SUVs Go Home! School Allows Only Bikers and Walkers

Hey Readers: Here’s a nice story from our friends up north! No — not another igloo. A Canadian school that really wants kids to get there on their own. Listen to this:

… P.L. Robertson elementary in Milton, which opened this week, has been designated a “walking-only school,” where students will be strongly encouraged to use their feet – or bikes or any other active way – to get there.

It is part of a broader initiative at the Halton District School Board to stop traffic jams around schools and get students moving.

Gridlock in the parking lot and surrounding streets is an all-too common problem for schools in the Greater Toronto Area, thanks to parents who insist on driving their children, even if they don’t live all that far away.

At other schools, Joyce Jermyn has watched parents who live close by drive their kids, cramming their cars in between buses, then idling as the youngsters make their way inside, even though staff is out there helping kids get to class.

“For me, exercise has always been a part of who I am and what I do,” says Jermyn, vice-principal at P.L. Robertson. “There are too many kids who don’t want to go outside because they never play outside.”

Let’s hope other schools follow in these footsteps. Literally. — Lenore

47 Responses

  1. This is awesome. The idling cars at our local school pose a far greater safety risk than anything I can imagine the walking children could face. I think I’m going to email this article to our school district.

  2. What a great way to encourage independence and promote healthy activity at the same time.

  3. Awesome! I have three cousins in that district who have always walked to school. Let’s hope this helps get some of their classmates out of mom’s SUV and into the world!

  4. Very cool and something quite positive to see! Huzzah!

  5. I am in a mommy n me gymnastics class with my daughter. I struck up a conversation with a woman who also has a toddler, but in addition has a couple of older kids, 5 and 8. She told me (with no hesitation whatsoever) that not only does she drive her kids to school everyday, she still walks both kids (not just the 5 year old) to their classroom. Please know that we live in a very safe community in the SF Bay Area. You could hear in her voice though that we might as well be Beirut, the streets are so bad. Although not just the streets, the path from the front of the school to the classroom!

  6. What a radical concept — propel yourself to school!

  7. Last year at my sons elementary school for a period over three weeks they did a survey how the kids would get to school in the mornings — the kids had to mark it off in the entrance hall, and after it turned out that way too many kids were getting a ride from their parents, many of the kids themselves begged their parents to rather let them take the bus or walk or take the bike and such, ;-).

    So long,
    Corinna

  8. P.S.: As I was reading Bose’s comment about the mom who walks her kids to class even though they live in a very safe area, I remembered a project they also started at my son’s elementary school: We live in a safe area, too (Austria, btw), but there is a lot of traffic plus a main bus and tram station right in front of the school. So the school got groups of students together, who have to walk the same route, and in the first few months of the school year they’ll have an adult walk the kids over to school until they feel comfortable enough to walk by themselves.

    So long,
    Corinna

  9. I commute by bike with my son by bike from the east to the west side on Manhattan each morning. There are bike lanes on 91st Street and 77th Street that could make our trip safer and more efficient, but every morning at 8:15 these lanes are jam-packed with parents parking to drop off their kids. The drop off scene is so congested and chaotic that some parents simply stop in the middle of the road and discharge their kids in the middle of the street. This makes the roads nearly impassable for cyclists so we have been forced to use roads without bike lanes to get my son to school by bike. The problem is just as bad at public schools like PS 87 limited to kids who live within the district–usually a mile or so–as it is at private schools like Dalton and Trinity. I don’t excuse any of them, but the heavy car traffic at the schools ostensibly limited to neighborhood kids cries out for a fix. The schools should close the streets immediately surround the school to motor vehicle traffic to disperse the chaos and ensure some degree of active transportation in these kids’ lives.

  10. I normally walk my kids half way to their school (it’s about 3 blocks) but the other day we were running late and my husband decided to drive them and then take me and our 3yo out to eat so we got to the school just before the first bell (which is at 8am, they are supposed to be there at 7:50am). It was absolute chaos on the street in front of the school. It’s a 2 way residential street but is very narrow. With cars parked on both sides you can really only fit one car down the street at a time. In front of the school building to the corner there is no parking but people go both directions and park on that side in both directions. They park feet away from the curb blocking traffic, people try to squeeze their giant SUVs around tangles of cars while kids are jumping out of other vehicles all over the place. I had to close my eyes because I was sure we were going to get hit or hit someone or something. It was insane. And some parents do this every single day and only live a couple blocks away.
    I know there is this woman who lives about 2 blocks away and drives her kids every single morning. At first I thought it was because she went right to work after but sometimes I drop off the kids and go to the store (which is a block down the street from her house) and I’ve seen her parking her car and going back into her house after dropping her kids off.
    We are one of the few walking families and I’m about the only parents of a child younger then 13 that doesn’t walk their kids all the way to the school. There’s a woman that lives directly across the street from the school who walks her 5th grader by hand across the street (although I don’t blame her for coming out to watch her kids cross the street with the crazy traffic but it isn’t as bad before 7:50) and walks her to her line and waits with her. She’s 11 for crying out loud. I think she can handle getting herself in line and waiting with her classmates (and for the record 5th and up can walk themselves to and from school by the school rules). She also picks her daughter up every afternoon and walks her, by hand, back home.

  11. My stepdaughter’s 11 yr old stepdaughter asked for a ride to the bus stop this morning b/c it is cold and rainy. The bus stop is two houses down from my house. I just gave her a weird look and said, “Don’t forget to wear a coat!”

  12. Good for this district! School zones are totally insane around drop-off/pick-up times and I, for one, am so happy that we live close enough for my 10 year old son to walk to school. The school is 3 blocks down and 3 blocks over, so it’s a bit of a walk. He’s been doing it since grade 4 (last year). I will admit that it was HARD for me to give him that freedom but it was something he needed for his independance. And my heart jumps if the phone rings in the half hour after school starts because I fear that it’s the school calling to tell me he didn’t show up. And I’ve been known to yell at him if he takes too long on the way home after school-his record once was 40 minutes!! But he’s 10, not an adult, and I still worry for his safety.

  13. I walked to kindergarten by myself. When it rained, I wore a rain coat and rain boots. This being said, we live 5 miles from my son’s school. On the mornings when we miss the bus, I drive him and am constantly flabbergasted at the parents who drive their kids from the subdivision right across the street.

  14. Last week, two articles appeared in our local paper within about a week, both referring to the elementary school four blocks from me.

    The first was about the dangerous traffic problems at some local elementary schools, including the one in my neighborhood.

    The second was about a 13 year old girl who was literally grabbed by a genuine stranger a block from the school and three blocks from my house. (She got away, but Free Range wannabe me is trying to figure out what I should do come spring when my home schooled kids want to roam the neighborhood like I let them do last year.)

    What interests me is that the TV news report about the attempted snatching included comments from a few parents saying, “I’m going to drive my kids from now on!” And these were parents from this neighborhood, just a couple of blocks from the school.

    Now, the fear reaction is totally understandable — that was a pretty scary incident, and there’s no clue who the guy was and little likelihood he’ll be caught. But it occurs to me that if the sidewalks were crawling with kids at 8 a.m., it would be a lot safer in terms of potential abductions, and a lot safer in terms of traffic. But no one wants to be the first one to let their kids walk when that potential danger is out there.

  15. I detest driving my kids to school. Our school has 750 students and a parking lot that is ill designed. We have the psychotic, entitled SUV driving moms cutting you off, cursing you out if you don’t pull up far enough, idling for 20 minutes after school so they can be the first in line to get little Brittaneigh to her French Ballet/Soccer lesson – AHHH! My kids get driven only if they are carrying something too large to fit on the school bus. Otherwise, either get to the bus stop on time, or hit the pavement kiddo.

  16. When I was in 6th grade, some guy tried to get me into his car. I had this very old-school (and very old) grandmother who raised me. She had been molested at 7 while walking milk into town from her family’s farm. This would have been 1914. She made sure that I walked to school every day, regardless of weather (Denver), and she drilled into my head what to watch for, and what to do should I feel ‘iffy’ about anybody. My walk was a mile, usually there were other kids, but this particular day I was running late.
    This guy cruised by, slowing waaaaaaaay down as he drove past me. Creeped me out. When he got ahead of me enough, I went down a side street, and got up on the lawns. I literally crept bush to bush down that block watching for him. Sure enough, he went around the block, drove very slowly, peeing about for me. I stayed behind a bush, and when he took the corner again, turning the other way, I ran like a bat out of hell to the next block, used the same strategy going up and down blocks. I would see the guy cruising every now and then. I made it all the way to across the street from my school, and was just about to cross the street when he pulled up right in front, showed a gun, and told me to get in his car. Are you kidding?!?!? I started yelling like a banshee, and ran right into the street. Got the school secretary, told her the whole story, cops were called, whole nine yards.
    Long and short, I had the tools to be aware of my surroundings and keep myself as safe a possible for a 12 year old, nobody ever found the guy, I never saw him again, and I didn’t get a ride to school the next day, or any other day. By eighth grade I was taking 2 public busses a total of 15 miles to go to private school. The most annoying thing about that was the wearing of skirts in the Denver winter. Still no ride though darnit.

  17. I live a literal stone’s throw away from an elementary school, and the traffic congestion on our street after school lets out is ridiculous, I make a point never to take the car anywhere around 3:30pm because there are so many cars out there. I’ve had people block my driveway with their cars, even one parent park her car in my driveway because she couldn’t possibly walk a block to come and get little Johnny (it was raining). One morning I could not get out of my driveway, because one of the buses was stuck at the intersection by our house, because there was a minivan parked at the bus stop in front of the school. When I was a kid it took me a good 20 minutes to walk to school, our house could have been further away and still not be in the bus zone :). All the kids walked to school, it was of note when someone’s parent actually showed up to pick them up.

  18. What’s crazy is how dangerous it is for the kids. I used to have to drive past a local public school each afternoon to pick up my son from a private school (it was WAY too far to walk and the school was too small to provide a bus), and it was absolutely terrifying to make one of the turns I had to make from the side street, since the parents parked right up to the intersection, and you just couldn’t see whether there were other cars OR KIDS in the street you were turning onto. Of course taking it at 5mph was pretty safe, but how much do you want to bet every single person driving past that school slowed down that much?

    I realize that it’s a real hardship for some people to have to park half a block down and walk to the corner to wait for your kid, but don’t these parents even think that it might be MY kid taken out if I’m blocking the intersection?

  19. @shortylion: I live in Piedmont, also a safe town in the SF Bay Area. The entire town is 1.8 square miles, we have 3 elementary schools 1 middle and one highschool. We could declare the entire district a “no drive your kids to school zone” and no one would really have much trouble getting to school.

    Another helpful strategy would be to make the drop off zone farther from the school, like at least a block or two. There’s be a crossing guard where necessary, but the advantage of dropping the kids off would be less and even if they were driven there, they’d at least get a little excercise.

    btw – my kids get themselves to school and have since 2nd and 1st grade respectively. Now the older one (10 yo boy) rides his bike and the younger walks to a friends house and they walk to school together (her mom takes em across the only big intersection with no guard). They love the independence, and so do I.

