Monday, May 12, 2008

Park and ride


Bicycle Parking
Originally uploaded by vormplus
I usually bicycle to work but last week I had a medical appointment and had to drive my car. While I cruised around the campus, sharklike, searching for a space for the jalopy, I remembered something that happened about ten years before.

We received a note from my daughter's school inviting us to some parent-teacher event. It was inoffensive until the very end. Then there came a sentence that had me muttering to myself for days. It read: PARKING IS LIMITED, SO...

We'll pause here. How do you think they finished that line?

PARKING IS LIMITED, SO PLEASE CARPOOL.
PARKING IS LIMITED, SO CONSIDER TAKING ONE OF THE FOLLOWING BUS ROUTES.
PARKING IS LIMITED, SO WHY NOT BIKE IT?
PARKING IS LIMITED, SO, PLEASE CONSIDER SAVING THE SPACES FOR THOSE WHO NEED THEM MOST.

No. Here's what my kid's school chose to advise:

PARKING IS LIMITED, SO PLEASE COME EARLY.

Think that one over, okay? Please come early.

I sent them a letter asking them what, exactly, they thought they were teaching my daughter with that letter. Because what I saw them teaching was this:

This world has limited resources. Please don't think about sharing. Don't be considerate. And for heaven's sake, don't try to think outside the box and look for alternative solutions. Just jump in and get your share before someone else takes it.
Maybe that's even good advice, but it isn't what I want the school teaching my kid. I never got a reply to my letter, which I suppose was immediately dropped in the Crank File.

And speaking of cranks, and gears, and handlebars, this Friday is Bike to Work and School Day in Bellingham. Get the ol' Mountain Bike or Racer or Hybrid out and dust it off. On your commute you may pass one of the Celebration Stations where volunteers will provide you with cookies, coffee, juice, candy, coupons, stickers, and tons of moral support. Hope for good weather.

1 comment:

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 8,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff