Do you let your child walk to school? Alone? I don’t but, in my defense, my girl is 4 so she’s not exactly developmentally ready. Not yet anyway. Though I’m not sure I would regardless.
I was listening to a preschool director give a talk about her school and she brought up a point that I found interesting. Not many, if any, of her school children ride their bikes or walk to school anymore. It’s too dangerous. And the school is in Sausalito, CA, so not exactly the ‘hood, if you know what I mean.
The interesting point wasn’t in the danger of it. She asked us parents if WE hadn’t made the streets more dangerous because WE weren’t using them anymore ourselves. We drive.
Now that’s a blanket statement to be sure. I walk when I can, wherever I can. Even if it’s far. But I drive, too.
It’s like air-conditioning making our neighborhoods more insulated. The doors shut, keeping the cool air in kept the neighbors from gabbing on their front stoops. While this might not be causal, it’s definitely correlated.
I’m wondering, do you think it’s possible to take back our streets? Would you walk more yourself in order to populate your neighborhood? Just thinking about more people on the street makes me wonder what effect that might have to local businesses and the economy, congestion and traffic, our health.
If I knew that many ‘safe’ caring neighbors were milling about, I’d let my kid walk places sometimes, when she’s older, and wise, like at age 30. No, seriously. I might. But I might not.
How ’bout you? Do you walk and use your streets?
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography