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Are kids back in school?

Old 09-13-19, 06:08 AM
  #1  
big chainring 
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Are kids back in school?

This is somewhat off topic but relates to traffic and bike riding. School started a couple weeks ago in my community. But I dont see any kids walking down the street. The local grade school is literally two blocks from my house. Sadly, nearly every kid from kindergarten to senior in high school gets driven to school.

I sometimes get caught riding in the pick up mania when school lets out in the afternoon. I'll be riding along when suddenly traffic gets super heavy. Big back ups of cars leading to the front door of whatever school I pass by. The other day Traffic was backed up for 3/4 of a mile. Every car had mom and one child in the car. And the sidewalks are empty. What the heck happened?

Less school buses too. We used to get several buses coming down the street. Not anymore. We used to pay extra for school bus service for our kids. And now I think its been discontinued. Kids dont ride the bus!

Cars, cars, cars.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:35 AM
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I also have a school 2 blocks from home, on the route to my local rail trail. Massive # of cars for drop-off, but buses too -- what's missing is kids walking, that's a thing of the past (safety is probably the reasoning). Been caught in a squeeze between cars trying to drive past and drivers who just did drop-off or pick-up and pulling out form the curb, not looking for cyclists... but I have not become 2-dimensional (yet). I try to plan my rides so I am not passing at the times that school is beginning or ending.

I am convinced that the bar is low for selecting school bus drivers, I regularly see them running stop signs or at least overshooting the stop line if they do stop (coming to rest in the crosswalk), also failure to yield right of way and pulling out in front of drivers and cyclists. Perhaps they are told that driving a school bus, with or without kids on board, gives them carte blanche to drive as they please. At least based on my observations.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:48 AM
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Safety.

I see plenty of kids walking to school in my neighborhood. I also see many parents walking with them everyday.

The bikes racks seem pretty full.

what shocks me is the size of the backpacks these kids have to lug.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:20 AM
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Moved to General.

Also, my kids walked to school every year from K-8. The HS is too far away, the roads are horrible, and the parents that do drive are worse than the roads.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:25 AM
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Yes. I hate when my commute involves interaction with kids or the buses.
  • One day I was standing on the pedals up a climb and a school bus passed me. The kids were chantingout the windows "Pe-Dal Pe-Dal Pe-Dal" the whole way by. It was funny.
  • Another time I was going past a school where the kids were getting out for the day. A young lad around 11 or so leans over and in a gruff voice says "Nice ass." WTH?
  • I was coming down a local hollow know for being trashy. A bus had stopped ahead and was coming toward me. Some little dipwad throw something out the window and hit me in the arm enough to draw blood.
  • I was following a bus on day and some kids got off. One very "gangish" looking teen got off and as I pedaled by he said "Nice bike, sir."
  • Not to mention the times when the road is completely blocked by parents picking up their kids.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Safety.

I see plenty of kids walking to school in my neighborhood. I also see many parents walking with them everyday.

The bikes racks seem pretty full.

what shocks me is the size of the backpacks these kids have to lug.
Weird. School districts around here got rid of books years ago.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:58 AM
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Yeah, same in Texas where at least some school districts used to offer more bus service.

It's a combination of helicopter parenting and a mix of legitimate fears exaggerated by myths like the 1980s Satanic Panic.

My usual bike route passes some nearby suburban elementary and middle schools no matter which direction I go. I can see why parents drive their kids. Unlike the New York 'burbs where I misspent part of my youth, Texas never really considered walking as a viable form of transportation. Most of my neighborhood lacks sidewalks, so kids would be forced to cut through yards (risky in a gun-happy state) or walk in the streets.

As the '80s Missing Persons song goes, only a nobody walks in LA... or anywhere in Texas.

The only place we do bother to build sidewalks are where nobody needs or uses them -- mostly as decorative items near shopping centers. Those useless sidewalks and tree lined strips that would have served better if they'd been conceived and built as multi-use paths, without obstructed views caused by unnecessary trees planted like soldiers in a row.

And on my bike rides I do complete stops at the intersections around school zones. Sometimes I'm the only one who actually stops. The parents themselves tend to roll through and ignore school bus stop signs and lights. They're only concerned about their own little darlings, not anyone else's.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:05 AM
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Because of subdivisions.

The contemporary subdivision has replaced interconnected neighborhoods.

The modern subdivision has one or two exits onto busy secondary roads with no other way to get to schools, churches, stores, etc. Kids can't get anywhere safely without walking or riding on busy streets whereas interconnected neighborhoods used to provide multiple routes to such places using relatively quiet residential streets.

Contemporary subdivisions have ruined police enforcement - the foot patrol is no longer practical and so police are now stuck in cars and rarely enter subdivisions unless called.

