# How much must gasoline cost before parents will let their kid's walkor bicycle 150-300' to school?

S

#### SMS

##### Guest
Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
(and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
them, and do it faster than driving.

D

#### [email protected]

##### Guest
SMS <[email protected]> wrote:
> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
> walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
> their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
> (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
> then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
> several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
> back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
> parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
> them, and do it faster than driving.

I read somewhere (probably here) that around half of all car trips are
five miles or less. Ironically, running a car a distance that short is
not only a waste of time and a lost opportunity for exercise, it's bad for
the car.

Bill

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|Real e-mail: [email protected], minus the letters w/ tails.|
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J

#### Just A User

##### Guest
SMS wrote:
> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
> walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
> their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
> (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
> then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
> several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
> back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
> parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
> them, and do it faster than driving.

I have notice a very similar thing around my neighborhood. But they
drive them to the bus stop. And sit there until the bus arrives with the
car running and the ac on high. Or at least I assume the a/c is on after
all this is south Florida and a car with the windows up in the sun is
basically a large toaster oven.

Ken

O

#### Ozark Bicycle

##### Guest
On Jun 9, 12:59 am, SMS <[email protected]> wrote:
> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
> walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
> their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
> (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
> then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
> several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
> back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
> parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
> them, and do it faster than driving.

Actually, these folks were planning on having the kiddies bike to
where they learned that department store bikes suck and that all the
bike shop brands are engaged in a "race to the bottom", using
Rather than get ripped off, they took the bike money and bought the

Kudos, ScharfMan! You did it again!

B

#### Bill Sornson

##### Guest
SMS wrote:
> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three
> minute walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk
> in front of their houses you can see the school one to one and a half
> blocks away (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the
> kids off and then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It
> takes them several minutes longer than walking because invariably
> there's a long back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts.
> Even if the parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they
> could walk with them, and do it faster than driving.

J

#### John Kane

##### Guest
On Jun 9, 12:24 pm, [email protected] wrote:
> SMS <[email protected]> wrote:
> > Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> > drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
> > walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
> > their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
> > (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
> > then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
> > several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
> > back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
> > parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
> > them, and do it faster than driving.

>
> I read somewhere (probably here) that around half of all car trips are
> five miles or less. Ironically, running a car a distance that short is
> not only a waste of time and a lost opportunity for exercise, it's bad for
> the car.
>
> Bill

That sounds reasonable. Something like 60% of Canadian commutes are
under 10 km. My graph of the StatsCan data http://ca.geocities.com/jrkrideau/cycling/commute.png.
Unfortunately the auto seems to be the main means of travel.

J

#### jay mckim

##### Guest
Can't beat those people waiting in car for bus coming.
They've never shop on walk or on bicycle.
Gasoline motor is their way of life. It's addiction.
reborn again.

"Just A User" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> SMS wrote:
> > Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
> > drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute
> > walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of
> > their houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away
> > (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and
> > then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them
> > several minutes longer than walking because invariably there's a long
> > back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts. Even if the
> > parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they could walk with
> > them, and do it faster than driving.

>
> I have notice a very similar thing around my neighborhood. But they
> drive them to the bus stop. And sit there until the bus arrives with the
> car running and the ac on high. Or at least I assume the a/c is on after
> all this is south Florida and a car with the windows up in the sun is
> basically a large toaster oven.
>
> Ken

T

#### Tom Keats

##### Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"Bill Sornson" <[email protected]> writes:
> SMS wrote:
>> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
>> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three
>> minute walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk
>> in front of their houses you can see the school one to one and a half
>> blocks away (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the
>> kids off and then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It
>> takes them several minutes longer than walking because invariably
>> there's a long back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts.
>> Even if the parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they
>> could walk with them, and do it faster than driving.

>

Yeah, it's one thing to berate people for not being
enough like you; it's quite another thing to create
an example. And besides, people are generally nice,
and deserve to be cut some slack, despite all our
failings. 'Cuz we all sometimes fsck up, and we all
sometimes do good.

behaviours has some scary aspects to it. When we
look on, there may be circumstances of which we are
unaware. Maybe the kid who is being driven to school
is newly blind or something.

Open minds & people-loving hearts.

cheers,
Tom

--
Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats curlicue vcn dot bc dot ca

M

#### Matt O'Toole

##### Guest
On Sat, 09 Jun 2007 16:24:58 +0000, D_Frumious_B wrote:

> SMS <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street
>> drive their kids to school The school is literally a one to three
>> minute walk from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in
>> front of their houses you can see the school one to one and a half
>> blocks away (and they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the
>> kids off and then drive to work, they drive back home afterward. It
>> takes them several minutes longer than walking because invariably
>> there's a long back-up of vehicles five minutes before school starts.
>> Even if the parents don't want to let the kids walk themselves, they
>> could walk with them, and do it faster than driving.

