Last month, at Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place, I sat in on the session “Sh*t Parents Say and What Kids Want: Safe Routes to School,” which opened with the rather charming video posted above. Created by NJ Safe Routes with support from NJDOT and the FHWA, it features common responses echoed by parents when they’re asked why they don’t let their children walk and bike to school, collected by survey in New Jersey. The contrast with the kids’ explanations for why they do like being able to get to school on their own steam is pretty stark, to say the least.
When I was a kid, I was within a ten-minute walk of my school; unfortunately, I was nowhere near as enthusiastic as the kids in this video when I was encouraged by my dear, harried parents to walk myself there in the morning. Today, as I sit on a subway train for forty minutes every morning, I kick myself for not taking advantage of the option for a self-propelled commute when I had the chance.
Because I don’t say it nearly as often as I probably should, I’ll do it here, in the hopes of inspiring some other parents to let their kids walk and bike to school: Mom, you were right.