Walk to School Day Oct. 4
Oct. 4 is "Walk to School Day". The school board here is encouraging parents to walk with their children to school.
At one school my daughter walked to, traffic was a big issue. Most affluent parents who lived within walking distance of the school drove their kids to school. Some drove the kids just a few blocks. When I asked why their kids didn't walk they said "Too Dangerous, too many cars." Well the cars were from parents driving their kids to the school. The street had few cars at 8am during school breaks. All kids more than a mile from school got bussed. If all driving parents at that school participated and walked with their children to school on one day, it might open their eyes to the fact that the danger came from themselves. The parents might think they are doing their children a favor but my daughter liked walking to school until she became a teenager. When she grew up she confided to me that when she was getting bussed to school she and her friend would deliberately miss the bus so they could walk. Walking wasn't a burden for her it was an adventure.
Pedaled too far.
We are having a similar thing here, about a week later. The PTA is asking parents to help in forming "walking school busses", essentially a whole pack of kids walking under the supervision of a few parents. That way kids whose parents cannot personally walk with them can still participate. As I understand it, the routes will be publicized and any kids who want to join just wait as near to their house as they can for nearest "school bus" to walk by.
Cute image but is that sustainable? What I liked about biking and walking to school was the unstructured freedom. We used to stop off at this cabinet shop and grab scraps of wood for our tree forts, stuff like that that parents really interfere with. Crocodiling the kids on the way to school seems too militaristic. Wouldn't that turn kids off from walking? Maybe that is the plan, make it a hassle and as un fun as possbible but still pay lip service to the "Safe routes to school" movement. It reads to me like your PTA is similar to the PTA's around here. Every so often they would discuss the traffic in front of the school. As the only person to bike or walk to the meeting, I would describe how if the affluent kids would walk to school like the kids from the projects do, then there wouldn't be any traffic problems. They would just glare at me and carry on about widening the road and getting more cops out to direct traffic.
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Don't get me started! One of my biggest gripes is the trend to build new schools out in the sticks, where kids have little alternative bu to drive to them. Lots of teens have died driving back and forth to these exurban schools, and they always encourage even more sprawl. This is being done in city after city, and there is no excuse for it.
It's a sad reflection on our society that we have to create a special day for this. When I went to school, EVERY day was walk to school day. And I"m not talking about the 1950's, I'm talking about the 90's, I'm only 23. My mom would walk me to school until I was about 8, and then I walked by myself. Rain or shine, winter or summer, even when the snow was 2 feet deep.
And I don't see how cars make walking dangerous, it's not like cars drive on sidewalks? Maybe they mean when crossing the street, but that shouldn't be dangerous either if parents taught their kids properly how to cross the street. I had to cross a very busy street on my way to school, and it never occured to me that it was dangerous. You wait until it's green, then you cross, quite simple even for a kid.
I seriously wish that gas gets WAY more expensive.
Active Transportation Rocks
My son is in kindergarden this year and it is something we both look forward to every day, I "drop him off" by riding with him to school and then I'm off to work once they all file into the classroom. They have punch cards to reward children who are not riding the bus this week but for him it's not much of a reward compared to the reward of riding his bike with dad. So far I'm the only parent I know who bikes but there are lots of other kids who walk or race their jogging moms to school, even on rainy days. I think the trend is growing here towards active transportation and fuel reduction, I have seen a lot more hybrids, carpools, and bike rack equipped vehicles on the road this year compared to last year.
Last edited by loscielos; 10-06-06 at 03:43 PM.