Monday, May 4, 2009

back in the saddle

Well, after a 15 month or so hiatus from this blog, I return.

My change of heart about burdening you with my thoughts came about when I was at High Lakes grade school last Friday, handing out prizes to students who biked or walked in to school. I was looking after the Green Lake corner of the school, handing out 13-14 prizes. That was all the "traffic" I got.

What I did see was plenty of SUVs queueing up in front of the school to drop off one kid. This was not a scientific count, I did not have a counter, nor did I have a control. But, the majority of cars/rigs were dropping A kid off.

When I was in corporate software, one of the principles of change I learned about was that to change corporate culture, one must get the management to change. Culture won't change unless the president embraces and exemplifies the change.

It's the same way here. Commute Options can sponsor and hand out all the prizes they want, but unless the parents lead by example, change won't happen. As a society, our children will not learn to affect change unless their parents show them the way.

A handful of parents are doing it; leading by example. I considered what might be holding others back from getting away from driving a large vehicle to transport a small child. There is a network of school buses, that operate regardless of the number of children on the bus. High Lakes is an area school where most of the student families live within a few miles. Why is it so hard to carpool, bus, walk, or ride to the school?

People are lazy. Too lazy to make a change. Too lazy to spend a few extra minutes each day arranging a smarter transport plan. It is too easy to simply get into the car and ramble down to the school. We do not nor should we, need to drive everywhere in this town. Bend is a relatively flat town, with a 3-5 mile radius, and during rush hour, can be navigated easier and faster on two wheels, than by four.

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