Walking up the hill to a preschool meet-and-greet this morning we witnessed the first of the season’s auto laziness in bloom — the lady with the mercedes who lives on 29th but drives to the school on 34th (and she actually parked on 33rd… meaning she drove FOUR blocks) was apparently all geared up for another school year via car.
We watched an endless auto parade all last year. At a time of global warming, high gas prices, traffic from hell, peak oil, and a childhood obesity epidemic it’s beyond me how people justify driving their kids less than a half mile to school.
Mostly we observed and kept our mouths shut, but still heard plenty of excuses: “I have somewhere to go after this” or “my kids don’t like to walk” or “it’s raining,” or… (insert excuse of the day).
I think people are guilted into confessing something when they see non-driver out there day after day (oddly enough, nice days inspire the most excuses). I’ll admit some reasons are valid — I’ve been there myself. But when you see the same people loading their kids into the car every day as you walk by their house, see them at drop-off, and then see them pull up at home as you walk by toward your house five blocks further from school, you just have to call bullsh!t.
So duly inspired by the first day of school tomorrow I decided to create a group on Facebook called: “Hey Seattle: Park that damn SUV and take your kids to school on a bike.” I have no expectations for this group. Mostly it’s an outlet for me one step above screaming “get out of your car, a**hole!”
Luckily Anne has talked about beginning a campaign at our local elementary (Bryant, near Seattle’s University District) to see if we can get some more locals to park and walk or bike. I’m sure her methods will be less polarizing, more inviting (can you believe she vetoed my slogan idea: “One less fat kid: Bike to school.”), and ultimately more successful. For now, though, this is all I’ve got.
How about you? Wanna walk or ride to school tomorrow?