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Why biking to Laurel is a bad idea

Original post made by Renee Batti, news editor of The Almanac, on Apr 6, 2007

The following letter by Jerry Leugers was published in the Almanac's April 4 print edition:
Editor:
Your editorial regarding safe bike routes to Laurel School may be politically correct, but it is not a healthy choice. I have ridden over 100,000 miles in my 25-plus years of cycling. My children walked, rode or were driven to Laurel School; I also live next to the school, so I see the situation frequently.
A few observations regarding cycling to Laurel School:
** Many 5- to 7-year-old children lack the necessary motor skills; all of them lack the necessary judgment.
** Many vehicles, especially SUVs and minivans, have reduced sight angles.
** When school starts, the sun is at a low angle, reducing a driver's ability to see when looking eastward.
** Children are shorter than adults, making them difficult to see.
** Some drivers are so stressed getting their children to school on time that they exhibit poor judgment.
** There is considerable cut-through commuter traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The idea that banning parking on Ringwood Avenue will cure a problem caused by a school site operating beyond its design capacity without bus service is simplistic. The hazards stated previously will not disappear by banning parking on Ringwood.
There is no magic bullet and this superficial solution is not the answer. Five- to seven-year-olds lack the skills to ride to Laurel School and the parents who allow them to ride lack judgment.
Jerry Leugers
Lowery Drive, Atherton

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