Safe Routes to School Question

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tim Smith, Oct 3, 2003.

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  1. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    Like many of you who are LAB (League of American Bicyclists) members, I recently got a solicitation
    to donate money for the "Safe Routes to School" campaign.

    My first reaction was "yeah, that's a good cause, I approve of it, and I'll contribute".

    But I wonder: where does this money go? Does it do any good? The information supplied with the
    appeal for donations was, as usual, a bit less than specific.

    Where I live (a very safe and crime-free suburban Californian city) the idea that kids might ride
    their bikes to school, or even walk, seems to be something out of the past. All kids now are
    chauffered by their moms (or very occasionally, pops), usually in large SUVs.

    Is "Safe Routes to School" fighting this trend? If so, how?
     
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  2. Cathy Kearns

    Cathy Kearns Guest

    I know "Safe Routes to School" is an grant program that gives money to communities for planning and
    implementing safe routes to schools. If you need bike path cut-thrus repaved or sidewalks added
    around schools this is whom you apply to. I've also seen local folks apply for these grants for
    traffic calming, which for some reason figures if they curve the bike lanes into traffic it will
    slow the cars down. That's more anti Safe Routes to School, but they try for the money anyway. Our
    "Safe Routes to School" PTA committee was trying to make it safer for cars. So watch out.

    "Tim Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Like many of you who are LAB (League of American Bicyclists) members, I recently got a
    > solicitation to donate money for the "Safe Routes to School" campaign.
    >
    > My first reaction was "yeah, that's a good cause, I approve of it, and I'll contribute".
    >
    > But I wonder: where does this money go? Does it do any good? The information supplied with the
    > appeal for donations was, as usual, a bit less than specific.
    >
    > Where I live (a very safe and crime-free suburban Californian city) the idea that kids might ride
    > their bikes to school, or even walk, seems to be something out of the past. All kids now are
    > chauffered by their moms (or very occasionally, pops), usually in large SUVs.
    >
    > Is "Safe Routes to School" fighting this trend? If so, how?
     
  3. >Is "Safe Routes to School" fighting this trend? If so, how?

    I have some basic disagreements with organized cycling, the main one being that I'm a
    disorganized cyclist.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  4. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    Why should you 'donate' to buy what your taxes shouldn't buy?

    The physical and legal infrastructure for safe cycling exist. What is needed now is effective
    principled leadership to allow their use.

    LAB ain't cuttin' it.

    "Tim Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:ie5snvgha[email protected]...
    > Like many of you who are LAB (League of American Bicyclists) members, I recently got a
    > solicitation to donate money for the "Safe Routes to School" campaign.
    >

    > Is "Safe Routes to School" fighting this trend? If so, how?
     
  5. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    "Doug Huffman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Why should you 'donate' to buy what your taxes shouldn't buy?
    >
    >The physical and legal infrastructure for safe cycling exist. What is needed now is effective
    >principled leadership to allow their use.

    What's really needed is a shift in cultural values, and I suspect that LAB cannot do that. $6 per
    gallon gasoline would, but that's not going to happen any time soon.
     
  6. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Doug Huffman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...

    > The physical and legal infrastructure for safe cycling exist. What is needed now is effective
    > principled leadership to allow their use.

    I disagree. I just got back from that Reston/Herndon/Tyson's mess near Wasington DC. I can't think
    of a more cyclist-hostile environment. The layout of the area and the kind of development they have
    is very similar to southern CA, but the latter is much better for cyclists. Great, in fact. Why? CA
    roads are much better designed.

    > LAB ain't cuttin' it.

    I'm not sure what they accomplish either. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though. :)

    Anyway, Safe Routes to School is a great program, but you're better off getting involved locally,
    rather than throwing money at it. I'd much rather see activism begetting more activism, rather than
    a bunch of managers being paid to create bureaucracy for themselves to preside over.

    Matt O.
     
  7. Brent Hugh

    Brent Hugh Guest

    Tim Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Doug Huffman" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Why should you 'donate' to buy what your taxes shouldn't buy?
    > >
    > >The physical and legal infrastructure for safe cycling exist. What is needed now is effective
    > >principled leadership to allow their use.
    >
    > What's really needed is a shift in cultural values, and I suspect that LAB cannot do that. $6 per
    > gallon gasoline would, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

    On the contrary . . .

