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Are you kidding me? Unattended children on a bike path is just as unsafe for the children as it is for the cyclists.

Plenty of little people around the world walk at least a mile to school. So, while it will seem like a long way for 5 year old, if we take a bit of time to walk with them, they will get used to it.

Parents are shocked to find that their kids are obese and suffering from increased levels of diabetes, and demand that the schools do something about it Perhaps they can offer free medical care on the bus while it carries their darlings the mile to school.

Oh yeah the school better not ask for additional property taxes to "waste" on in-effecient programs either.

To the person who grouses about children on the path, slow down and relax. If you're really so much in a hurry that you can't take the extra time around little people, get on the road and hope that the cars take the extra time around you.
And kids who are too small to walk the mile, are small enough to fit on a bike seat for their parents to take them to school on the path.

When I was a kid, we actually enjoyed walking to school. We cut through neighbors' yards, hopped fences, etc. It was fun.

The only issue I see here is whether MoCo will maintain the bike path when it snows.

Left unexplained is whether there is room in the bus for the extra stop, i.e., what the county gains by not stopping. Of one thing we can be sure: most of these kids will not be walking to school.

The only problem with having 5 yo walk a mile is that most parents could not concieve of walking the same distance.

looks like there's at least one place along that path that would be great for getting robbed, raped, assaulted, kidnapped, etc.

good work -- don't fix the roads -- just build 'sidepaths' that wander into the woods.

smart.

Americans can be so pathetic. Children need to walk.

Peter Smith, does that happen with great regularity? Millions of kids bike and walk to school without being the victims of crime. Or are you just making plans out loud?

Peter Smith:
Many communities, including Mont Co, use "walking buses": a bunch of kids walk to school with one parent. They run on a schedule, and even 'transfer' between parents for longer trips.

Its good exercise, its fun, and doesnt require every parent to drive or walk each kid. Because its numbers, there is safety.

This is about parents trying to keep their free chauffeur service. They'll present any argument to avoid taking their kids to school themselves.

I looked at the picture where the opponents stand on the path. I cannot see any issue there. This looks like a wide and eminently usable multi-use path.

Parents should write thank you letters to Montgomery County instead of throwing tantrums. Why would you offer bus service for kids within a mile anyway (unless there is a big highway to cross maybe)?

Long way to go, figuratively, indeed.

And nice trolling by Peter Smith or whatever his/ her real name is.

Typically 5 year old children don't walk alone to school. So yes it is an "imposition" to parents who have to provide the means for a child to be escorted as opposed to the school bus. But plenty of people manage.

As I recall. I was driven to kindergarten. Then I biked to school from 1st-3rd, but only with older kids from the neighborhood (including my brother), and not on rainy days. 4th-5th I was bused across town (integration came to Texas). 6th-8th I biked again.

I do not recall that my parents ever walked with me to school or to the bus stop. I just walked by myself and/ or with frieends to school or the bus stop.

I walked to school with my daughter (often with her younger brother in the stroller) when she was in Kindergarten when we had a handful of kids on our street who all walked to the nearby elementary school. After moving, we drove the car for a couple of years and now both children take the bus for the 2.5 mile trip.

Once in a while, we also bike to school.

In kindergarten I walked 3/4 of a mile on the gravel shoulder of a 40 mph road to get to school. But then again, Nancy Grace wasn't on TV 43 hours a day telling my parents that there were millions of child molesters out to get me.

The critics have a problem: they focus on extremes.

The longest walk is 1 mile, but not every child affected lives at the 1 mile mark. Most probably live within half a mile of the school.

Second, the critics focus on the 5 year old. Thats the youngest student affected. Most are 7 or 8.

So, is 1 mile too far for a 5 year old? I think so. But is half a mile too far for a 7 year old? No way. When I was little, I walked half a mile to the bus stop.

The 5 year old that lives exactly 1 mile away can be driven by daddy.

I have three kids in elementary school, albeit DCPS not MoCo.

My school requires an adult to escort kids to the spot where they line up with there classes, until at least fourth grade. I have walked my kids to school every day for the past six years. It's seven minutes from my house. There are a few families, but not many, who walk further than us. For most people the issue is time: if you're driving to work anyway, if you walk your kid to school you have to then walk home and get your car, whereas if you drive you can just stop along the way. There aren't too many parents able to take more than 15 minutes out of their morning to get their kid to school.

From a public policy standpoint the best outcome depends on what the competing options are. If it's driving vs. walking, walking is clearly better. But if it's driving vs. taking a bus, the bus is clearly better. If the net outcome of this policy is that a bunch of people who used to take a bus now drive, that's bad policy.

FWIW, I mapquested the route I used to walk to kindergarten way back when -- 1.5 miles. Walked it every day with my older brother through Massachusetts winter. Don't remember ever being driven or even having a parent along. Of course, memory is a strange thing...

@j:

While I am not sympathetic to the keep-my-child-fat parents along the walk, it appears that you have forgotten basic trigonometry. Not everyone lives *on* the sidepath. Assuming a uniform density, three times as many people live over 0.5 miles from school than under 0.5 miles.

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