The concept of a minivan owes its existence to the rise of non-connected subdivisions. Everyone wants a giant house with a pool and playground in the backyard and a home theater in the basement so that they don't have to leave the subdivision.

It has not been good for society.


Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
what shocks me is the size of the backpacks these kids have to lug.
+1

My daughter's backpacks were ridiculously heavy as early as 2nd grade and some kids have those folding carts to wheel their bookbags.


-Tim-
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Old 09-13-19, 11:26 AM
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fwiw: sadly, an 88 yr old woman who lived near an elementary school in Amherst, MA, was struck & killed by a school van this week
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Old 09-13-19, 11:56 AM
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In Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada they've put in LOTS of idiot roundabouts. Any pedestrian trying cross near them is risking life and limb. I dread to think what'd happen to any child foolish enough to try and cross one. What's even worse is that many of these roundabouts have a long divided road for a kilometer or so. Some roads are divided from one roundabout to the next one. The result is fast moving traffic that doesn't have a break in it. So much for the Region trying to get people to bicycle or walk more. It seems the Region is doing all it can to make cars the preferred method of transportation.

Cheers
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Old 09-13-19, 04:19 PM
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We live next to an elementary school and see few kids walking to school. Most The school and neighborhood were built together in the 60's, but not many lower el kids live here anymore as it is an aging neighborhood. Their parents have moved out further into the Pulte developments so they either get bussed in or mom drives them in. One unusual thing I see is a neighbor kid gets on the bus every morning to go to this school. He literally lives 3 blocks away. Parents want him to get used to the bus. As if it takes years of lower el to get accustomed to it by the time they are in middle school. Talk about misdirected.
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Old 09-13-19, 04:38 PM
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The "city" schools here plan to stop bus service in the next month or so for kids within 1 mile (or 1.5...I've forgotten) of their respective schools. Seems in line with my walk/bike ride as a kid (in the mid-60's), BUT around here there are very few sidewalks, no crosswalks, narrow or zero shoulders, deep ditches etc...adding the crazy traffic load and cell phone myopia---wow---I'm not sure it is a good idea. That said, it will probably just increase the crazy car lines others have already alluded to...will brick and mortar survive?
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Old 09-13-19, 05:01 PM
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I have two high schoolers in two different schools (specialty programs). My daughter goes to our neighborhood school and walks the 1.5 miles with a group of girlfriends. My son goes to a school 6.5 miles away. He rides his bike.

I see lots of kids who walk or ride. I wish it were more.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post

"I am convinced that the bar is low for selecting school bus drivers, I regularly see them running stop signs or at least overshooting the stop line if they do stop (coming to rest in the crosswalk), also failure to yield right of way and pulling out in front of drivers and cyclists. Perhaps they are told that driving a school bus, with or without kids on board, gives them carte blanche to drive as they please. At least based on my observations.
That is the same kind of ignorant, intolerant, unsubstantiated remark that so many vehicle operators make about bicyclists. If you are going to run your mouth about a subject, give it some substance to back up what you say. Your "observations", in my opinion, are tunnel vision and hyperbole based on what you perceive to be an inconvenience to you.Yes, I am a school bus driver, and yes, I am offended by your ridiculous post. I proudly, and safely, transport children to school and back to home.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:26 PM
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Parents are afraid of abductions and other crimes, real or not. There have been studies on perceptions of crime vs actual statics of crimes. Perception is everything. I walked and then when further away, rode my bicycle from the first grade on, could you imagine that now. I stood at the bus stop alone, now the buses pick the kids up at the end of each driveway with the parents sitting with them in their cars. It has become ridiculous.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Because of subdivisions.

The contemporary subdivision has replaced interconnected neighborhoods.

The modern subdivision has one or two exits onto busy secondary roads with no other way to get to schools, churches, stores, etc. Kids can't get anywhere safely without walking or riding on busy streets whereas interconnected neighborhoods used to provide multiple routes to such places using relatively quiet residential streets.

Contemporary subdivisions have ruined police enforcement - the foot patrol is no longer practical and so police are now stuck in cars and rarely enter subdivisions unless called.

The concept of a minivan owes its existence to the rise of non-connected subdivisions. Everyone wants a giant house with a pool and playground in the backyard and a home theater in the basement so that they don't have to leave the subdivision.

It has not been good for society.




+1

My daughter's backpacks were ridiculously heavy as early as 2nd grade and some kids have those folding carts to wheel their bookbags.


-Tim-
We're extremely lucky to live in a walkable subdivision, built in the late 50s and early 60s. It has an interesting feature: While it has the curvy streets and cul-de-sacs that were becoming popular, there's also a network of walkways that cut through the neighborhood, in between houses, so the kids can walk or bike to school without really ever seeing any traffic at all. It's pretty cool.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Parents are afraid of abductions and other crimes, real or not. There have been studies on perceptions of crime vs actual statics of crimes. Perception is everything. I walked and then when further away, rode my bicycle from the first grade on, could you imagine that now. I stood at the bus stop alone, now the buses pick the kids up at the end of each driveway with the parents sitting with them in their cars. It has become ridiculous.
I know this comment is certainly making your point regarding perception, but here goes anyway...

