Out of something like 1000 K-4th graders actually walked to school today.
Yesterday there were fewer.
Maybe just us.
And we're technically in the "no walk zone" since we have to cross a *busy* road. (For here... it is still a 25 MPH road)
Which FYI they have no crossing guard for despite being just 3 blocks from one of the elementary schools.
And for some unknown reason they've let the crosswalk markings on the road fade to nearly non-existent... yet have a school crossing sign pointing to it.
Yes, that's just what you want to promote driver awareness and pedestrian safety... right?... confusion?!
I LOVE trying to wait with my child to cross the road while car after car just drives by oblivious to our right of way.
I'm committed to walking as long as we can (which In MI might not be much longer due to ice on the sidewalks and roads... and you may recall my butt & ice don't mix), despite walking 3/4 mile each way (which equals 3 miles a day for me).
Because it's healthier, faster than the buses (which pick up next door a half an hour before we leave to walk, and arrive home 45 minutes later after school), and great exercise for the both of us. It also means Kid arrives at school alert and ready to learn. And it gives us an opportunity to talk about our day.
But there are less than a handful of parents walking or encouraging their children to walk to school even from within the "no bus zone" which is between 1 and 4 blocks from the schools with crossing guards and sidewalks.
I saw only ONE bike locked up in the bike stand outside of our school yesterday.
It is such a disturbing reflection.
I have more things to say... but a lot of it is angry statements at how distracted drivers are and how self-obsessed people have become that they are more concerned with making that left than letting a child cross the road IN THE FUCKING SCHOOL CROSSWALK to get to school.
That just pisses me off.
And so I do get why some parents thinking walking is unsafe (although honestly there is a large population of families in the village for whom the walking safety is not an issue), and to be sure I would not let Kid walk/scooter to school by herself considering the current road issue.
And instead of the town putting money into maintaining and improving the crosswalks (giving tickets just one day to drivers would probably have a big effect since this is a small town with the same drivers on the same roads at the same time every day) to make walking a safe and practical mode of transportation for those of us who really do live close enough to walk... instead... they spend markedly more bussing (people, up until this year they bussed EVERY child door to door... even if you lived NEXT DOOR to the school).
Then we wonder what to do about our rising rates of childhood obesity.
P.S. the bag of donuts the school gives out for breakfast aren't helping either.
I think unfortunately we're in a bit of a "which comes first the chicken or the egg" scenario now. If fewer and fewer families walk, drivers will become less accustomed to watching out for pedestrians... and then walking becomes much more dangerous... and then less people will walk. A little education could go a long way here.
Oh and just so you know... most of the drivers that don't stop to let us cross... are PARENTS DRIVING THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL.