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Thanks for posting and although it's depressing it recalled a memory. I had to take a bike test in 3rd grade to be able to ride to school! I may have failed but in the end we all rode our bikes anyway. All thru the years though we would rather have been caught dead than been seen being driven to school, at any grade, by our parents. what a loss of independence for young kids and no wonder kids are getting so fat (which we also avoided out of social pressure).

I was in the same boat as Steven. I always rode my bike to school and it was definitely not cool to have to be picked up by your mommy. I had the freedom to go where I wanted after school and liked riding my bike even if just going between home and school. Its sad to see how over-protected kids are nowadays.

This is a really relevant article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=462091&in_page_id=1770

From 1st - 2rd grade I walked over to the neighbors' and carpooled with their kids, and from 3rd - 5th grade I took the city Metro bus downtown. Why would my parents need to drive me to elementry school? They never needed to.

From 6th - 12th grades I biked to school, because I could get there in 10 minutes and the bus took like 1/2 an hour at least, since it goes all over the place. Also I wouldn't be caught dead being dropped off by my parents in any case.

I don't even know why kids would accept a ride from their parents except that they are lame. If these parents are letting the kids buy cars at 16 they are wasting their money.


why should kids bike to school in DC when they are forced to bike in the streets in downtown and in areas around the US Capitol? We need to first make it safe for people to cycle- and provide people who do not want to risk their lives trying to "share" the road with cars with bike paths , bikeways or bike tracks.There is no excuse for this in the worlds weathiest country.

it would help a whole lot if these scum burban areas would invent the sidewalk for kids to bike on in a safe manner. All that you hear about on TV nowadays is how fat kids are becoming and NOTHING at all about how they do not walk or cycle to school. It is pathetic.

Actually very few kids - if any - have to bike downtown to get to school. Most schools and homes are in the residential areas. It's a completely different issue than biking to work. Are there even any schools downtown?

Also, you're constantly insulting the suburbs can't help. More people live in the suburbs than the city, do you want to fight them or work with them? Living in the suburbs does not make you a bad person. Owning a car does not make you a bad person. It's not their fault that there were so many poor decisions made about transportation in the past. They're doing the best they can, place the blame in the correct place - those who planned the car-centric cities and neighborhoods.

I grew up in a suburb riding to school since grade 4, but now as a parent living in DC I doubt I'll let my kid start riding to school so soon.

Though the school is only six blocks away, kids would need to ride on and/or cross Connecticut Ave. or 34th St. Both are major north-south auto commuter routes.

Bums me out because I always enjoyed riding to school with friends.

Maybe I'm just an overprotective old fogey (sp?) now. And yes, the kids must wear helmets

"Owning a car does not make you a bad person"...........as far as Im concerned- owning a car -especially if you live in the city and near metro- makes you part of the problem.It is not as if someone were holding a gun to someone's head saying"you must live in a suburb and it must be car-centric" ...I squarely blame people in the scum burbs. they continue their life style of "happy motoring" [As Kunstler puts it] oblivious to the fact that they are part of the problem.Truth is- these suburbs need to become more like the city to make tham sustainable into the era when the oil & gas runs out.Why are there no sidewalks in these places?Does every child going to elementary school on a bicycle have to ride in traffic with cars as so many of your readers seem to think is the proper way to go?

yes- I blame the suburbs- and yes they ARE the problem in this country.Suburbs as we have them in the USA will become obsolete in less than 50 years.It will become far too expensive to drive or own cars.

Here's a link to the downtown business core where riding your bike on the sidewalk is against the law:


I don't know if there's any schools within that area, but I kind of doubt it. Even if there is, do you really, truly think the kid's gonna get in trouble for riding on the sidewalk? (Seriously, I'd be surprised if ANYBODY will get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk in this area.) In any case, I seriously doubt that particular law has anything to do with kids not riding their bikes to school.

As far as the 'burbs are concerned, I suppose it depends on what suburb you're speaking about. To give an example: I have a friend who lives a car-free existence out in Oakton, VA. He rides his bike with his son (also on a bike) to his son's school, and then he rides to work in Alexandria. They ride to the school on sidewalks. I don't think it's always easy, but it seems to work for them out there in the 'burbs.

Saying the burbs are the problem is a very easy, simplistic statement, that maybe flies at a Critical Mass ride, but even then I doubt it. Poor planning is the problem- 'burbs with auto dependent transportations infrastructure is merely as symptom of that. Poor planning happens in urban areas (DC USA shopping center on 14th), and smart planning happens in the suburbs (Clarendon in ArCo). Seems as if you're happy talking about these issues in nice catch phrases that fit on bumper stickers, er...bike stickers, which is fine, though they are rather annoying to read every friggin post.

Oh, and there is one school in the downtown corridor at 20th and L I believe. Have yet to see any of them biking to school thought WABA has done bike/ped safety classes there if I'm not mistaken. The students do walk the neighborhood though, all holding hands sings at the top of their lungs. Its pretty darn cute.

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