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=449053
    http://www.isv.uu.se/uhdsg/OilIPCC/Conclusions.doc

    "World oil and gas supplies are heading for a 'production crunch' sometime between 2010 and 2020
    when they cannot meet supply, because global reserves are 80 per cent smaller than had been thought,
    new forecasts suggest."

    Their argument is NOT that we are going to run out of oil & gas that soon. But demand will exceed
    supply that soon. And when that happens, prices are going to go through the roof . . .

    --Brent bhugh [at] mwsc.edu
     
  8. Brent Hugh

    Brent Hugh Guest

    Tim Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Where I live (a very safe and crime-free suburban Californian city) the idea that kids might ride
    > their bikes to school, or even walk, seems to be something out of the past. All kids now are
    > chauffered by their moms (or very occasionally, pops), usually in large SUVs.
    >
    > Is "Safe Routes to School" fighting this trend? If so, how?

    See http://www.saferoutestoschools.org/

    As some others have mentioned on this thread, your best contribution might be to go down and get
    your local PTA and local school(s) on board with this. It's really designed to be run as a local,
    grass-roots effort that starts with asking students the question, "What is keeping you from walking
    or riding your bike to school?" But, on the other hand, the national organization does have some
    good ideas . . . the free book you can order or download has a lot of very good ideas.

    The name might suggest that building facilities (sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.) might be their main
    emphasis, but actually changing attitudes is equally important. SR2S has quite a lot of inexpensive,
    simple ideas to get things jump-started.

    --Brent bhugh [at] mwsc.edu
     
  9. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    [email protected] (Brent Hugh) wrote:

    >Tim Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> "Doug Huffman" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Why should you 'donate' to buy what your taxes shouldn't buy?
    >> >
    >> >The physical and legal infrastructure for safe cycling exist. What is needed now is effective
    >> >principled leadership to allow their use.
    >>
    >> What's really needed is a shift in cultural values, and I suspect that LAB cannot do that. $6 per
    >> gallon gasoline would, but that's not going to happen any time soon.
    >
    >On the contrary . . .
    >
    > http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=449053
    > http://www.isv.uu.se/uhdsg/OilIPCC/Conclusions.doc
    >
    >"World oil and gas supplies are heading for a 'production crunch' sometime between 2010 and 2020
    >when they cannot meet supply, because global reserves are 80 per cent smaller than had been
    >thought, new forecasts suggest."

    Yes, I'm aware of the doomsday predictions about a forthcoming oil and gas crunch. See also

    http://www.oilcrisis.com/laherrere/

    At least these reports are done by geologists, not economists, which lends them more credibility.

    If an energy crunch comes in 2010 (the earlist projected date), it's very hard to imagine all that
    will ensue. As a cyclist, I would rejoice to see fewer cars, and more pedestrians and cyclists, on
    the roads. But I would not be so happy to discover that a round-trip tourist-class air ticket to
    Europe now costs about $6500, or that it will cost $7000 to heat my home for the winter (and I live
    in California).

    I'd split the difference between the geologists and the economists, and will guess that the energy
    crunch will occur about 2025-2030. That's what I meant by "not any time soon".
     
  10. "Tim Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Where I live (a very safe and crime-free suburban Californian city) the idea that kids might ride
    > their bikes to school, or even walk, seems to be something out of the past. All kids now are
    > chauffered by their moms (or very occasionally, pops), usually in large SUVs.

    I live in a similar type of city.

    I walk my kids to school every day. They actually would rather that I drive them, because crossing
    the two, non-major, streets on the way is scary. It's like we're invisible, the crosswalks are
    ignored and the stop signs are ignored. Screaming at the drivers is fruitless. Oh, and most of these
    cars are driven by parents driving their cars to school. The police come out occasionally to do
    enforcement, but it's not enough.

    I was determined to not lose this battle. It cost me $15, but now the cars all stop. My kids call me
    their "personal crossing guard."

    http://www.lumastrobe.com/warning1.htm

    While driver's may not stop for pedestrians, it is EXTREMELY rare that they won't stop for what they
    percieve to be a crossing guard.

    I wish I could let them walk to school by themselves, but I just don't have the stomach for it.
     
  11. Mark Weaver

    Mark Weaver Guest

    My son rides his bike to middle school most days (about a mile to a mile and half) and rode it to
    elementary school when he didn't walk (about half a
    mile). My daughter *could* ride her bike to high school (also a bit over a mile with a good
    residential street / bike path route) but wouldn't be caught dead doing so. The attitude of
    parents and kids is the real problem, I think, not the infrastructure.
     
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