The Duckmeister wrote:Mike.Ayling wrote:Pete wrote:ozrider wrote:My daughter is just turning 10 and wants to ride to school.
There are a few reasons that she will not be allowed.
1. Riding anywhere near a school is terrifying at pick up and drop off time. (I wont ride anywhere near a school at these times....)
I have ridden with her a couple of times and parents with kids in the car will not hesitate to turn a corner whilst you are half way across the intersection, cut you off, drive way to fast and close and abuse the crap out of you if you have a go at them.
Self-defeating processes at work
See Yehuda Moon on p. 1 of this thread.
There are steps you can take to addrees the problem (although at times it may seem futile). Report incidents of dangerous driving, because that is what you're observing. Pressure the school into engaging the local police to crack down on such driving. Make driving unappealing so cycling does become a viable solution.
Becoming a part of the problem is not the way to change it.
It is a self-defeating process, yet who is willing to let their kids cycle in a really risky environment just to prove a point?
We were driven to school every day when I was little - it was a hilly 6-7kms, and very easy for my father to drop three of us off on his way to work. Once I was old enough (or my older siblings were old enough to deal with me on multiple bus/trams) we caught PT home from school once a week, but it was an hour vs an easy 15 minute drive. My sister ran/cycled to school quite a lot, but when I was in primary school I couldn't do anything like ride/run without ending up on the floor unable to breathe so cycling would have never been an option. I walked home quite a bit with friends in high school but it took 1.5 hours! It was a school that people went to for a very specific reason, so often travelled a long way - even in primary though, those local would walk, and a lot of people caught trains and trams. We always laughed at the closest 'normal' private school, Carey, that even then in the 80s was choked with Jags and Range Rovers at pick-up time!
After that, I went to a school in the city - I reckon that there wasn't a single kid there who got driven in, and it is the same now - no one in their right mind would try to get into Southbank for 8.30 by car, and everyone came by train, up to two hours in some cases. In my year 12 I was on crutches for 6 weeks, and catching the tram with violin and full bag of books and crutches was an absolute nightmare (I had to do it a few times a week) and my father and grandfather shared the driving, which was a long-haul at 7.30am and 5pm.... ick.
In terms of local schools here, SqueazEd will be walking/riding to primary school - they are off main roads, with a lot of kids walking (maybe not so many riding?) and one of them I've cycled past at pick-up time and it's very civilised. High schools hmmmm The local is fine, Blackburn High is 4-5kms up Blackburn Road and over Maroondah highway; this will depend on monsieur's road sense and general ability whether he would be able to ride. Mt Waverley Secondary College - straight along Middleborough/Stevenson road?? not on my nelly - would require some careful route devising, or more likely public transport. If he should end up going to an independent school, cycling is very tricky. Certain schools that are near bike paths would be possible, but others would require routes that I wouldn't like cycling in at peak-hour, and wouldn't recommend to someone with less road-awareness etc. than I have myself.
I guess in the long-run, the first thing would be to get more people out of cars for school runs. This doesn't necessarily mean onto bikes, but scooter, walking buses, school buses, carpooling etc. are all good options. Once the environment around the school is safer for riding, it can become more of an option.
As for saying 'I did this at this age, therefore all kids should be able to' doesn't achieve much. Kids have differing risk assessment, spatial awareness, concentration etc., and people live in different areas. There were two awful accidents when I was at school involving foolhardy young boys crossing roads at times/places I wouldn't have dreamed of, and ending up with nasty nasty injuries. I would imagine that their parents would probably wisely not want them cycling in traffic at that age. I would happily have ridden 5-6kms in the country to school but would not have done the same along Riversdale Road, even 25 years ago.