>
> I read somewhere (probably here) that around half of all car trips
> are
> five miles or less. Ironically, running a car a distance that short is
> not only a waste of time and a lost opportunity for exercise, it's bad
> for the car.

It's worse than that. Actually, over 80% of car trips are three miles or
less. I don't have a link but that's from US DOT.

Also, most injury and fatal accidents happen within three miles of home.
This meshes with the previous statistic, but it's also because drivers are
less cautious and take more chances on familiar roads.

There was a study done in the 80s by a city in southern CA, comparing
accident rates when most students walked or rode bikes to school, to
accident rates a decade later when most students were driven by their
parents. There were about three times as many students injured or killed
on the way to school in their parents cars than when they walked or rode
bikes. This also meshes with other statistics on bike vs. auto use --
that driving is 2-3 times more dangerous than cycling.

Matt O.

S

#### SMS

##### Guest
Tom Keats wrote:

> Yeah, it's one thing to berate people for not being
> enough like you; it's quite another thing to create
> an example. And besides, people are generally nice,
> and deserve to be cut some slack, despite all our
> failings. 'Cuz we all sometimes fsck up, and we all
> sometimes do good.

I have never said anything to these people, but one neighbor of mine
did. The mom said that she drives her daughter to school, about 200'
away, because the daughter says it's too hot to walk. But this isn't
south Florida, it's Silicon Valley, and it's never humid, and it's rare
to have really hot weather except for maybe a week or two in the middle
of the summer.

> And monitoring & broadcasting/reporting neighbours'
> behaviours has some scary aspects to it.

I can't help noticing. Every day when we walk to school, there's the
neighbors backing out of their driveways, getting stuck in a long line
of minivans and SUVs approaching the school. One of them backs up right
across the sidewalk where we are walking, and we have to watch out for them.

> When we
> look on, there may be circumstances of which we are
> unaware. Maybe the kid who is being driven to school
> is newly blind or something.

Nope.

M

#### Mike Jacoubowsky

##### Guest
> Every day I see two adults on the street perpendicular to my street drive
> their kids to school The school is literally a one to three minute walk
> from their houses, in fact if you stand on the sidewalk in front of their
> houses you can see the school one to one and a half blocks away (and
> they're short blocks). It's not like they drop the kids off and then drive
> to work, they drive back home afterward. It takes them several minutes
> longer than walking because invariably there's a long back-up of vehicles
> five minutes before school starts. Even if the parents don't want to let
> the kids walk themselves, they could walk with them, and do it faster than
> driving.

The price of gas will have little effect on such behavior. It could go to
\$6/gallon and they'll cut back on long trips and only use the car for the
most-wasteful of things, the short trips that could easily be avoided
altogether or at least consolidated.

But if people had to wait in line to buy gas again... if it were to become
more convenient to *not* use the car... that, and only that, will produce a
quantum shift in behavior.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

S

#### SMS

##### Guest
Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

> But if people had to wait in line to buy gas again... if it were to become
> more convenient to *not* use the car... that, and only that, will produce a
> quantum shift in behavior.

Perhaps, though in terms of time, it's already more convenient for the
people I referred to to not use the car (at least in terms of time). It
takes about 2x the time to drive to school as to walk to school because
of the traffic jams.

M

#### Mike Jacoubowsky

##### Guest
>> But if people had to wait in line to buy gas again... if it were to
>> become more convenient to *not* use the car... that, and only that, will
>> produce a quantum shift in behavior.

>
> Perhaps, though in terms of time, it's already more convenient for the
> people I referred to to not use the car (at least in terms of time). It
> takes about 2x the time to drive to school as to walk to school because of
> the traffic jams.

Except that people just don't think that way. You're trying to look at it
logically. It's not difficult for them to get into the car and start it up,
nor is it inconvenient. It's routine. It also happens to be totally absurd!
But trying to convince someone that their normal routine is absurd usually
doesn't get very far.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

T

#### Tom Keats

##### Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
SMS <[email protected]> writes:
> Tom Keats wrote:
>
>> Yeah, it's one thing to berate people for not being
>> enough like you; it's quite another thing to create
>> an example. And besides, people are generally nice,
>> and deserve to be cut some slack, despite all our
>> failings. 'Cuz we all sometimes fsck up, and we all
>> sometimes do good.

>
> I have never said anything to these people, but one neighbor of mine
> did. The mom said that she drives her daughter to school, about 200'
> away, because the daughter says it's too hot to walk. But this isn't
> south Florida, it's Silicon Valley, and it's never humid, and it's rare
> to have really hot weather except for maybe a week or two in the middle
> of the summer.