  20. I’ve responded to a previous posting that was similar in nature ( “Wow! Maybe Biking to School is NOT a Crime?”) so I won’t regale everyone with a repeat, but it still shows that some people still just don’t get it. I drive an SUV (job requirement) but I’d be the last person to use that as a reason to be abusive. Kids really do need to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine, so unless there’s a blizzard or horizontal rain (like we’re having today in SoCal) they can get their heavy coats and umbrellas, and pound the pavement. When I did have to drive them, I’d drop them off at the back entrance of the school, because hardly anyone remembered it was there. Trying to get to the front was impossible, it being a half-block from the main 4-lane highway, so we never attempted it. The kids always made it to school. Besides, in our town if you even looked like you were impeding a school bus or causing any kind of traffic problem you’d get stopped, and sometimes get a ticket for it. The cops here always seem to know who’s going to cause the most problems when dropping off their kids (those parents are SO predictable) that they keep an eye out for them when they show up. They’re just a visual reminder to mind your manners, not cause problems for others, and really, aren’t your kids way more important than your monster truck?

  21. More districts need to do this. I’m glad to live so close to my daughter’s school because we like walking and parking is terrible there. The recent rains have given me one day where I drove to get her, but still walked a fair distance because so many other parents were also picking up by car.

    For about two months they had a sign up the school that state law requires cars to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. I can’t say how effective it was, but the signs we pretty dented up very quickly and came down.

  22. If only my town could do this. Very hard to implement even on a local basis — driving parents have the excuse that they have to schlep their kids to after school activities, or that they’re dropping off their kids before heading to work (legit). We live in a very safe, walkable town, yet the majority of parents choose to drive to school. I spoke with our mayor, who wanted (and failed) to get a ‘walk to school’ movement in gear sometime ago.

    Being that I live in this mess (stones’ throw from the elementary school), it’s not fun driving around here before AND after school. Worse, our kindergarten is shared by the whole town (there is another elementary school on the other side, but they could not expand, and so our side got stuck with the annex). I’d like to approach our PTO with this but don’t know how it’ll fly.

  23. @Bicyclesonly – Your comment depressed me. I know several fairly affluent folks who live in that neck of Manhattan, and none of them have every owned cars; they just use zip cars when needed. I figured if there was one place in the US where there wouldn’t be this problem, it would be Manhattan. If people are doing this there, is there any hope for the rest of us?

  24. This is a good rule not just for exercise, but to help ease rush hour traffic and accidents near the school.

    If you are a mile or more a way, you have the option of the bus, and should use it rather than a car. If you are less than a mile away, why NOT walk?

    I’ve always wondered about parents who do the car pick-up line; you have to sit there waiting and idling your engine for so long, creeping up bit by bit – why don’t they park two blocks from the school and tell the kids to walk and meet them, so they can park and read a book instead? That’s what I’d do. Of course, if you live that far away in the first place, you have a bus coming to you.

    I actually kind of wish we didn’t have a bus come to us (we’re only 3/4ths a mile from the school; I think it comes this close due to traffic crossings) so that kids would be forced to walk to school. I’d feel better about letting my kid (6) walk to school if an entire neighbourhood of kids was doing it at about the same time. As is, I won’t let her walk alone (she’s too young, I think, and there are some heavy-traffic crosswalks where cars don’t pay attention to pedestrians), but I occasionally walk with her instead of having her take the bus.

  25. When my mom did some missions work in Nicaragua one summer back in the early 70’s they did a bus-less bus ministry for church. A couple adults would walk the route picking kids up along the way and they’d all walk together.

    If parents are nervous about letting their kids walk alone but don’t want to deal with driving, they could do something similar with the other children who live on the same street. Just a thought when congestion gets too crazy around the schools. Even though my only child is still just a baby, having been a nanny I am all too familiar with overcrowded carpool lanes and crazy SUV-driving mamas!!

  26. @Babs..

    I totally believe that people would tend to think dropping kids off on the way to work is “legit” but, really, is it? Why can’t the kids walk or bike and just leave a little earlier and the parent just goes to work without stopping at the school? Or put the kids on the bus instead if they actually live further than walking distance? A parent having a different destination in the morning would seem like a bigger reason to allow kids to get to school on their own rather than requiring them to be driven.

    I’ve never seen more than a handful of cars waiting at my son’s school, thankfully. Our district is also actively seeking parental input in walking/biking and we live in a very, very pedestrian and bike friendly city that has a culture of avoiding cars when possible. I feel very fortunate that it is so natural for my son to walk to and from school.

