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Documentary on walk/bike to school

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Documentary on walk/bike to school

Old 05-21-16, 12:11 PM
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Documentary on walk/bike to school

Docu film i just watched most of on PBS called "the slow way home". Very good stuff for the cycling advocacy crowd, as well as complete streets advocates.

slowwayhome

Really fascinating stuff, giving me great hope that we can fix some systemic issues here in the US.

- Andy
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Old 05-21-16, 01:27 PM
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Interesting clip.

One thing to point out is that the number of "stranger abductions" for children in the USA is somewhere around 100 per year. Undoubtedly a hugely traumatic thing to occur. But with about 74 million kids under 18, that gives one just over 1 in a million chance of having the kid abducted (per year), higher if one considers over an 18 years childhood, or 12 years in school.

Lots of other things could happen, but it is likely one has a greater risk of getting smashed driving the car than having the kid abducted.

Do we have a fear mongering media system that fills people with an irrational fear of very rare occurrences?

For one reason or another, many local (rural) elementary schools are closing, increasing commute distance. But, at least the rule around here used to be kids living less than 1 mile from school would walk, and those over 1 mile would get a bus.

And, passing the schools between 3 and 4, it is not uncommon to see swarms of kids walking home.

Older/younger kids? Beyond grade school, they go to different locations.

When I was in Jr High & HS, we lived right on the border of 4 different school districts (plus one local Catholic school ). Theoretically there would have been some choice of which school to attend, although taxes would dictate to some extent which one was cheapest. In the end, we chose to go to the local school district (which also had bus support), rather than trying to jump to a "better" school district.

Distances, of course, are a problem in the USA. Everyone likes their own private space. But, a 1 mile walk to school in Japan might be equivalent to a 5 mile walk in the USA.
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Old 05-21-16, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Interesting clip.

One thing to point out is that the number of "stranger abductions" for children in the USA is somewhere around 100 per year. Undoubtedly a hugely traumatic thing to occur. But with about 74 million kids under 18, that gives one just over 1 in a million chance of having the kid abducted (per year), higher if one considers over an 18 years childhood, or 12 years in school.

Lots of other things could happen, but it is likely one has a greater risk of getting smashed driving the car than having the kid abducted.

Do we have a fear mongering media system that fills people with an irrational fear of very rare occurrences?

For one reason or another, many local (rural) elementary schools are closing, increasing commute distance. But, at least the rule around here used to be kids living less than 1 mile from school would walk, and those over 1 mile would get a bus.

And, passing the schools between 3 and 4, it is not uncommon to see swarms of kids walking home.

Older/younger kids? Beyond grade school, they go to different locations.

When I was in Jr High & HS, we lived right on the border of 4 different school districts (plus one local Catholic school ). Theoretically there would have been some choice of which school to attend, although taxes would dictate to some extent which one was cheapest. In the end, we chose to go to the local school district (which also had bus support), rather than trying to jump to a "better" school district.

Distances, of course, are a problem in the USA. Everyone likes their own private space. But, a 1 mile walk to school in Japan might be equivalent to a 5 mile walk in the USA.
It is not only a media system that promotes fear, but also school administrators... the latter who consider it a "crime" to let children walk or bike to school...
National organization finds that bike-to-school bans are on the rise - BikePortland.org

In communities throughout America, students are being told they are not allowed to bike to school.

“It’s pervasive throughout the country and we’re hearing about it more and more,” he said. The problem, according to Ping, is that many school principals and administrators feel that biking and walking to school is simply unsafe. They are concerned about being held liable for anything that happens during the trip to and/or from school.

“It’s pervasive throughout the country and we’re hearing about it more and more.”
— Robert Ping, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

“The problem isn’t necessarily the biking or walking, but the concerns over liability that come with it.”
A Principal Calls CPS After Mom Lets Daughter, 10, Ride City Bus to School | Free Range Kids
https://nationalparentsorganization....aten-mom-18726
Child Services to Mom Who Did Nothing Wrong: 'Just Don't Let Your Kids Play Outside' - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Has Child Protective Services Gone Too Far? | The Nation
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Old 05-21-16, 02:13 PM
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Oh, heaven forbid.

It has been a couple of years, but when I was younger, I was periodically riding my bike to school as early as 1st grade, I think. By the time my brother graduated from grade school (12), I had inherited the little green road bike (age 10?), and it was going EVERYWHERE with me. Maybe even a little earlier, although my brother still was required to race on the little bike.

4th - 6th grade, we'd get Thursday afternoons off. And it wasn't uncommon for me to ride to the big city about 25 miles away. Alone. Meet my parents, and get a ride back home.

We had a route that was the safest that they could find, and I followed the prescribed route to the city.

We moved between 6th and 7th grade. I was already pretty familiar with the roads, and rode the bike to school frequently throughout Jr High and HS.

A few years have passed since then. I was always a climber and a jumper. And if I ever have kids, I'd encourage them to climb over everything and jump off of anything (within reason). No bubble wrap kids here.

Oh, and as a bit of a rebel... my Swiss Army Knife frequently came to school with me. Some people knew about it. Some didn't. It was never anything but a tool.
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Old 05-21-16, 06:29 PM
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When I lived in London(UK) in the late-1970's. There were several years. That I walked a mile to/from school. The level of 'guarded' atmosphere nowadays. Was non-existent in the late-1970's.
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Old 05-22-16, 11:27 AM
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too much fear and paranoia for kids to be kids in the usa
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Old 05-22-16, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
too much fear and paranoia for kids to be kids in the usa
Yes, I vaguely recall a thread here on BF. That was about a kid riding their bike to school, and the school called CPS on the parents. Just because the school didn't want the kid riding their bike to school.
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Old 05-22-16, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Interesting clip.

