aren't that high

    What I wonder is that yes children have a chance of being hit by a car on the walk to school. But is that chance higher than being injured in a car crash on the way to school?
    exactly the quesiton to ask:: i believe that the combined dangers of autos and kidnapping are still less than the danger to the kid of riding in a motor vehicle... i saw some stats recently that pointed to this although it wasn't broken down as "being driven to school" but rather general driving.
    why drive when you can ride?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member fofa's Avatar
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    If my wife is any indication, it is fear or keeping control over the little you can. With all the kids being taken, and abused or killed, this is one little area you can control and at least have a feeling you did everything you could to make sure they are safe. We live in a good area, the bus pickups my daughter at the end of the driveway, but my wife won't let her go out until the bus is seen, and she waits in the door. Just letting her ride the bus was a step forward, she hated giving up driving her to school, "What if something happened"? I know it is the fear of her being taken that drives this with my wife.

  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    fofa,

    yeah, i totally understand... it's the way parents FEEL... but it's an exaggerated danger b/c of the media and b/c you think it's something you as a parent can prevent (by being with your kid all the time and driving him/her to school)

    but really, even with all the publicity about kidnappings and all, the danger is very low... i'm too layz to look up any stats.

    in the end, i'm pretty sure for the probability of whether the kid will reach age 18 or not, the dangers of walking or riding the bus to school are less than being driven to school and being in a motor-vehicle accident. actually i say an article some time back that said riding the school bus was one of the safest things in most kids' lives... with car accidents, falls, etc.

    of course, many parents think "emotionally" instead of logically... i think maybe it's a requirement for a parent or something...

    think about it this way (it's not statistical) but do you know personally of a child who's been kidnapped? (i don't) do you know a kid who died on the way to school in a school bus? (i don't) do you know a kid who has died in a car accident on the way to school? (i do - more than a few - ok, mostly teenagers, but also a few driven by parents)
    why drive when you can ride?
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  6. #6
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Ever notice how big the parking lot is at the gym or health club?

    Is it odd that people pay so much per month to go run on someone else's treadmill? Or lift someone else's weights?

    Just how far away does something have to be in order for us to drive rather than walk or bike to it? One block? Two blocks?

    I suppose you know that there are remote controls for ceiling fans and curtains as well as for the TV now. Or, that you can get an option for your keyless entry system that will start the car remotely.

    Most of the major stores in my town have automatic door openers that work in both directions.

    I notice that the 2-story mall has 7 escalators on only 2 sets of stairs.

    New cars have pneumatic assist devices on the tailgates or trunk lids and power sliding doors and trunk releases.

    Oh. I guess I let myself stray a bit. We were taking about kids not walking to school. Weren't we?
    Just Peddlin' Around

  7. #7
    The clock's run out kewlrunningz's Avatar
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    I have walked to school for the past 4 years. I only live a block away but I have the option of driving yet I don't. It's actually quicker to walk rather than drive and get caught in the traffic. It's not that big of a deal and my parents aren't like freaked out that I'm going to get abducted. They let me roam all over the place on my bike too which is cool. They just say to be careful and they know I can take care of myself. Although, when I was little, I was driven to school (it was also out of walking distance) and I doubt they would have let me walk even if it was close enough, just to be safe. I'm not gonna get fat from not walking to school but I do agree that teens do crap for exersize and are lazy bums (myself included but rarely).
    Hello moto

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jeepbikerun's Avatar
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    We live about 5 miles from school so walking is not an option. I drove my daughter to school everyday (with the exception of 1- I swear only 1) Why? It gave us more time together. She's in 6th grade now and riding the bus. I watch her get on it and it saddens me.

    Well I guess that was a little off the topic! Sorry, just miss my kid!
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  9. #9
    In Banff, AB Dwagenheim's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dutchy
    How can we as a society reverse the trend of driving kids to school.
    Hmm, get the psychos off the streets? Well, I'm sure thats not the only reason people drive their kids to school. But safety must be a big reason. When you drive your kid to school, you don't have to worry about them getting picked up by strangers or getting hit by other cars.

    I believe we need less cars on the road. If people are going to rely on cars so much, I think a good first step is to encourage car pooling. There are TOO many cars on the road with just one person in them. That is insane.

    Dave
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Hants Commuter's Avatar
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    My wife walks all of the children round to the school, unless it is really bad weather in which case she drives to her Mums and then walks them the last 200 yds.

    The biggest problem with safety at my kids (infant) school is the people dropping their kids off.

    There have been incidents where parents park directly opposite the school gates open the door and letting their children run across the road without supervision.

    The same happens when it comes to collecting them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stor Mand's Avatar
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    Most of the "fear" is caused from the lovely media. Think of how much less sh*tty the world would appear without the media jamming all the doom and gloom down our throats. You want the reason .. there it is.

  12. #12
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    We used to walk to school all the time! It was considered weird to be driven unless the eweather was bad or you were sick, or you were being picked up to go to ballet or hebrew school or something. The truth is there were just as many weirdos back then, but it wasnt on tv every minute and people were less paranoid. NOw, kids don't even get gym class in some schools and walking is the only exercise some of them get. Any wonder kids are fat and hyperactive?

    By the time I was in grade 7 I had to take the bus because the school was too far away. I hated it. The bus was crowded and the kids acted like orangutans.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I just read a "news" article correlating a decrease in child pedestrian fatalities with a decrease in the percentage of children walking to school. Forty years from now, we will read about a large increase in cardiovascular morbidity.

    By the way, Jack LaLanne recently turned 88 and is still going strong.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    It's not often I agree with Stor Mand (no offence, dude. we just always seem to disagree), but he has a point. There was a situation over here last summer where a lifesaver saved a kid from drowning at a beach and was told by the father of the kid "If you touch my son again I'll f---ing kill you!" People just seem to be extremely paranoid.

    BTW, Dutchy, the idea of traffic decreasing over school holidays is news to me!
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  15. #15
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    BTW, Dutchy, the idea of traffic decreasing over school holidays is news to me!
    That's right, all the people in Adelaide p!ss off to Queensland for holidays, but no-one ever goes to Adelaide for holidays. Why would anyone ever come here for a holiday? Telling someone you went to "the city of churches" for a holiday is too embarrassing to mention.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  16. #16
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    As children we used to walk about 1 mile to school each way from grade one. My mum didn't have a licence, so she would walk us to school or have us walk with the kids from across the road. We could also catch a bus for 10 each way. In high school we use to walk ~3km/2miles each way, taking about an hour.

    When we moved to the country we caught a school bus for the 10 mile journey, that school had 18 buses that serviced the surrounding areas.

    Sadly times have changed and with it a whole generation and future generations will never walk/ride to school.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  17. #17
    Senior Member fofa's Avatar
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    When I was K-3 myself and 2-3 friends used to walk to school and home everyday, about 1 1/2 miles each way, all year, rain, shine, snow (Michigan). Probably not any worse now except for the news always spreading doom and gloom. But that is what the people want. But if they do that to child snatchers, what else do that too? Maybe SUV's are not as bad as the media says they are?
    Here in Houston we have a ozone problem so they say. It causes breathing problems (personally the mold and pollen is worse). Yet I have ozone generators in my house to combate the pollen/mold in the air (interesting). They make ozone generators for swimming pools to reduce/eliminate the need for chlorine. Ozone can destroy harmful organic compounds (like pollen and mold). But the media says it is bad. I say if we have mold and pollen, we don't have enough ozone!

  18. #18
    Guest
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    Ever notice how big the parking lot is at the gym or health club?

    Our parking lot is very large. However, there are NO places to lock up a bike.

    Is it odd that people pay so much per month to go run on someone else's treadmill? Or lift someone else's weights?

    I've invested 4k in two pieces of equipment for in home use. That pays for the use of many pieces at a gym, for those that can't afford it.

    Just how far away does something have to be in order for us to drive rather than walk or bike to it? One block? Two blocks?

    Depends on what project we're undertaking and what has to be carried home.

    I suppose you know that there are remote controls for ceiling fans and curtains as well as for the TV now. Or, that you can get an option for your keyless entry system that will start the car remotely.

    I have 9' ceilings in a 3700sq ft home, chains just don't cut it. Turning on the entertainment system requires multiple remote controls for multiple functions. We have remote security system installed on the grounds. It's for emergency actions taken inhouse or to turn on/off the system when entering the drive way. Also makes for fewer accidental alarm activations, which cost me more money.

    Most of the major stores in my town have automatic door openers that work in both directions.

    For liability protection and convience for customers when their arms are full.

    I notice that the 2-story mall has 7 escalators on only 2 sets of stairs.... [/B] all for liability protection, convience and safety of customers. Makes good business sense to me.[/B]

    New cars have pneumatic assist devices on the tailgates or trunk lids and power sliding doors and trunk releases.

    These are a bit over the top in some cases. And, for other cases convience when running to auto with their arms filled with shopping items.

    Oh. I guess I let myself stray a bit. We were taking about kids not walking to school. Weren't we

    Yep... Do all these forms of technology assistance really have no practical value in your world? LOLOL To me, they all offer a bit more convience and safety. And, none really offer any additional physical conditioning other then I wish I could ride my bike to the gym.
    Last edited by Guest; 10-03-02 at 11:09 AM.

  19. #19
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    My 10yr old son just started riding his bike back and forth to school this year. Prior to that he took the bus or we drove him, it all depended on our business schedule. We want to be there with him as much as reasonably healthy and possible. In our community, it costs $200+ per year to ride the bus to school. In many familys both parents work and many can't afford that $200+ so their children are forced to walk to school. Traffic congestion morning and night is heavier due to many parents dropping off or picking up mode.

    Personally, I don't like, but accept that traffic. Because it's a the bigger issue for me. All those parents indicate they're there for their children and there are less latch key children home alone. Children want attention, they like knowing their parents care about them, it's makes them feel safe.

    We're fortunate with regards to safety in our neighborhood...no gang activity, almost no drugs or skipping school. Our schools are rated #2 in the state. Even though we picked this rural community for education and safety reasons, only stupid parents or childless people "assume" their children are 100% safe walking the streets all the time...anything can happen anywhere and it does. Even though I dont' know of any kidnapped children, it happens every day in So CA. I've read the press on local children that have been hit by accident on bikes, hit on the sidewalk while walking and attempted pickups by strangers.

    It's the parents responsiblity to insure they're doing everything they can to creat a health, happy and safe haven for their children to grow up in. I for one will live with the traffic...

  20. #20
    Guest
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    Originally posted by fofa
    When I was K-3 myself and 2-3 friends used to walk to school and home everyday, about 1 1/2 miles each way, all year, rain, shine, snow (Michigan). Probably not any worse now except for the news always spreading doom and gloom. But that is what the people want. But if they do that to child snatchers, what else do that too? Maybe SUV's are not as bad as the media says they are?
    Here in Houston we have a ozone problem so they say. It causes breathing problems (personally the mold and pollen is worse). Yet I have ozone generators in my house to combate the pollen/mold in the air (interesting). They make ozone generators for swimming pools to reduce/eliminate the need for chlorine. Ozone can destroy harmful organic compounds (like pollen and mold). But the media says it is bad. I say if we have mold and pollen, we don't have enough ozone!
    I was one of those children in 50's living in a remote farming community of Michigan that walked to school, 3-4miles, snow, rain or shine. Those times and the rural area was far more safe then today's rural or cities. Ozone is worsening. You can see that in our weather patterns. Walking and biking is helpful and healthier. However, sprawling cities are putting more autos in the game.

  21. #21
    Carfree Retro Grouch hayneda's Avatar
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    Can you believe this? In our community, the schools have a written policy PROHIBITING CYCLING OR WALKING to school! Maybe if me son gets really fat and overweight I can sue them.

    Seriously, one day when he gets old enough, I'm gonna take him to school on the back of our tandem just to see what they'll do.

    Dave

  22. #22
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I think it's the sprawling suburbs where the schools are so far from the homes- even in places where the weather is nice, kids have to be driven because the schools are so far. I remember reading about how Lance Armstrong was thought of as weird in high school because he rode his bike to school. In texas, where the weather is nice- but of course, everyone drives everywhere. In the meantime, most of those ex-classmates of his are probably already paunchy and overweight with big butts, so it just goes to show ya!
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  23. #23
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dutchy
    That's right, all the people in Adelaide p!ss off to Queensland for holidays, but no-one ever goes to Adelaide for holidays. Why would anyone ever come here for a holiday?
    Believe it or not, I'll be in Adelaide briefly on my holiday in a couple of months time. I'll be doing a cycle-tour finishing in Mt Gambier, and I just figured it would be easier to get to Adelaide from there for a flight home, rather than trying to get back to Melbourne. Maybe we can go for a ride together and you can show me why I should go there for a holiday!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  24. #24
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Miguel my 5 year old son is in Senior Kinder, he goes to school and back on the school bus, he loves the ride.....
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  25. #25
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    I think we would all be much healthier, positive and energetic if we all walked more (or rode a bike.)

    Though I understand that a child's safety is a great concern among parents, on the other hand, not providing that exercise is stealing the lives of children before they even grow up. Whatever a child starts life with can become a powerful influence in that child's life as an adult.
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