I guess I overreacted. Please let me explain -- I've been
dealing with neighbours who have nothing better to do than
to observe my own comings & goings. One quickly becomes
exasperated from providing a vicarious life for other people
who lack their own. I apologize to you.

>> And monitoring & broadcasting/reporting neighbours'
>> behaviours has some scary aspects to it.

>
> I can't help noticing.

I guess not. I notice stuff too.

> Every day when we walk to school, there's the
> neighbors backing out of their driveways, getting stuck in a long line
> of minivans and SUVs approaching the school. One of them backs up right
> across the sidewalk where we are walking, and we have to watch out for them.

Back in the day, people used to know that if there's a school
or playground or park, there's a corresponding speed limit.
Nowadays I see gajillions of signs put up to remind drivers
around such areas, along with the official signage. They
still don't get it. They wouldn't get it if those signs were

>> When we
>> look on, there may be circumstances of which we are
>> unaware. Maybe the kid who is being driven to school
>> is newly blind or something.

>
> Nope.

I've found it's nevertheless good to keep an open mind,
and to forego judgements that hurt people.

Hurting people comes with a responsibility.

I've already got more responsibility than I want.

cheers,
Tom

--
Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats curlicue vcn dot bc dot ca

S

#### SMS

##### Guest
Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
>>> But if people had to wait in line to buy gas again... if it were to
>>> become more convenient to *not* use the car... that, and only that, will
>>> produce a quantum shift in behavior.

>> Perhaps, though in terms of time, it's already more convenient for the
>> people I referred to to not use the car (at least in terms of time). It
>> takes about 2x the time to drive to school as to walk to school because of
>> the traffic jams.

>
> Except that people just don't think that way. You're trying to look at it
> logically. It's not difficult for them to get into the car and start it up,
> nor is it inconvenient. It's routine. It also happens to be totally absurd!
> But trying to convince someone that their normal routine is absurd usually
> doesn't get very far.

Well last year I asked someone running for city council about their sign
that was placed in the yard of house near me because I wanted to see if
they knew them well enough to ask if I could place a sign for a ballot
measure in their yard. He said, "that's my cousin, it'll be fine." Then
I mentioned that I saw her often, as she drove left to drive her kids to
school, and he was shocked, and said that he was going to mention it to
her. Soon she was walking her kids to school every day. So sometimes, if
it's down right, by the right person, you can convince someone that
their normal routine is absurd.

C

#### Cathy Kearns

##### Guest
"Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> Except that people just don't think that way. You're trying to look at it
> logically. It's not difficult for them to get into the car and start it
> up, nor is it inconvenient. It's routine. It also happens to be totally
> absurd! But trying to convince someone that their normal routine is absurd
> usually doesn't get very far.

My daughter rides her bike to school. She's been riding her bike to school
since she was in kindergarten. (Okay, in kindergarten she thought she was
pedaling, but she was being pulled by mom.) Now she is in 7th grade, and
the school is a little over a mile away, rather than the very sheltered 1/3
mile she used to ride to get to the back entrance to her elementary school.
She still rides her bike because thats what you do, and she's never thought
much of if. My dad is in town, and was talking about her school, and
mentioned he rode to her school once with her, and boy was it far, he wasn't
sure he was going to make it. Definitions of normal routine definitely
varies.

I've been on various school and city committees discussing traffic around
the schools and how to increase biking and walking. I am still surprised
and saddened at some of the issues that come up. First, the schools don't
realize how hard they make it. For instance, at my daughter's junior high
they do have a second set of books for the kids, so they are not bringing
books back and forth between school and home. But, they require a separate
binder for each class. And in each class binder they keep all their work
for the year. And they do bring the binders back and forth. And, all
English and Math classes are on the second floor, and they are not allowed
to used the elevators unless they have a disabled pass, so rolling back
packs are useless. Often the binders in my daughter's backpack alone weigh
12 pounds, and she has the lightest binders we could find, it's just the
work that weighs that much.

In elementary school they almost weekly have various projects (diaramas,
reports reassembled into paper cubes, cells made from jello....) that can't
be carried in a backpack, and for that matter, are often too unwieldy to
carry a couple hundred yards. And then add musical instruments on top of
that...

Second, the global news have warped perceptions of safety. There are a
number of parents that won't let their kids walk out of their sight, as they
are afraid they will get kidnapped. And this is an incredibly safe
community. We could come up with solutions for lots of issues, but this one
we could not. It's not a rational fear, and there are no rational
solutions.

