I’m trying to be supportive of this event. My kid’s school makes a bike deal out of it and has parent volunteers on hand to “valet park” any bikes in the gym. Today my daughter told me that if she wears a helmet on her ride to school she even gets to wear blue jeans for the day. That was the selling point for her.
However, our school does not have any bike racks. Most Chicago Public Schools don’t. Without adequate secure bike parking, biking to school will remain something that students do one day a year. A few teachers at our school commute by bike during pleasant weather months and they’re stuck locking to a chainlink fence. I imagine they’ll quit riding when someone armed with a toe nail clipper comes along and liberates their bikes.
I’d love to see more of a push locally for the parents who live within a 1/2 mile of their children’s school to walk or ride with their kids to school instead of driving. When I drive in the afternoons for pick up, I always park in an available residential spot about a block from the school because parking directly in front and on either side of the building is disallowed. But, it seems like I’m the only parent that actually follows the letter of the law. Everyone else parks in the no parking areas, then the later arrivals double park in front of them, and eventually the straggles come and triple park in front of those parents. It is a complete clusterfuck of danger. A mom making a three-point u-turn directly in front of the school at release time backed into me with her SUV last year and then had the gall to say she didn’t see me. Well, duh. Maybe you should not be making such ridiculously dangers and illegal maneuvers where children and parents are crossing.
I’m trying to reconcile all of these feelings and wrap my brain around others putting their own convenience above the safety of their fellow citizens but when it comes down to it, as long as biking and walking to school is an act relegated to one pathetic day a year, no one’s behavior will change.