And yet they provide parking for 200.
And yet they provide parking for 200.
I also wonder how many parking spots are provided to students who want to DRIVE to school? Parking spots are pretty darn pricy to install, and obviously there are never any serious injuries of deaths that occurr from teenage drivers going to and from school functions. When I was in High School in the late 80's the students were whining that they needed more spots. The principle explained that each spot costs around $1000 to $1500 to install, there was no way he was going to spend that kind of money so more kids to use their cars to get to school. I didn't say it out loud, but the principle was smart. Some of the kids in my street would drive. It would take them longer to get to school because they would pickup buddies along the way than for me to ride my bike.
The priniple sounds like quite a smuck (I could think of stronger words... but I won't go there)
Some good news from my neck of the woods:
Linwood switches into 2-wheel drive
And it seems to have at least a short term lasting effect....the bike racks were overflowing when I rode by several days after that article came out.
Instead of griping and moaning to the converted, why not do a mass email-in to the paper? I'm waiting for them to email me my registration approval and have slightly varied my response on the Advocacy thread on this, which goes thusly (I will be utterly delighted if it is taken at face value):
"I was looking on a Danish site a few weeks ago and could not believe how primitive the Danes were. Nearly 50% of one high school's students were forced to ride there. Most of the rest either walked or went by public transport. Only the fortunate handful were dropped off by their parents. Typical repression by a socialist (read commie) governed country
They should be ashamed of themselves. As usual the good ol' US of A is showing the way to the rest of the world - look how many Americans don't even need an airbag. Carrying around, as they do, ample reserves of impact-resistant material built in to their persons, they don't need to have some bag exploding in their faces. Instead, the steering wheel is enveloped in yielding subcutaneous tissue designed to protect and preserve the fragile internal organs and muscles inside.
I feel the Homeland Security services should investigate the students proposing this absurd scheme for their un-American, subversive, eco-terrorist tendencies. And the school head should be given a civic award for his forward-thinking concern for his students’ safety and well-being."
Last edited by atbman; 05-04-08 at 08:51 AM.
Please remember to be respectful and courteous, we represent the cycling community.
I'll let you know if I get any reply, please do the same.
If you have not personally witnessed the local vehicular and school bus traffic on Garretson Road in the 30 minutes of time before and after school, and you do not have direct knowledge of the Garretson Road configuration near the school, you are not in a position to pass judgment on the actions/decisions of an administration that is charged with the safety and well-being of the 2,825 students enrolled here and the 303 staff members who work here each day.
Students may still choose to ride a bike as we have not denied them that option. They may secure the bike to a chain link fence at the rear of the school.
We discourage riding a bike because it is just plain too dangerous!
In fact, we provide courtesy bussing to students who live close enough to the school to walk because it is too dangerous to walk.
Which begs the question why would a SCHOOL be built along the same traffic/infrastructure configurations as a big box Home Depot or mega mall.
New schools are enormous and even have fast food outlets and cell phone stores near the perimeters. Maybe the infrastructure should be "calmed" and changed near schools.
I think I see the principals point:
Christ is looks like a friggen prison. Maybe the community should work to change THAT. Which will be default encourage more cycling.
Arguing with them is pointless - because the overwhelming majority of the population KNOWS how dangerous cycling is, and for that matter walking.
It's just ridiculous that the most dangerous thing the average Joe does (ride in a car) is considered to be the safe alternative.
Again though, trying to discuss it is pointless... at best you'll get "I know the roads are dangerous, that's why I use by Excursion to drive little Timmy to school."
I sent him a quick polite email. I've copied it below.
I won't take up much of your time as I understand you are busy.
I just read about your decision concerning biking at http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/union/...210.xml&coll=1. I'd think, in this day and age, we really ought to be pushing for a more health conscience look at educating our children.
Over at the Linwood school district, they have done the opposite of what you are doing. They are really pushing for more biking and walking to school. While they are an elementary and middle school and you are at a high school, I would imagine that high schoolers could take care of themselves much better than the younger students. You can read about Mr. Rudnesky's and Ms. Speirs decision from this news article http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/1...ry/142847.html entitled "Linwood switches into 2-wheel drive." I'm sure that you could speak to Mr. Rudnesky (his email is firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you had any questions concerning his motives or his implementation issues.
Have a wonderful day,
It's interesting that districts will do anything to keep the buses running. I've read about districts locally that are cutting music, art, physical education, and increasing fees for participating in athletics. They say that one of the biggest expenses that has caused budget shortfalls is the price of fuel for the buses. All those music, art, P.E. teachers are going to get laid off because of the price of fuel! Maybe the most secure job in the school districts is to be a bus driver! It's ridiculous to see kids that live less than a half mile away from the school getting on a bus (you can see the school from the bus stop.) If the roads are so dangerous near the school in question-- they should just detour traffic around it a half hour before school start and a half hour after school lets out. Hopefully that would make it safe enough for the students to ride their bicycles- unless they are going to get run over by a bus??
Maybe I can see her reasoning, there is a downtown but for the most part it is filled with self imposed prisons and the school is in an industrial park with arterial roads, so while some of the town has fairly direct access, the other part is dominated by idiotic planning.
What the hell motivated people to move into places like this? Or let the school be so far away from downtown?
Oh forgot one thing, as a NYer, New Jersey and the vast majority of its people, suck.
atbman, yeah, or one (perhaps the same person as you said) that said her kid would have to walk in the rain!!!! Don't they still make raincoats in kid's sizes? If there is an electrical storm, or mass hail/snow, or a tornado, you keep your kids at home. I loved the rain when I was kid... still do for that matter...
Another poster had it right. The students need to go over the head of their ignoramus principal James Riccobono. He's a lost cause. The only thing they should direct at him is clever (and non-violent) protest.
More effective would be to find parents who support your postition, to write the principal/superintendant/board of education of your district. Try to get your group to have a meeting with the school management, and find out their concerns. (mostly liability-related). Ask them if you would agree to hold the school & district harmless if you were injured/maimed/etc while riding your bike to school to the said bike rack they would then install said bike rack?
If they don't agree to that, I'd save $100 for a consultation with a local attorney. That'll get their attention!!!!!
If the school is really worried that they'll be sued for promoting an activity that could get kids hurt or killed, then statistically I sure hope that they don't have a football team.
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
If kids are already riding their bikes to this school, which it seems they are since it precipitated the need for the bike rack, it makes sense to accommodate the bikes that are there. Allowing a bike rack is no more of an endorsement of biking than the expansion of the car parking lot is to driving. If a student is killed or injured driving their car to school would the school then be considered liable?
And if the road to the school is so dangerous to disallow pedestrian traffic and bikes the town needs to take responsibility for the placement of the school and the condition of the road.
I appreciate this thread for bringing this situation to the attention of other cyclists but I find the principal's decision and his logic for it really disturbing.