Unsafe Streets on National Walk and Bike to School Day
Lynn Richards, president of The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), biked to school with her son recently and was shocked to see how dangerous conditions were for pedestrians and bikers trying to get to this neighborhood school. "At the school's intersection, bike lanes fade into nothingness, leaving young bike riders to determine their own routes," writes Richards. "The school driveway doesn't even have a stop or yield sign, so cars enter the street without pausing, putting bikers and walkers at risk."
Richards cites some damning statistics, including the fact that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages four through 14. The answer? Better street design. "Street design and schools' transportation management priorities send strong signals to parents and students that cars trump all other modes of getting around," she writes.
Richards's most potentially controversial recommendation is to require permits for drivers dropping their kids off at school. "Or perhaps blocks surrounding the school could designate pedestrian-only zones at the beginning and end of the school day," she concludes.