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I learned how to ride a bike in an alley. That was were the kids road their bikes and played so as to be off the main streets. I don't recall anyone ever getting hit by a car in the alley (which was how people got to their garages). Reading about this Fredrick community makes me look back with fondness growing up cage free. It sucks to be a kid these days in many neighborhoods.

It's also a statement on the culture we've created where it's understood that children are utterly helpless beings who couldn't possibly be safe unless their is an adult staring at them 24/7.

Just like Chris Slatt, I wanted to point out that children need to learn to play without us parents looking over the shoulder at all times. It used to be called growing up Now it has to be called Free Range and it is almost an act of social defiance to practice it.

I was just reading The Little Engine That Could - the classic kids book from the '30's. One of the types of toys that the train was bringing over the mountain for the kids on the other side to play with was a pocketknife (or jack-knife). How times change.

FWIW, I wish there were better signage--I mean signage--at the north entrance area of the Brookland Metro, where the "interim" MBT continues on the walkway to the underpass.

There is no signage. So people walk in various directions on both sides of the sidewalk. The sidewalk wasn't widened to have a "bicycle path."

While there is a hump at the corner so that you can ride off the curb, it's not painted specially and there are no signs, so frequently cars are parked there.

There is no signage on the short street off of 7th St. which abuts the Bennett and future Monroe Market project which is currently under construction.

Half of these issues are DDOT, if not 3/4. I don't even know if WMATA or DDOT is responsible for the approach to the station entrance.

(Note that there is bike parking under the underpass, so it is protected, but it is somewhat obscure and I wonder if there are security issues.)

On the other hand, I have had young children riding completely unsupervised on my low-traffic dead-end street and constantly endangering themselves. It depends on the skill and responsibility and age of the child.

I remember as kids we used to put one foot on the seat and one on the top tube, while holding the handlebars. We thought surfing was cool. We also played tag on our bikes, all around our neighborhood. And of course....no helmets. The bottom line is that kids don't break that easily, and they are in a little more control of things than we think. We've become so overly afraid of everything.

I won't even begin to express my thoughts on the fact that they want to call CPS on parents who let their kids go out and play/exercise alone...

Re the microtrail--merely good intentions? the curbs seems to make it impossible or very hazardous for two closing bikes to get out of the way. Curious why this was done instead of just a flat paved path.

Yes, we were less safe in our childhoods. Doesn't mean it was smart. We might have had more dead kids back then too for all we know.

Like I said, it depends on the age and circumstances. Are these kids 12, or 4? Is the alley relatively busy with vehicle traffic or barely used? Are the kids venturing out in the roadway beyond the alley?

According to the article, people have witnessed speeding cars and near-misses of children. There have been tables and play equipment left in the road. It's never so simple as "people are too overcautious and don't let kids play any more." That makes us older people feel smug, but it's not how you solve problems with children getting recreation safely.

Big speedbumps would seem to be the solution in alleys, not restricting kids' bike use.

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