Thursday, May 10, 2012

Changing the Decline of Kids Biking to School

Did anyone know that it was National Bike/Walk to School Day this last week?

Pretty sad that the number of kids biking/walking to school has fallen off a cliff over the past couple of decades. Now we have a national day for this. Every day should be bike/walk to school day!

I remember when I went to elementary school in the early 80's, we had at least half the school biking/walking to school. I think we may have had a total of 3 buses. I had great memories of riding to school with many of my friends growing up. We would even leave early from home so that we could ride the long route to school. This usually involved a little dirt track fun. We would even meet up with kids along the way.

My sons local elementary school only allows the 5th graders to ride their bikes to school. Because of this it only has one bike rack and it isn't even full. So so sad. A vicious cycle has occurred whereby parents are concerned about kids safety. So they begin driving kids to school and put more cars on the road. Which increases congestion and potential for more traffic accidents. Some argue that riding distance was a barrier. Our school is right in the heart of our community. I think most kids are within 1 mile of the school.

Crofton Woods Elementary School SINGLE bike rack.

Here is a good article on why biking/walking has declined.

My boy absolutely loves riding to/from school. I go so far as to carry his bike back home and carry it to pick him up when we do ride back from school. It gives us some time to talk, get the blood flowing. We have great side walks (recently the corners were overhauled to ramp down to the street) and crossing guards that look out for our children's safety.

I am going to get active and change this at my local level. I already have a local bike shop, Family Bike Shop, willing to support us with additional bike racks. Additionally a local cement company is willing to dump their daily overage into frames that we construct.

Get active and educate folks!