    Part of last year we lived in a different state and the district there was the opposite – my son actually got in serious trouble one day – I’m talking the crazy safety monitor lady sticking her head in my car window and screaming at him and then at me when I defended him – for (safely! competently! in my direct line of sight!) crossing the cul-de-sac in the school pickup area instead of walking all the way around through a bunch of mud to my waiting car (he had to attend a distant school because the one next door to our house was overcrowded, and it had a split schedule where his grade was dismissed an hour before the others and before the bus came. Of course, he was not allowed to hang out on the playground or in the library until the bus showed up. ::sigh::). That place was nuts.

  27. Sounds fine, as long as they make common-sense exceptions for families where the adults or children really cannot walk or bike to school (because of injury, illness, or disability, or because they live farther from the school than practical, or if they’re volunteering on campus and have bulky supplies to bring). Might also be a good idea to have a grace period of five minutes, at least in the early going–it’s surprising how many people don’t know how long it can take to walk a few blocks with a five-year-old.

  28. I enjoy following the outrageous reports posted here daily, and usually am nodding in agreement with most of what is said. This article, and the reaction to it, disturbs me a bit however.

    I had thought that the free-range parenting movement was fundamentally libertarian – shunning political correctness in favor of practical, rational parenting, allowing parents to judge what is best for their children, and themselves.

    This article speaks not of ALLOWING kids to travel to school on foot, something I would wholeheartedly support, but essentially PROHIBITING them from traveling by car or (gasp) SUV. Shouldn’t we be supporting a parent’s right to choose?

    Somehow, from the tone of many posts on this topic and other discussions on this forum lately, I am becoming concerned that this movement is veering off into another type of poltical correctness – of a more faux-green-is-in let’s-burn-down-a-Hummer-dealership nature. Or simply becoming anti-affluent.

  29. David- I’d agree completely if more parents were inclined to ALLOW their kids to walk to school. Unfortunately, too many schools are in a position where even if kids are allowed to walk to school according to school rules, too many parents are choosing to drive them the 2 or 4 blocks they have to travel, even in great weather. This creates the traffic and safety problems that commenters have been sharing.

    It’s unfortunate that an all-out ban on driving kids to school seems to be the only way to get the message to people that the situation is not acceptable. If a parent’s right to choose would cover helping kids by driving (for example) large science projects and kids who were physically unable to walk, and we all had the brains to realize that anything else is just causing problems, that libertarian approach would be ideal. Sadly, many parents (whatever they drive) are acting like children, insisting on getting their own way, thinking THEY should be they exception- walking is fine for everyone else, but MY kid is special.

    I think an approach of letting everyone choose what’s best for him/herself and their kids would be great if anyone was willing to consider anyone else in the equation. We’re too selfish to consider how our actions affect other people, so we’re stuck with rules that were made to deal with the problems we’ve created.

  30. Chime, Mrs. Embers.

    The idea of not regulating everything to death works great, if everyone acts for the greater good. Alas, people do not.

  31. David: The problem the school and surrounding neighborhood were having was a classic “tragedy of the commons” scenario: the parents were overusing a limited common resource (space in front of the school and the adjacent streets) because they were treating it as essentially free (when in reality they were simply externalizing the costs of using it). So some restrictions on the use of that common resource are clearly necessary.

    Perhaps requiring parents who don’t have a compelling reason for needing to drive their kids (e.g. kids aren’t physically capable of walking, occasional need to bring lots of stuff) to buy a permit (of which there would be a limited number issued) in order to pick up/drop off kids would work. The number issued would be based on how many cars the area could reasonably accommodate without creating traffic snarls.

  32. I also forgot to mention that our school went through the motions of having a “Walk to School” day back in October. But unfortunately, it didn’t seem to have much of an impact. In fact, the crossing guard who works the corner of my block commented to me today about she thinks that too many parents are driving when they could easily be walking their kids — I told her I agreed, and no doubt the massive traffic makes her job a bit overwhelming at times.

