Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saratoga Springs Principal Behind The Times When It Comes To Bicycling To School

My cycling pal Jack "Ghost Rider" Sweeney posted this pathetic story via the Seattle P-I Web site -- sad that this type of mentality is still out there:

School officials in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., reprimanded a mother and her 12-year-old son for riding their bicycles to school on national Bike to Work day and confiscated the boy's bike, according to a story in The Saratogian.

Janette Kaddo Marino and her son, Adam, 12, pedaled the seven miles from their home to Maple Avenue Middle School.

"After they arrived, mother and son were approached first by school security and then school administrators, who informed Marino that students are not permitted to ride their bikes to school," the story said. "School officials took her son's bike and stored it in the boiler room. They told her she would have to return with a car to retrieve the bike later in the day."

It's a matter of safety, Principal Stuart Byrne told the paper.

"I would be a nervous wreck every day if kids were riding to school," he said. "Traffic isn't bumper to bumper, but it's non-stop."

Byrne said he also worries about children traveling unsupervised through the community.

The Saratoga Springs school district did not apply for any of the $2 million that the New York State Department of Transportation awarded through its Safe Routes to School program, which awards money to districts to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

"I personally encouraged them to apply, but I was told that the school board policy considered it unsafe to walk or bike, and the policy is only to bus (kids to and from school)," Raj Malhotra, the DOT's program coordinator for the Capital Region, told the paper.

No comments: