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Thread: Human powered school buses

  1. #1
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    Human powered school buses

    www.walkingbus.com

    New form of transportation in Hertford, UK.
    - Beware more of the man in the fancy cloak, than the one in tattered clothing -

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by circusoflife
    www.walkingbus.com

    New form of transportation in Hertford, UK.
    There are lots of walking school buses out there. When I was on my sons elementary school site council (don't ask), I did some research on them. It seems like there are lots of them in Canada, eh.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  3. #3
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    That's a great idea. I am hoping to develop a program to encourage parents to walk their kids to school rather than driving them if they are within a walkable distance. Good for both parents and kids.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    I find it amazing how close a school can be with moms still doing the 'school run'. It's got to the point where NIMBYs object to new schools in their area because of the traffice they generate (!!!) Luckily the school my kids will be going to is within easy walking distance.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  5. #5
    All the kids wear a reflective jacket?! Isn't that a bit much? I fear that people expect our streets have become warzones when that's seen as a reasonable precaution.

    The "dropping the kids off at school" phenomena is seriously ridiculous. I really think the modern day paranoia over kids being out of adult watch is one of the biggest deterrents to pedestrian-friendly communities. Things have changed so dramatically even in the past 15 years. When I was in elementary school in the late 80s, most kids walked. Today at that same school there are lines of parents queued up in cars at the curb instead, and they complain that buses refuse to service students a half a mile or less away. Did the neighborhood suffer a crime wave of muggings, murderers, or child molesters on the loose? No, it's just the parents' attitudes that have changed.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    All the kids wear a reflective jacket?! Isn't that a bit much? I fear that people expect our streets have become warzones when that's seen as a reasonable precaution.

    The "dropping the kids off at school" phenomena is seriously ridiculous. I really think the modern day paranoia over kids being out of adult watch is one of the biggest deterrents to pedestrian-friendly communities. Things have changed so dramatically even in the past 15 years. When I was in elementary school in the late 80s, most kids walked. Today at that same school there are lines of parents queued up in cars at the curb instead, and they complain that buses refuse to service students a half a mile or less away. Did the neighborhood suffer a crime wave of muggings, murderers, or child molesters on the loose? No, it's just the parents' attitudes that have changed.
    Parents/mothers working outside the home have less time, soo instead of walkign their kids to school they drive them and then drive on to work, I guess. Crime perceptions certainly play a part too. Maybe if the cops were to patrol aggressively aroudn school start/leaving times it would mitigate it.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  7. #7
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    All the kids wear a reflective jacket?! Isn't that a bit much? I fear that people expect our streets have become warzones when that's seen as a reasonable precaution.

    The "dropping the kids off at school" phenomena is seriously ridiculous. I really think the modern day paranoia over kids being out of adult watch is one of the biggest changed.
    I agree somewhat Is it SAFE TO LIVE? Apparently not in many places.

    In bicycle friendly and economically equal countries in Scandinavia a large percentage of children at a younger age tend to go to school without their parents help. They mature faster too I suspect. In one town in Denmark - Odense, depending on the school 25-75% of the children bike to school.

    Overall 25% of trips there are made by bicycle. Will post more about it later and this whole business of going to school.

    UK and US are far more car dependent than Scandinavia. We reap what we sow.
    It's just like the price we will pay as seniors for having too many cars. Auto dependency /sprawl is a strike against children and the elderly.

    The funny thing is - since most have children and most will get old...why do we continue on this madness?

    The other part is the economic inequality that is growing - at least in the US, not sure on UK. The higher it is - in theory the more dangerous - as desire leads to more crime for those who cannot obtain those desires. Plus sprawl leads to many dead zones.

    Also...as suburbanization tends to group people of similar income together - their is less understanding of different groups of people. Less understanding = fear. Plus less interaction w/ people in general.

    It ain't one thing, but a combination...not saying this is the reason in the bus...but definitely contributing factors in the drive to school comment your make.
    - Beware more of the man in the fancy cloak, than the one in tattered clothing -

  8. #8
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    There are lots of walking school buses out there. When I was on my sons elementary school site council (don't ask), I did some research on them. It seems like there are lots of them in Canada, eh.

    Yeah, they seem to be quite popular here. I'm not sure why it hasn't taken off in other areas, but in Vancouver, there are at least a dozen that I know about.
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

  9. #9
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MitchBaby
    Yeah, they seem to be quite popular here. I'm not sure why it hasn't taken off in other areas, but in Vancouver, there are at least a dozen that I know about.
    Don't you know? In the 21st century - nothing is real unless there is a website for it.
    - Beware more of the man in the fancy cloak, than the one in tattered clothing -

  10. #10
    Did anyone else envision something more along the lines of Fred Flintstone's vehicle when they read the subject line?

    But seriously, and this is somewhat of a tangent... What really gets me is not the moms driving their kids from school, it's the moms waiting at the bus stops in their cars, so that (they and) their kids won't have to walk the eighth of a mile back home. I see that a lot here on LI.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Alaithea
    Did anyone else envision something more along the lines of Fred Flintstone's vehicle when they read the subject line?
    yes - when I first read it somewhere else of course.
    - Beware more of the man in the fancy cloak, than the one in tattered clothing -

  12. #12
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    We've had a walking school bus at the local elementary school for years. Sadly, though, the new principal has recently shut it down because she is a frigid b*tch of a woman whose soul purpose is to make her life simpler by shutting down all optional school activities, and to hell with everyone else. It was such a great program, and then wham, gone - all it takes is one person to bring the thing down.

  13. #13

    Kind of makes ya think!!

    When I first read the title, I was thinking about Fred and Barney type of transportation.

    When I read more into it, it touched on something that I have been researching on Form-based codes and walkable neighborhoods.

    It's amazing to me how many people think it's impossible for their kids to have a brain and be able to navigate traffic.

    I'm all for anything that gets kids to use their bikes and walk to school. This is a good thing.
    Forechecking is overrated.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    While it's an interesting concept that this makes kids do some excercise by walking to school, it is a bit limitant since there are areas in which snow or rain is way too much to be walking medium or long distances, but well, at least during summer and spring it's a quite good idea. Maybe the reflective jackets and the costumes for the adult guardians are a bit too much though... since the kids are walking during daylight....

  15. #15
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Ehh rain is no reason to stop. Most kids enjoy it anyways, and if they dont, they can grab an umbrella. Snow, on the other hand, can be dangerous (what with traffic and slippery roads).

  16. #16
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    Do You Need to Drive Your Children to School?

    - Beware more of the man in the fancy cloak, than the one in tattered clothing -

  17. #17
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    In french, we call this pédibus.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne View post
    We've had a walking school bus at the local elementary school for years. Sadly, though, the new principal has recently shut it down because she is a frigid b*tch of a woman whose soul purpose is to make her life simpler by shutting down all optional school activities, and to hell with everyone else. It was such a great program, and then wham, gone - all it takes is one person to bring the thing down.
    Does the principal have a say in how parents get kids to school? It would seem a group of parents could run this easily, trading off the "driving" duties just like a carpool.


    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt View post
    The "dropping the kids off at school" phenomena is seriously ridiculous. I really think the modern day paranoia over kids being out of adult watch is one of the biggest deterrents to pedestrian-friendly communities.
    Also deterrent to self-reliant, responsible kids that grow into good adults, as Circusoflife mentions.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Walking buses have been promoted in Australia for several years though I'm not aware of any operating near where I live, though I've seen a couple in the town next door. The kids don't have to wear the fluoro vests.

    It was touched on above but I read an article recently that suggested that kids who are driven everywhere do not develop the same lifeskills, especially problem solving and independence, as kids who walk to school. There is a passing reference on this site about "overseas research" supporting this view, but no specific articles or countries are credited.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian MM1648's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by circusoflife View post
    www.walkingbus.com

    New form of transportation in Hertford, UK.
    I have never seen this before. Different in its own way.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian MM1648's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rem View post
    It was touched on above but I read an article recently that suggested that kids who are driven everywhere do not develop the same lifeskills, especially problem solving and independence, as kids who walk to school. There is a passing reference on this site about "overseas research" supporting this view, but no specific articles or countries are credited.

    That does make some sense. I walked to school as a kid.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm....

    I love the idea....and so quaint to be a UK based article..... Kum Ba Yah....

    Problems:
    1. Could be listed as a new Terrorist target
    2. I see future studies about incliment weather and traffic/pedestrian accidents contributing to a significantly higher "mortality" rate for this mode of transport
    3. A drastic increase in the replacement cost for childrens shoes, creating a major financial burden on the parents causing an increase in the number of trips in mommy's BMW to get new shoes
    4. The lack of sidewalks and hell, even roads in some rural areas make this mode of transport impractical....not to mention the school is located 75 miles away (true story where I work )
    5. I count at least 6 maybe 7 adults in that picture....while the unemployement rates in Europe (10%-20%?) may allow parents to walk their kids to/from school each day, taking about 1.25 hours? We tend to work here in the USA and (for the worse I think) would not be willing to take our kids each day.....mainly because we have to rely on ourselved for food and being taken care of by our "government" isn't an option....
    6. Our kids mostly don't have such nice school uniforms (I wish they did). I've seen the kids in London and I REALLY liked the school uniforms (real one's, not just crappy t-shirts). My point is here, that they could be misplaced quite easily by that overpaid ($5.15 hour) cross walk guard that may or may not be under 80 years old....or not quite all there......(most are great people....but you never know...)


    In closing, I think its a great idea........
    Skilled Adoxographer

  23. #23
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm....

    I love the idea....and so quaint to be a UK based article..... Kum Ba Yah....

    Problems:
    1. Could be listed as a new Terrorist target
    2. I see future studies about incliment weather and traffic/pedestrian accidents contributing to a significantly higher "mortality" rate for this mode of transport
    3. A drastic increase in the replacement cost for childrens shoes, creating a major financial burden on the parents causing in increase in the number of trips in mommy's BMW to get new shoes
    4. The lack of sidewalks and hell, even roads in some rural areas make this mode of transport impractical....not to mention the school is located 75 miles away (true story where I work )
    5. I count at least 6 maybe 7 adults in that picture....while the unemployement rates in Europe (10%-20%?) may allow parents to walk their kids to/from school each day, taking about 1.25 hours? We tend to work here in the USA and (for the worse I think) would not be willing to take our kids each day.....mainly because we have to rely on ourselves for food and being taken care of by our "government" isn't an option (see retirement planning rants)....
    6. Our kids mostly don't have such nice school uniforms (I wish they did). I've seen the kids in London and I REALLY liked the school uniforms (real one's, not just crappy t-shirts). My point is here, that they could be misplaced quite easily by that overpaid ($5.15 hour) cross walk guard that may or may not be under 80 years old....or not quite all there......(most are great people....but you never know...)


    In closing, I think its a great idea........
    Skilled Adoxographer

  24. #24
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    whoops....

    someone delete the first one....please
    Skilled Adoxographer

  25. #25
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    When I was a kid growing up in inner city Detroit in the 1970's we didn't need no stinking human powered school buses.. We walked to school! I remember I'd meet Jimmy at the corner and we would walk to kindegarten, we never had any problems. Nobody tried to rob rape or kill us. People are way too over protective of kids these days.

    Kids will learn life is to be feared, not explored.

    thanks REM!
    Last edited by DetroitPlanner; 18 Sep 2006 at 10:18 PM.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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