Every parent I have ever met, in every area of the North Shore has a singularly unanimous complaint: traffic during pick up and drop off at school. Well, guess what? That anonymously named "traffic" is just another word for "too many of us are driving our kids to school."
There is no one else to blame but ourselves. The only way to solve this problem is to get our kids to school in some physically active fashion.
So, maybe in the new year you could ask yourselves these questions:
Do I live more than a 15-minute walking distance from the school? A kilometre takes less than 12 minutes to walk. If you turn to Google to estimate it, make sure you consider shortcuts through the trails and paths.
If I have to drive, could I give myself five to 10 extra minutes in the morning so that I can park a little farther from the school to relieve the congestion a little bit? If you are worried about your kids crossing at intersections, then walk them across the nearest intersection, kiss them goodbye, and be proud of their independence - you can be sure they will be.
And, perhaps most importantly: Do I really have to walk my child(ren) to school at all?
This last reflection has broader implications. We are hovering over our children at a time when crime is at an all-time low. The greatest danger to pedestrians while walking to and from school, is parents, that's us by the way, speeding in school zones, reversing in the hopes that little people aren't behind the car, doing illegal U-turns, parking across crosswalks, and ignoring traffic restrictions.
Your kids will be fine if you let them walk, in fact they may even be healthier for the exercise, and my kids will greatly appreciate the company (not to mention the added safety of one less car to worry about).
Betsy Agar North Vancouver
© Copyright 2013