Only 1 in 10 children ride to school

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by steve, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Only 1 in 10 children ride to school
    Only one in ten children ride to school, even though 80% of parents think it would improve their kids’ health, according to a new survey released today by the Cycling Promotion Fund and the National Heart Foundation of Australia. The survey of more than 1,000 parents across Australia also found: Nearly two-thirds of parents said they would let their children ride to school if there were safe routes 8 in 10 nominated too much traffic and a lack of safe routes as key barriers to kids being allowed to ride to school Parents surveyed agreed that ‘cycling is a good way to get fit’ Almost 60% of parents drive their children to school 1 in 2 parents support formal cycle education programs 1 in 2 live less than 10 minutes from school, a distance which could easily by cycled or walked by children. ‘Cycling to school is clearly something that children are able to do and parents want to encourage, but they’re being let down by a lack of safe cycle paths,’ said Dr Lyn Roberts, National CEO of the Heart Foundation. ‘The number of children being driven to school has sadly reached a record high – arriving at the school gates by car was rare in the 70s, but now it’s the norm for 6 in 10 families. ‘We’re missing a huge opportunity to tackle childhood obesity, reduce carbon emissions and ease congestion on the roads. ‘We urge all levels of Government to invest to ensure the next generation is able to adopt healthy and active options for their daily trip to school,’ Dr Roberts said. Stephen Hodge, spokesman for the Cycling Promotion Fund said with the national Ride to School Day coming up this Friday, Australian parents have the answer; make cycling to school safer! ‘Leadership and investment for cycling to school programs is vital to turn around this national crisis of inactivity in our children and make the trip to school the happy, healthy experience it once was’, said Hodge. Today’s survey was launched at the 10th Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards which recognises achievements nationally in programs and initiatives that are encouraging all Australians to ride their bikes. See www.cyclingawards.com.au.
     
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  2. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I think most parents where I live would site a safety issue as the main reason they don't allow their children to ride or walk to school.

    A few communities in my area have started a program where children walk to school supervised by volunteer parents. They actually walk a route just like a school bus would run and pick up (add the children) to the group as they pass by their homes. They call it a "walking bus" or something like that.

    Maybe something similar could be started with bicycles...
     
  3. hedona

    hedona New Member

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    i agree. i think it is more a security issue than anything else. but it's a pity anyway! it's really important to have the children learn motory skills and move around these days!!
     
  4. jbrownfield

    jbrownfield New Member

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    When i was a child i rode my bike to school about 2 miles each way every morning. I believe i started at 4th grade or so. I dont believe that it is any more dangerous now to bike to school than it was 20 years ago. I believe the internet and TV are responsible for this attitude. 20 years ago we didnt have all this real time information constantly bombarding us.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The volume of cars on the road, now, is much higher than it was 20 years ago.
     
  6. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I ride past an affluent neighborhood high school (grade 9-12) and it has racks full of bicycles when the weather is decent. I have heard their lower schools also many bike riders.

    Yet when I was a kid (different school system) we only had bicycle racks at the elementary school (not middle or high school) and no body rode a bike to school.

    Bicycles were originally a rich mans sport. But with American industrialization by the 1930's the bicycle [in America] became a wealthy kids toy. By the 1950's it was a popular toy owned by many if not most American children at one time or another. Once the bicycle became widely affordable, its status as a toy that would be rode to school also began to diminish. Certainly not everywhere... but in many areas. I think wealthier areas enjoyed the convenience of a bicycle early enough and therefore long enough, before its peak popularity, that its use became a tradition. Riding a bicycle to the wealthy kids school is part of the schools culture.

    Although during the same time-frame much of the rest of the world had chose economic systems that provided considerably less wealth to the general population and bicycles flourished as cheap transportation (NOT as toys). Today many socialist nations still depend on human powered transportation. Although many nations [like China] have turned away from bicycles... for cars.

    Today... bicycles [in America] are ambiguous and everywhere. Any person who would like to have one could simply ask around and find someone else with a bicycle "just taking up valuable space". But now our streets are too dangerous for children to share with automobiles. Bicycles are now... both children's toys and adult sport... with only a tiny fraction of the population using bicycles for transportation.

    Cultures are developed over years. Cultures involve complex human relationships and paradigms. They can't be wished into existence or created by laws. Community leadership and government funded programs to alter a culture... has been tried with many other failed programs. Throwing money and time at problems is admirable... as long as the money and time is your own.
     
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  7. nfeht

    nfeht New Member

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    looking back i wish i rode a bike to school. 18miles one way would have been great supplemental training for my rowing back then.
     
  8. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    I live across the street from an elementary school, and at the beginning of the day and end of day it's like downtown Manhattan with the volume of traffic around the school. Somewhere between the end of my elementary school career and about the year 2000 it went from "walk/bike or ride the bus" to some sort of mass need for parents to drive the kids to school themselves.
     
  9. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Sadly today many children are being raised in broken homes. This leads to them living with both parents sometimes in different communities. Schools are also a nice neutral swap point that the estranged parents can civilly pick up the kids.
    Back in the early seventy's we walked to elementary school. In high school we resorted to driving as soon as our licenses were obtained.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    We've no option other than to drive our daughter to school she goes to a STEM school that's about 15 miles away, and bus service isn't available.
     
  11. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Another good point. Sometimes the schools attended are not right next door.
     
  12. handsomeway

    handsomeway New Member

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    Agreed,safety issue is always the most concerned of their parents.Seems this maybe a good way to improve this situation.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    And, it depends on where you live.

    My daughter doesn't ride to school, but she runs cross country and track.
     
  14. cheetahmk7

    cheetahmk7 Well-Known Member

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    One of our local primary schools which was in a nice quiet suburban area with a network of bike tracks leading towards it has recently been closed. The replacement school although in a greenfield area was placed next to a service station, a car wash, an aquatic centre and a shopping mall incorporating a supermarket, hence there are cars everywhere. To get to the school you have to ride on a busy road with a bike path that is about a foot wide and negotiate a big roundabout with poor visibility (due to all the pretty plants). I don't even feel safe riding in the proximity of this school, so it is no surprise that few children ride to this new school.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    It's crazy out on the streets for me, so I would not let my daughter ride the streets unless I am with her and even then I will only take her riding in certain areas where it's much safer and biker friendly. Safety is the number 1 concern, point blank.
     
  16. Conniebiker

    Conniebiker New Member

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    On my daily commute the most dangerous part for hooks is the two school campuses that I pass. They are like beehives buzzing with moms on phones. I also know from stats observation that a lot of them are not traveling very far(distinctive vehicles in a very small town), less than 3 miles. These are also areas served by busses, and a number of people I know would not be bothered to allow their children to use them.
     
  17. JSWin

    JSWin Member

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    Yeah I think this is a great idea. I remember walking and what a pain that was. It would have been so much better to ride a bike. I think it would promote for kids to exercise more instead of just sitting around doing nothing. Cellphones and computers add to the vegetation.
     
  18. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    It is a lot higher than 1 and 10 where I live, I know that. Of course that is just in my neighborhood and I'm not anywhere near Australia. Most of them ride public school buses around here, but there is a lot of bicycle use too.
     
  19. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Member

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    1 in 10?
    If only.
    If we include skateboards, scooters and such, it's more like 1 in 100.
    Bikes only - 1 in 300
     
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