Did anyone else get the feeling this morning that it's the calm before the storm? This was our final weekday of commuting before the streets are packed with post-Labour Day cars.
There are two big things that change on Tuesday. Almost everyone is back at work from summer vacation. And people start driving their kids to school.
If you or someone you know is looking for an alternative to the automotive melee in front of the elementary school, you could look into starting a "walking school bus" or "cycling school bus". Go For Green has a How-To guide (PDF linked) to help you make it happen.
A Walking/Cycling School Bus is an active transportation system that involves volunteer parents/caregivers taking turns walking/cycling with children to get them to and from school.
Travel directly related to the enrolled school population constitutes a major portion of all trip generation in Canada. Short trips are the most polluting because a car’s engine has not had time to warm up enough to efficiently control emissions. We know that car emissions contribute to climate change. Walking/Cycling School Buses contribute to a solution by reducing the number of cars on the road.
In many Canadian urban areas, up to 50% of children are frequently driven to school. This results in a chaotic congestion around the school, which presents major risks for children as they enter and leave the school.
Enjoy the quiet ride home today.
Back to SchoolFri, 08/31/2007 - 10:54
Yup, I know that traffic will get much worse again next week, especially around the schools I pass by during my commute.
This morning, being Bike Friday and all, I left early for my group commute from High Park. Being the only one in my "group" (not unusual, riding from High Park to Mississauga), I decided to change the route and "take the long way" to work, to enjoy some different scenery.
I rode up Runnymede Rd. (amazingly with NO cars parked in the bike lane), along Dundas, and then up the Humber River to Eglinton Ave. Rode the Eglinton bike path all the way to the western end. Then I had to get on the road.
I was assuming that riding on Eglinton in Mississauga would be pure hell during morning rush hour, but it was unbelievably empty. It's a MASSIVE road, sometimes 9 lanes wide! But the traffic seemed to just not exist.
That's EXACTLY how I felt.
Riding south on Hurontario and crossing the 403 was a bit of a reality-check though. Tons of traffic again, but the crossing wasn't as bad as I expected. I think it's worse going northbound which I had done a couple of times before.
Happy Bike Friday everyone... Looking forward to the ride home, and maybe CM.
downtownFri, 08/31/2007 - 11:27
The traffic is pretty consistent downtown I find. I try to stay away from the more arterial streets on my commute though.
I will probably avoid St. George next week while all the students move in to residence though.
YupFri, 08/31/2007 - 13:44
We live in a downtown walkable neighbourhood and many kids walk to school, but many do not. I've been teaching my kids about safe riding all summer but know Tuesday will be a very challenging day as streams of cars start dropping kids off at the two schools that are on the route to our school. I'm actually a bit nervous about the kids biking with me on the first day. These are residential streets and they should be safe places for us to bike.
It also takes drivers a few days to remember that the streets are full of kids and to SLOW DOWN.
My route to work will also be more congested since I have to start leaving later and hit the 9am rush on Danforth/Bloor. Though often the cars aren't moving and I can just bike on by!
tt (not verified)
the Globe likes your storiesTue, 09/04/2007 - 14:30
hey darren - the globe took your 'calm before the storm' idea for their Saturday Toronto edition!!! actually, I'm sure they have to file well ahead of time for the weekend paper... so perhaps I should just say something along the lines of 'great minds...' and cheers to another great story! the walking/cycling school bus deserves a lot more attention from the powers that be!
I congratulate and admire all of those parents who are trying to teach their children how to get around safely without harming the planet. It was great to see so many kids riding at CM this friday past!!