One thing to point out is that the number of "stranger abductions" for children in the USA is somewhere around 100 per year. Undoubtedly a hugely traumatic thing to occur. But with about 74 million kids under 18, that gives one just over 1 in a million chance of having the kid abducted (per year), higher if one considers over an 18 years childhood, or 12 years in school.

Lots of other things could happen, but it is likely one has a greater risk of getting smashed driving the car than having the kid abducted.

Do we have a fear mongering media system that fills people with an irrational fear of very rare occurrences?

For one reason or another, many local (rural) elementary schools are closing, increasing commute distance. But, at least the rule around here used to be kids living less than 1 mile from school would walk, and those over 1 mile would get a bus.

And, passing the schools between 3 and 4, it is not uncommon to see swarms of kids walking home.

Older/younger kids? Beyond grade school, they go to different locations.

When I was in Jr High & HS, we lived right on the border of 4 different school districts (plus one local Catholic school ). Theoretically there would have been some choice of which school to attend, although taxes would dictate to some extent which one was cheapest. In the end, we chose to go to the local school district (which also had bus support), rather than trying to jump to a "better" school district.

Distances, of course, are a problem in the USA. Everyone likes their own private space. But, a 1 mile walk to school in Japan might be equivalent to a 5 mile walk in the USA.
If any meaningful amount of kids can walk 1 mile or less to school....it ain't rural.

Here in Nebraska we (already) have tri-county schools. Where the norm is that one middle/high school services 3 counties worth of kids (usually a hundred or a few hundred kids-across 3 counties). And in most of the state, the road signs don't spellout the distance to the nearest town, but the nearest homestead/ranch. Sure there used to be local schools, but with repeated boom-bust economic cycles and people moving out there aren't enough kids in most counties to justify local-to-town schools.

Of course, with the depopulation happening in the Great Plains, Nebraska will most likely lose 33% of its House congressional reps (3 down to 2) and 20% of its electoral votes (5 down to 4) at the next reapportionment....resulting in an electoral map that looks like Lincoln and Omaha versus everyone else....which politically and population-density-comparison is not that far off TBH.
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Old 05-22-16, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
If any meaningful amount of kids can walk 1 mile or less to school....it ain't rural.

Here in Nebraska we (already) have tri-county schools. Where the norm is that one middle/high school services 3 counties worth of kids (usually a hundred or a few hundred kids-across 3 counties). And in most of the state, the road signs don't spellout the distance to the nearest town, but the nearest homestead/ranch. Sure there used to be local schools, but with repeated boom-bust economic cycles and people moving out there aren't enough kids in most counties to justify local-to-town schools.

Of course, with the depopulation happening in the Great Plains, Nebraska will most likely lose 33% of its House congressional reps (3 down to 2) and 20% of its electoral votes (5 down to 4) at the next reapportionment....resulting in an electoral map that looks like Lincoln and Omaha versus everyone else....which politically and population-density-comparison is not that far off TBH.
Ahhh, bigger combines.
Bigger AG....

Of course, Oregon and Washington have a huge portion of their population concentrated west of the Cascades. So, rural west of the Cascades which I'm used to is quite different than rural east.

Still, on the community level, we're loosing quite a few of the smaller gradeschools.

How big are your counties, and how far do you bus kids? I couldn't imagine being on a school bus twice daily for more than 20 or 30 miles, maybe up to 50 miles if they could keep the speed up enough to do it in an hour or so, and could drive in a straight line.
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Old 05-22-16, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Ahhh, bigger combines.
Bigger AG....

Of course, Oregon and Washington have a huge portion of their population concentrated west of the Cascades. So, rural west of the Cascades which I'm used to is quite different than rural east.

Still, on the community level, we're loosing quite a few of the smaller gradeschools.

How big are your counties, and how far do you bus kids? I couldn't imagine being on a school bus twice daily for more than 20 or 30 miles, maybe up to 50 miles if they could keep the speed up enough to do it in an hour or so, and could drive in a straight line.
It varies quite a bit. Many are around 1,500 km^2 (500 mi^2)....one, Cherry County, 5X that. The smaller ones tend to band together in bigger multi-county combines. The bigger ones less so. But either way most counties have an average population density of 1 person per square mile.

Every summer on Tour de Nebraska, a different set of dinky farm towns play host....and we see their schooling facilities as the only place to do indoor camping in those places (for 100+ people) is the nearest gymnasium. It really is a completely different mentality than city schools. The school needs a new computer projector, they have to beg the student and farm families for money to fund it-as the tax levies are never enough for discretionary spending for school facilities/equipment.

This year TdN is out in the far West, starting in Valentine for the first time. Will get to see their towns/schools firsthand. Only sad part with those remote areas is that there's lots of beauty and no traffic...but also few bars/cafes to stop at.
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Old 05-23-16, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris0516 View Post
When I lived in London(UK) in the late-1970's. There were several years. That I walked a mile to/from school. The level of 'guarded' atmosphere nowadays. Was non-existent in the late-1970's.
Those of us past 40 years old were really the last generation to play in the streets. Seriously. Walk down the block I grew up and there are no kids on the street. There's all indoors playing video games or watching tv.
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Old 05-23-16, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Those of us past 40 years old were really the last generation to play in the streets. Seriously. Walk down the block I grew up and there are no kids on the street. There's all indoors playing video games or watching tv.
True, Regardless of what country someone lives in.
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