Sunday, May 15, 2011

school bus yellow bicycle dream.

kids are chunky. school budgets are being slashed and gasoline is expensive—many public school districts have even eliminated school busses. how are we supposed to get our chunky kids to school?

school bus bicycle dream. cocoloco 2011
i suggest a fleet of  yellow bicycles.

how do we help kids get in shape?
how do we address transportation costs?
how do we increase the productivity of safe routes to schools?

let’s provide a school bus yellow bicycle for every child. imagine armies of children alighting on their yellow bicycles every day en masse. a sea of yellow bicycles and bobbing backpacks in the morning sun… a flock of yellow bicycles propelling children through their communities together with heart rates increasing, disease desisting, and smiles laughing… a pack of yellow bicycles teaching kids how to be lean, green, and energy clean! it really does bring a wee tear to my eye.

but who is going to pay for all those bicycles, coco?

the folks who paid for bussing can pay for cycles. or maybe the folks who will be paying for obesity related health care expenses in the future will make a small investment in bicycles today. a lap top for every student--a goal many districts have been pursuing-- is a good goal, but bikes are a good goal too...and this is a pretty workable solution to a couple of big button issues in california, given that we have a super bike-friendly climate....if davis can be a something of a bike capitol, then why not apply this concept in sacramento to address school transit costs and the inherent costs of having too many chunky kids?

bikes now, or more health care later; which option do you think is more cost effective?

by the way, may is national bike month, so get on yer bike.


  1. Hmmmmm.... kind of a nice thought... and a great vision in ones minds eye... Now if we could control the driving habits of people driving cars.... for these days most could care less about anything but them selves and getting to were they are going... which could prove to be a bad experience for those riding bikes... Of course if the cities would put some thought into the issue... i'm sure something could be done to protect those riding the;o)...njg<

  2. It's a beautiful dream but I fear that children are cruel, and the kids who arrived on yellow bikes would soon be the targets of stinging insults that would make them crave being ferried to school in a car, and they'd forever shun bicycles.

    As a kid I loved my bicycles because I thought they were cool. I'm pretty sure most kids are as shallow as me, and would much prefer the current fad bike to a carefully crafted and emblematic yellow bus bike.

    So I say that kids riding to school in the morning are a beautiful sight whatever they ride. Yes, even fixies...

  3. thanks for the feedback :)

    owen-- i think your thoughts are certainly informed by class and culture for sure, as the schools and kids i am thinking of-- those kids' parents don't have cars...most of these kids are going to school on rt (and often arrive to school late because RT is not on a school bus schedule).

    i think kids, especially low income grade schoolers, would take the bikes. indoctrinate the youngest kids into bike culture and they will ride happily into middle and high school :)

    it is an art project with practical applications. or a practical solution with artful applications...i dunno. was just an idea. thanks again for reading and taking a moment to respond. i appreciate it...

  4. njg. a critical mass of school children on bikes with enhanced bike lanes and other traffic calming measures would keep cars moving at a slower speed. the neighborhood i am thinking of in particular doesn't even have sidewalks, so these kids walk to school on the road's shoulder...and every year, at least on kid from greer or encina or jonas salk gets hit by a car. already. the kids are already on an UNSAFE route to school...

  5. In a sense, this would be school-based bikesharing. Kids could take a different bike home each night; each kid owns no bike, each kids owns every bike. Kid volunteers could transform unused space into a bike kitchen, where the bikes could be repaired. Starting off small, 20 bikes or so at a single school, could add a cool factor as kids would have to apply and then take a pledge to take care of the bikes, attend a cycling skills course, etc. A local business could sponsor the program. Obviously, such a group of kids could be turned into advocates for any number of things.

    I've been one to downplay access to bikes (i.e., non-ownership) as a significant impediment to bicycling. Maybe I'll have to rethink that.

  6. @chris, thanks for your comment! i love that idea, school-based bikesharing. love. please do rethink access issues, even right on down to knowing *how to ride a bike*. my step-dad taught me; but many kids don't have dads or any family members to teach them how to ride, know what i mean?