MV in desperate need of bike rack
Original post made by Kristin Hugo on Apr 4, 2007
Traffic, gas prices, and laziness among students. Car prices, insurance, and automobile accidents. It's not been only a few times that I have asked myself the question "Why does everyone drive to school?"
"I would have no problem biking to school, except I have no place to park my bike," confessed one sophomore Monte Vista student.
Buying and placing a bike rack is not expensive, time consuming, or difficult. A good rack can cost as little as $200, and imagine how Mother Nature would thank us if that much was put forth to this cause.
Another problem presented is that many students are just so used to driving, they wouldn't think to go to the corner of their own street without their beloved Toyota.
What the students need is a reminder, not that the world is a terrible place doomed to be burned by the emissions of their own transportation devices, but of how they themselves can help to lower gas usage on a daily basis.
Most students do not live too far to bike to school, especially in the coming of the Dougherty Valley High School to be functional next year. Many students live close enough that they could get to school in an hour or less on a bicycle. Also, that is not the only option-for those with their legs still functional; one could walk, roller blade, skateboard, or scooter to school with no problems.
If the morality lesson does not strike the students, nor does the list of reasons listed in the first sentence of this article, perhaps a quid pro quo is in order. If students were offered PE credit to bike to school, then they might see the positive implications of such a decision.
While the new parking lot is appreciated by many, what we need is not more accommodation for gasoline-powered vehicles, but inspiration and opportunity for students who are a little less superficial, and a little more caring about the environment.
on Apr 5, 2007 at 11:39 am
That does indeed sound alarming. I called MVHS and talked to assistant principal Matt Chamberlain who told me the school does have a bike rack behind the 900 Science Building, as well as spaces where students can lock up their bikes, such as fences. He said he knows some students do ride their bikes and lock their bikes up accordingly and he has never heard of it being a problem.
I love your idea about giving PE credit to kids who ride their bikes to school, although I guess it might depend on the distance. And I like to think that today's kids are environmentally conscious so maybe it will catch on!
on Apr 5, 2007 at 6:36 pm
My bet is that kids drive to school because there is somewhat of a high school status/popularity element that comes with having your own car. If you're 16 and you just got your driver's license, you probably want to show it off.
I remember it was like that when I was in high school - a car was a symbol of teenage freedom. No more hitching rides from the parents. Ironically now, as I commute to Danville for my nine to five, I am incredibly aware how much more free I would feel on my bike!
If PE credit and environmental benefits aren't enough to get kids on their bikes, how about this for incentive: biking makes you feel good.
In San Francisco, the biker crowd is really hip, eco-friendly and stylish. I wonder if there's any way to get the trend started in suburbia. Make biking as "cool" as driving and maybe we've got our answer.
on Apr 6, 2007 at 4:51 pm
Dear Dolores and Natalie,
You have reflected the reality of high school.
In Napa, in 1958 and 1959, I use to ride my bike to high school, but stored it a nearby friend's house. I had a farm license since I was 14 and already hated driving and cars in general, and thoroughly enjoyed my self-built mountain bike and the freedom it offered.
As things change, they change little.
Excellent exchange, but let's get Monte Vista students to give their views in a Streetwise on their campus.