    Zie, thanks for your input. Where do you live — I could easily see my town doing similar, but it’s a matter of getting more ‘buy in’ from the powers that be. I think I have to start with the principal and also work with our PTO (which are probably, I’m sure, some of the biggest offenders with driving vs. walking — and many are SAHMs who could easily do a ‘walking school bus’). We don’t have school buses — apparently, not enough kids to warrant the cost for the school system (I had asked about that as well).

    One reason my 6 y,o. doesn’t walk by herself is that, even with the crossing guards, there are a few careless drivers around here. Additionally, kindergarteners are not allowed to come/go by themselves (they must have a designated pickup person). Some parents I casually talked to said that most kids start walking solo around second or third grade.

    I think I’ll work on a principal letter next week. (Have also tried to lobby the assistant principal who oversees the kindergarten annex, but even he hasn’t been able to persuade parents to do more walking vs. driving.)

  33. Wow, I wish schools *in* Toronto would consider doing this.

    It’s not about victimizing the minority of kids who genuinely can’t walk to school, or prohibiting parents from helping out on Science Fair day; it’s about shifting back to a world in which driving all kids to school every day is not the norm.

  34. @babs. We currently live in Madison, WI. We spent part of last year in Marin Co. California.

  35. @zie – Ah Madison. I lived there for 5 years, next to the Georgia O’Keefe Middle School. Everyone walked. That place is paradise with snow!

  36. This is awesome. I live across the street from a middle school and constantly have to deal with people blocking my driveway when they pick up their kids.

    Most of the time I leave them a nasty note to tell them they will be ticketed and towed and have called the police a couple times and had it done.

    On top of that, my husband went out to tell someone to get out of our drive way. The driver’s excuse: “It’s raining and I’m here to pick up my son”..My husband said fine, but you’re not going to wait in my driveway.

  37. While my apartment complex might be technically close enough to the local school for kids to walk, they still have a bus pick them up because the road the school is on (a pretty busy road with a 40mph speed limit) isn’t really safe for kids to be walking on. Understandable.

    What’s crazy, though, is the number of people who will drive their kids to the bus stop. The complex is not that big, I can walk from one end to the other and back and still be well under a mile. Yet, there are 8-10 cars lined up along the road, waiting for the bus to come. The roads within the complex are only wide enough for two cars, so when they do that, they effectively turn it into a one-lane street. It’s not like they’re all just doing it because they then go to work (which some might, and that’s understandable, though I still don’t agree with it), I’ve seen cars then TURN AROUND (which adds to the congestion) and go back to their apartment.

  38. A total ban on driving would be a big problem for me, since we live too far from school for my fifth-grade daughter to walk. She asked a while ago to take the school bus, but when I looked into it, I discovered that the closest stop serving her school is nearly at the school itself. That would mean I’d have to drive her as far as the stop anyway, just so she could spend 30-40 minutes riding in the opposite direction while the bus picked up other kids. If the stop were within a block or two of our house, I’d be all for it, but as it is, it’s not worth the time or money (our district charges an annual fee to ride the bus).

    She will start walking in about a year and a half, when she starts junior high at a closer school, and I confess to being uneasy about that. It’s not because I think someone will kidnap her, but because I remember that when I walked anyplace as a teenager, I had to put up with endless harassment from men in cars. It didn’t matter how nice an area it was, from the minute I started walking, it was a constant barrage of men honking, whistling, yelling crude things out their windows, pulling up next to me and offering me rides, etc.

    I don’t know if this is unique to Southern California, where everyone drives everywhere and it’s not that common to see people walking. (I’ve walked in big cities with a lot of other pedestrians and never been bothered.) But it’s draining and demoralizing to have to deal with it every day, especially when you’re only 13, and I always desperately wished that one of my parents could drive me to school so I wouldn’t have to. I’m trying to imagine the conversation I’ll have to have with my daughter to prepare her before she starts walking, and it’s not a pleasant thought.

