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Old 05-05-2009, 04:18 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,534 times
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Hello all,

Thanks to those of you who responded to my earlier post on the Piedmont climate, it sounds very promising.

Now for the next question. I know that some kids in Piedmont walk to school. Well, I at least know that one recent HS graduate that my family met last weekend in Piedmont claims that he walked to school from grade 3 on, same as his two older siblings. A few questions: is this still the norm, and if so is it just the norm for some areas and not others?

My wife and I like the "baja Piedmont" area that is lower down the hill and close to or even west of Grand Avenue. This area has a better walk score (Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address) and it is also more affordable. We might be looking at a house that is literally on the same block as one of the excellent elementary schools, so that would not be an issue, but I'm wondering if the approximately one mile walk to the middle and high school would be feasible and if it is common for the "baja" students to do this walk or perhaps ride a bike.

My wife and I enjoy carless commutes in San Francisco, we have the potential to do the same from Piedmont it seems but it we have to haul the kids back and forth to school each day that seems to break the whole system.

Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA/São Paulo, Brazil
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So many parents are hyper-sensitive these days about their kids walking to and from school. Ive noticed that at my High School, Oakland High. Which is odd considering how Oakland was much more dangerous when I was a kid. But today there is a serious traffic jam right there caused by all the parents. I laugh.

Piedmont, being a place with very little crime and much lighter traffic, Im sure is a lot safer overall.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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While I unfortunately can't answer your specific question, I have one brief thing to add: have you asked the school itself if they have a formal policy on walking or biking to school? I was surprised when I read the parent manual of one school (granted, elementary and not middle/high school, and not in Piedmont, but also in a very safe, walkable area) where the school outright requested parents not to allow their kids to bike to school. I think they were worried about a liability. In that district it was a school-by-school decision, which is why I suggest contacting the school itself to at least find out if your kids will have institutional support. If it's not the norm, well, maybe your kids can start a trend!
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Am I so old that it is an oddity for kids to walk to school?

I walked up and down the hills after school from 3rd grade on also. Frankly, if you lived in an area where there was no bus service, then what else were you to do? Honestly, a mile is not that much. Even better when it isn't hill walking.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA/São Paulo, Brazil
33,612 posts, read 57,611,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baybook View Post
Am I so old that it is an oddity for kids to walk to school?

I walked up and down the hills after school from 3rd grade on also. Frankly, if you lived in an area where there was no bus service, then what else were you to do? Honestly, a mile is not that much. Even better when it isn't hill walking.
Thank You.

I walked to school from 2nd grade on. Today that is unthinkable to many.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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The attitude of many parents today is that a mile is far too far or too dangerous for a kid to walk. In my old neighborhood the elementary school was about 3/4 miles away from our house, mostly on very quiet residential streets, all with sidewalks, safe neighborhood, lots of other kids also going to school (and a stop sign crosswalk with a crossing guard for the one semi-business street on the way). There was no bus service available, but then again, everyone lived within walking distance to school - it wasn't that big of a district. Still, while some kids walked, I think the majority of kids in our neighborhood arrived there by car. I know my neighbors did. Ironically one of the reasons we liked that city (it was in the greater LA area) was because it was so walkable and, while we ended up relocating, I looked forward to my son being able to walk to school (and to the park, and to the drug store, to the library, etc...).

So, yes, I think it is an oddity in today's world, unfortunately. I've seen mention of several schools around the country having special promoted "bike to school" days, which I think is a good step in the right direction.

Anyone interested in these sorts of issues might be interested in the Free Range Kids blog: FreeRangeKids. I just found it recently, but it covers many of the contemporary issues relating to things like kids walking to school.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Middle and high school kids living in Baja Piedmont should be able to walk to school. There is one fairly busy street to cross (Grand) that is protected by a stop light. Walking up the hill towards the schools will be good for them.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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I can't speak to Piedmont---you might check with the PTAs there---but I know in the Oakland neighborhoods bordering Piedmont, there are a few active walking/biking parent group initiatives, and I also see lots of kids and parents walking or biking individually to the school near our house, too. I would imagine there might be a similar movement there, but who knows.....I know in general Alameda County is working to get more kids walking and biking to school throughout, so there are a lot of programs to get bike racks and secure bike parking, fund crossing guards, improve crosswalks, etc.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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Thanks to all for the advice and for the link to the Free Range Kids blog. I found this link as well: Walk-to-School Day - Friday April 24th « Piedmont Neighborhood News. There clearly is a movement to have more kids bike and walk to school, and we plan to have our family be a part of it.
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