This day and age you just can't be too careful regarding your kids. Far too many sickos out there. I understand that over-protection may not be good for society and overall good for kids in general, but the times have drastically changed.

That's my two cents worth...
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Old 09-13-19, 09:05 PM
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My neighborhood is really walkable and people do. Iím proud of it. Itís a subdivision as dissed above, but the school is located at the exit, which seems smart.

The older kids can walk, or more likely scooter home. However for the smaller kids they have rules about chain of custody. The teacher is watching as they pile out the door that they have someone to get them.

there are a few buses. Also a lot of buses to the various daycares. Thereís a pickup lane, it has rules and maybe even its own frantic society. The school has smartly placed it on the back road rather than the exit road with heavy through traffic.

Iím not saying itís perfect but itís been thought through and it works.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:17 PM
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If schools around here do not maintain a certain percentage of enrollement, they get closed and sold. That forces the kids from those neighbourhoods to get bussed or driven to the next school that remains open. It is a nightmare for everyone. We had a jk to grade 8 school two blocks from us when we started having kids. Of course it got changed to a grade 6 to 8 school, so our wee ones had to go a mile down the road to the next school that was open. We still live in the same house and the school has reverted to jk to 8 now and there are tons of kids walking, and being bussed and driven too. But there are no little kids walking, just the older ones.

My sons in law enforcement, what he has told us of the number of predators out there is down right scary. I would not let my kids walk to school nowadays either.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:32 PM
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Funny thing is these parents are the exact people that complain about global warming.

Want to protect your little tide pod eating tax deduction? Walk them to and from school.

Most of these parents could more than use the exercise.

I am all for the parents picking the kids up when it's raining.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
I know this comment is certainly making your point regarding perception, but here goes anyway...

This day and age you just can't be too careful regarding your kids. Far too many sickos out there. I understand that over-protection may not be good for society and overall good for kids in general, but the times have drastically changed.

That's my two cents worth...
Yes, but the truth of the matter is there was always sickos and that crime is down overall from when I was growing up. The 24 hour new cycle, sensationalized news and to some degree, not being political, fake news, has created a mass anxiety, even hysteria that is being acted out in ways that when I think back to my childhood, are bizarre.

So I am not sure the times have drastically changed to support the hysteria. When I was a child, adults were important, now that I am an adult, children, the little buggers are the freaking center of the universe. We all love our blood kin and I try to love my neighbors, really, I do, but jeez, it is hard sometimes .

I have a little neighbor girl, a sweet girl, we live way out on acreage for perspective, she likes to ride her BSO to my driveway end for some reason and sing country songs of various sorts. LOL, bless her little pea picking soul but she has a voice that will curdle milk. But, at least she is out on a bicycle, so sing little girl, sing!
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Old 09-14-19, 07:28 AM
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The school district I live in, all the elementary schools are built within neighborhoods. School buses here do not pick up any age student that lives less than two miles away, unless there are hazardous roadway crossings that would endanger walking or cycling students.

So, you got a whole lot of parents cars taking wee ones to elementary school, let's just say the ratio is 40% car riders and 60% bus riders/walkers/bicyclists.

That ratio changes drastically once the kids get to middle school. Probably 15% car riders or less.

High school it flips back a large degree due to the students that get drivers licenses and cars.

My kids were bus riders through their senior years in high school. Probably only a handful of seniors in the burbs ride buses to school due to most seemingly having cars by then. I just couldn't swing getting cars for my kids until they were college age. Insurance is a budget eater.
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Old 09-14-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I am convinced that the bar is low for selecting school bus drivers, I regularly see them running stop signs or at least overshooting the stop line if they do stop (coming to rest in the crosswalk), also failure to yield right of way and pulling out in front of drivers and cyclists. Perhaps they are told that driving a school bus, with or without kids on board, gives them carte blanche to drive as they please. At least based on my observations.
Where did that come from? There are a LOT of school bus drivers. Show me 100 of anything, including bicycle riders, and I'm going to like some better than others. To paint an entire class of people with the same brush to me is the mark of a bigoted person.
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Old 09-14-19, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Where did that come from? There are a LOT of school bus drivers. Show me 100 of anything, including bicycle riders, and I'm going to like some better than others. To paint an entire class of people with the same brush to me is the mark of a bigoted person.
Might be the school district he lives within.

Around here, the school bus drivers are pretty good. It's the city bus drivers that have no regard for other traffic on the road.
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Old 09-14-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Might be the school district he lives within.
Exactly. I'm reporting what I experience directly.
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