  39. I love the idea of walking-only. We live in a small town, where the elementary school is “out in the boonies” and still only 1 1/2 miles from the center. However, it’s on a 40 mph road (which people drive 60 on). The people living in the subdivision across the street drive their kids to school. There are no sidewalks in that area and no bike lanes anywhere around here. There are buses, but people don’t like the length of time their kids spend on them.

    The kicker is that the high school which is on the main street of downtown needs renovation and the school board is planning to move it out of town next door to the elementary school. Those of us who find this ridiculous are met with incomprehension from all the SUV driving-parent-pick-up folks who say they “want to plan for the future, not for walking” — as if they won’t have feet in the future.

    We even have an upper elementary and middle school which are eminently walkable, but folks just don’t get it, that this is a benefit and something to strive for or at the least maintain.

    There are other options for the high school, but we’re making very little headway getting them across to the decision makers. I have brought up occasionally the idea that we should create more disincentive to parent pick up, like having the kids dropped off as far from the school as possible but still on school grounds, but I get a lot of comments as to how that couldn’t possibly be done.

    I have never done parent pick up, but apparently at least they all have to park and come to the door on foot to retrieve the kids which cuts down on the idling issue. But it also means that we have this elementary school that holds 400 K-3 kids, with a huge parking lot — further ensuring its lack of walkability.

    That same parking lot allows them to manage the traffic for drop-off, so they keep designing and creating policies to enable driving rather than working to minimize the need. The policy change was a shift two years ago suddenly allowing kids to be dropped off at 8am for first bell at 8:30. It used to be held up until 8:15, in which case there would be a line of idling cars waiting until the kids were allowed to be dropped. Bus pick up for those same kids would have been around 7:45, which means they are mostly getting into the parents car about the same time they would have boarded the bus…

    We’ve pulled together GIS data showing the total number of residences within 1/2 mile of the in town schools (about 1100 for the high school, about 700 for the other two) versus 300 w/in 1/2 mile of the elementary. And shown how if you expand the reach to 1 mile, there are hugely more for the in town sites, but just a smattering for the elementary. And we are told that that isn’t relevant. Ultimately 1/2 the residences in the entire school district are w/in 1 mile of at least one of the in town schools. But apparently that doesn’t mean anything.

    So frustrating.

  40. That’s great!

    I wish we could do that.

    We live a 15 minute drive from the closest school and a 30 minute drive from my son’s school, so it won’t work for us unfortunately. But there are a lot of families that carpool at least.

  41. That’s great!

    I wish we could do that.

    We live a 15 minute drive from the closest school and a 30 minute drive from my son’s school, so it won’t work for us unfortunately. But there are a lot of families that carpool at least.

    Well, you can. Sorta. You can park further from the school and walk the extra distance.

  42. [...] Continue Reading at Free-Range Kids: freerangekids.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/suvs-go-home-school-allows-only-bikers-and-walkers/ [...]

  43. I would love to walk my daughter to school or ride bikes but when She was in Kindergarten they closed our neighborhood school and so we would have to risk our no sidewalk ,major roads and I don’t think they thought about safety for people who don’t have a safe route!!

  44. I dont know if you have heard of jamie oliver but he is a celebrity chief in britain he tried changing the school dinner in the uk, some school adopted his new menu but it seems that a lot of schools have gone back to the rubbish food that the school children wanted instead of the healthy food available.

    some times even tho the right answer is there schools cant take it and have to work within the set guide lines

  45. Awesome! I have three cousins in that district who have always walked to school. Let’s hope this helps get some of their classmates out of mom’s SUV and into the world!

  46. My thing is the bus drivers! They act like such control freaks! Step out of line one inch and they scream out the window at you, or at the very least scowl and snarl and basically treat you like garbage. Us, the parents, who pay the taxes,etc! The crossing guards are about the same or worse.

  47. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the internet. I am going to recommend this website!

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