S

#### SMS

##### Guest
Cathy Kearns wrote:

> I've been on various school and city committees discussing traffic around
> the schools and how to increase biking and walking. I am still surprised
> and saddened at some of the issues that come up. First, the schools don't
> realize how hard they make it.

<snip>

Wow, that sounds so similar to my daughter's school. Did you forget one
thing? No more lockers! Yeah, my daughter's school gives them a second
set of books too, but her backpack still weighs a ton. Then on some days
she has to bring her sports equipment such as a softball bag to school,
as there's no place to store it at the school. Oh, and the school
"discourages" rolling backpacks, which have now become the ultimate in
uncoolness (apparently abnormal curvature of the spine is cool).

The schools _do_ understand how hard they make it. They just don't care.

> Second, the global news have warped perceptions of safety. There are a
> number of parents that won't let their kids walk out of their sight, as they
> are afraid they will get kidnapped. And this is an incredibly safe
> community. We could come up with solutions for lots of issues, but this one
> we could not. It's not a rational fear, and there are no rational
> solutions.

Man, I deal with this irrational fear in my own family! I let my 9 yo go
to the playground at the school by himself. One day a family member
just got it into their head that this was just extremely dangerous.
"What if he's kidnapped?" "There's never been a kidnapping in this
city." "What if he's the first, go get him." "Not me, if you're so
concerned you go."

The traffic situation in one part of town is extremely bad, with two
elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school all close
together and only one way in and out of the area from where most people
live. They've talked about all sorts of complicated solutions like
trollies, but the only solution is behavior modification (the schools
are way over capacity as well, which aggravates the problem--the middle
school has eleven portables). The bottom line is that people will have
to deal with horrendous traffic jams twice a day.

C

#### Cathy Kearns

##### Guest
"SMS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Wow, that sounds so similar to my daughter's school. Did you forget one
> thing? No more lockers! Yeah, my daughter's school gives them a second set
> of books too, but her backpack still weighs a ton. Then on some days she
> has to bring her sports equipment such as a softball bag to school, as
> there's no place to store it at the school. Oh, and the school
> "discourages" rolling backpacks, which have now become the ultimate in
> uncoolness (apparently abnormal curvature of the spine is cool).

I've thrown many a hissy fit over lockers, so my children's schools have
them. The last one I didn't fight was just because I was too tired. The
high school does not give lockers to seniors, as they assume they will
drive.:-(

S

#### Stephen Harding

##### Guest
SMS wrote:
> Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
>
>> But if people had to wait in line to buy gas again... if it were to
>> become more convenient to *not* use the car... that, and only that,
>> will produce a quantum shift in behavior.

>
> Perhaps, though in terms of time, it's already more convenient for the
> people I referred to to not use the car (at least in terms of time). It
> takes about 2x the time to drive to school as to walk to school because
> of the traffic jams.

I think congestion and gas prices are the two primary
forces that will get people out of their cars and on
a bike or foot or public transport.

Appeals to environment, "social responsibility", etc.,
etc. won't do it.

But I think money is the more powerful of the two. I
am quite surprised at the increase in bike use I'm seeing
in my local area and I'm convinced \$3/gal gas is largely
responsible for it.

And not just people who may use a bike for recreation or
workouts, who apparently believe a "bicycling outfit" is
required to ride a bike.

I'm seeing people who appear not to have been on a bike
for a while (slow speed; very low cadence pedaling;
wobbling back and forth as they pedal). Also people who
a likely going to work, wearing casual clothing, and a
bike with "stuff" on it like a pannier or basket.

It's good to see the increase in bicycle congestion!

SMH

S

#### Stephen Harding

##### Guest
SMS wrote:

> Well last year I asked someone running for city council about their sign
> that was placed in the yard of house near me because I wanted to see if
> they knew them well enough to ask if I could place a sign for a ballot
> measure in their yard. He said, "that's my cousin, it'll be fine." Then
> I mentioned that I saw her often, as she drove left to drive her kids to
> school, and he was shocked, and said that he was going to mention it to
> her. Soon she was walking her kids to school every day. So sometimes, if
> it's down right, by the right person, you can convince someone that
> their normal routine is absurd.

Sometimes I think people arguing against being "hurtful"
get a bit too carried away.

Can't argue with The Golden Rule philosophy, but living in
a society requires some degree of interaction that isn't
always positive in nature, yet may be positive in result.

Mentioning to someone that their drive to school 300' down
the road is rather goofy may be in the same class as asking
someone if they live in a pig sty after they throw their
litter on the sidewalk. Perhaps not a bad thing overall in
being "rude" sometimes?

I think too much emphasis has been placed on not damaging
anyones "self esteem".

I really think there are people who *badly need* their self
esteem shaken!

SMH

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