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Gingersnap
10-06-2010, 12:48 PM
Walk to School Day aims to get more feet, not vehicles, on the street

By Jeremy P. Meyer
The Denver Post

Posted: 10/06/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 10/06/2010 08:30:45 AM MDT

Every morning before school, streets around Denver's Hill Middle School are aswarm with minivans, SUVs, bicycles, pedestrians and school buses.

"I have an army of adults out there directing traffic and trying to keep everyone from running into each other," said principal Don Roy.

The same type of chaos plays out at most schools today in an era in which less than 15 percent of U.S. children walk or ride their bikes to school.

Most students today get chauffeured by parents a trend that a worldwide campaign hopes to reduce.

This morning is International Walk to School Day, an event intended to promote benefits of walking and bicycling to school.

About 200 Colorado schools have signed up to host walk events at their schools, including Superior Elementary School in Boulder Valley, Swansea Elementary in Denver and Kemp Elementary in Commerce City.

"We're in the midst of a revolution around foot power," said Landon Hilliard, student transportation coordinator with Boulder Valley School District. "It seems to me that more people are cluing on the health benefits. There is some social momentum going on. You see more bike trains and walking school buses."

In a quiet Littleton neighborhood, parents gather kids from the cul de sac every morning and begin their trek to nearby Blue Heron Elementary.

"We have a rotating pool of parents," said Jacquie Garrelts, who on Tuesdays chaperones about eight students from her block to school. "The kids get a little exercise as part of their daily routine, and you just get this sense of a neighborhood."

In the 1960s, roughly half of students walked or biked to school every day, according to the National Safe Routes to School Task Force.

But the numbers of walking students have been falling over the years as public education changes.

While there's some truth to the open enrollment/charter school explanation, the vast majority of kids along the Front Range go to neighborhood schools. I think parental fear is more of a driving force.

Read more: Walk to School Day aims to get more feet, not vehicles, on the street - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16263701?_requestid=5591021#ixzz11b8cVvM7

djones520
10-06-2010, 12:55 PM
Only time I ever rode the bus was when the school was more then a couple miles away from my house. In High School I lived about 20 miles away, in Florida about 30 miles. 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th I walked every day, even in the middle of winter.

Otherwise I had to ride the bus just because of the sheer distance of country livin.

Twill be the same way for my kids.

noonwitch
10-06-2010, 02:49 PM
My elementary school was a mile from my house, so we rode the bus. Once I was in 4th grade, my mom let us ride our bikes to school the last week of the year, and the first week in the fall (when the weather was still nice).

I lived virtually next door to the middle school, so I walked. My high school was a couple of miles away, so I rode the bus until my senior year, when I had the "kids' car" to myself and drove.

Articulate_Ape
10-06-2010, 03:02 PM
1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th I walked every day, even in the middle of winter...

...through three feet of snow, up hill, both ways. :p

Arroyo_Doble
10-06-2010, 03:07 PM
I think parental fear is more of a driving force.

I agree.

warpig
10-06-2010, 03:50 PM
...through three feet of snow, up hill, both ways. :p

:D

Sonnabend
10-06-2010, 07:19 PM
Parents are not about to let their kids out of their sight when they know there are registered sex offendors in their area. This idea = fail.

Gingersnap
10-06-2010, 08:20 PM
I agree.

The vast majority of kids who are sexually attacked are attacked by their mothers' lovers, family friends, teachers/group authority figures, or relatives.

The vast number kids snatched are snatched by non-custodial parents.

When I walked to school in high school, I had my share of male attention, including a few poor losers who thought that the sight of their junk would either shock or seduce me. I wasn't traumatized. Grossed out, maybe. (Why is it always old guys (30 is really old and disgusting to a 17 year old))?

If parents teach their kids what to do if approached, they ought to let them walk to school alone. Sixteen is not the right time to be testing your wings for the very first time. :eek:

NJCardFan
10-06-2010, 11:40 PM
Only time I ever rode the bus was when the school was more then a couple miles away from my house. In High School I lived about 20 miles away, in Florida about 30 miles. 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th I walked every day, even in the middle of winter.

Otherwise I had to ride the bus just because of the sheer distance of country livin.

Twill be the same way for my kids.

I used to walk a 1/2 mile just to get to the bus stop.