A Small Bit of Local Activism

One of the reasons I wanted to leave Oxford was an almost  constant feeling of being strangled by cars.  Twice my daughter was nearly hit– once on a pavement which a dotty old lady was traversing in order to park in her front space; another time, also on a pavement, when a driver just chose to ride up on it to park there.  I hated having to keep my children so close to me walking down city streets, having to suppress their desire to run, to skip, to explore on their own terms, to be free.

Pavements need to be safe!  Pavements are people-space.  We need to fight cars or they will win.

So finding myself getting angry dropping the kids at their small-town primary school, and picking them up, I’ve decided to be pro-active, and postive.  Here’s the letter I delivered  yesterday.  Stay tuned!

23 September 2009

Dear School Board of Governors

RE: Pedestrian path leading to the Primary School

I am writing with a concern that developed in the course of the last school year which I hope can be addressed early on in the coming one.

We are a family who walks, cycles and occasionally drives to school.

I have found that the pedestrian path through the gates on the right are often compromised in two ways: one, cars in the carpark on the right edging out into the path and two, cars parked on the double yellow lines on the left also edging/blocking/ limiting the path.  Often there is barely a clear walkway for the children.  Sometimes there is not one at all

This is not a safe situation, or a fair one, and I am afraid it is begging an accident. 

Indeed there may be shortage of parking space, but this fact should not compromise the safety of walkers and cyclists. 

Luckily, there is funding, advice, and help available to us through the  “Safe Ways to Communities” program!

I have been in touch with Powys Cycling Officer in xxxxxxx, XXXXXXXXX, and she is more than happy to help us develop and get funding for cycle shelters.  And Traffic Manager XXXXXXXXXX could help us develop a strategy to deal with breaches of the double yellow lines.  Sustrans is an organisation with loads of useful knowledge and resources as well.

I am happy to help work on all of this.

But I think a good place to start might simply be the school notifying parents through a letter that the pedestrian path mustn’t be breached—it’s our children walking there!

Our XXXXXXX school is an “Eco-school”—let’s make this designation meaningful in another way!

Thanks so much


2 Responses to “A Small Bit of Local Activism”

  1. George Marshall Says:

    What does XXXXXXX stand for? I do hope that rude words didn;t go to the trustees!

  2. Keith Farnish Says:

    Yuk, Eco Schools. Sadly it’s just a box ticking exercise – you can get a silver award just by saying what you plan to do, and then do nothing.

    The only real education on important subjects is to be had by breaking out of the curriculum: so many teachers would love to do that. Child activism is the way forwards! Anarkids! 🙂

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