Midweek Miscellanea

Posted by laura on Sep 10 2009 | Bicycle

This morning I had my first meeting for the Safe Routes to School group for our district. I was a lightweight participant with this group last year – actually I was more accurately a featherweight last year, but I think with my newly rediscovered love of chocolate croissants I’m fixing that little glitch. Even though I was involved at the school, however, I never attended real meetings (horror) and so this morning I was in for a real surprise. It was both well attended and well run. What a treat.

There were coordinators from every public school in our town, as well as two private schools. We also had representatives from the district office and the CHP. (I know! CHiPs!!) Before this meeting, I hadn’t realized exactly how many organizations were working together to secure funding, educate the public and implement road & traffic improvements for safe routes in our county. They’re planning programs to encourage “green routes” to school, they’re building an online matching service for families to line up carpools and bike/walk groups so more kids can participate without having to travel alone, they’re making changes to sidewalks and crossings to raise driver awareness. It’s fantastic. Here’s a photo of some of the new bike racks our school has, thanks to one smart parent and a grant:


The big push right now is for International Walk to School Day, coming up on October 7. We’ve also been asked to implement a weekly table at school to acknowledge students who use green routes – bike, scooter, walk, carpool, camel, whatever. Like a “Walking Wednesdays” program. I’m trying to think of non-material incentives to get kids excited about participating. One of the local schools reported that their students just liked having their hands stamped when they got to school – I thought that was a great idea. If anyone out there has ideas, let me know!! We’re just trying to avoid sending the kids home with tchotchkes this year…

On a completely different note – literally – I recently saw this link on reddit to an old Washington Post article about an experiment they ran where they asked Joshua Bell to play in a DC metro station. If you didn’t get to see it, it’s worth a read – the article, Pearls Before Breakfast, has stuck with me for three days now. I just found it fascinating – what they thought would happen, what actually happened, the descriptions of the pieces Bell chose and even the history of the violin he plays. Amazing to picture a thousand commuters streaming past a world class violinist sawing away on a three and a half million dollar violin and not really noticing. The video isn’t that great, but the discussion about art and appreciation is compelling. See what you think.

1 comment for now

One Response to “Midweek Miscellanea”

  1. I’m so happy w/the new bike racks. It’s also cool that there’s so much more capacity (and it’s been used too!)

    Thanks for attending the meeting and for being Mill Valley’s #1 Non-Spandex-Wearing Biker.

    11 Sep 2009 at 8:14 am

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