Friday 20 June 2008

Walking Lessons

The growth in numbers of schoolkids being driven to school not only increases congestion, it means that the children grow up not knowing how to walk round a city. To correct this, some schools are providing lessons in how to walk.

Here a class from Sefton Park school are being given a walking lesson up Hurlingham Road, St Andrews, practising walking along a pavement with cars parked on it. then crossing the road itself. As it is so unusual for children to be on a pavement, they are all equipped with high-visibility yellow tops.

This may seem an admirable exercise, but note how the teachers are actually blocking cars from getting down the road while the children get across.

This creates an unrealistic expectation for the kids: that cars will give way to them, and inconveniences car drivers, who get needlessly delayed.
There must be a way to provide these lessons without inconveniencing cars. Maybe there is a Nintendo Wii "walking" game, or perhaps a special part of school -the playground- could be set up to resemble a Bristol street. That way the children could get their lesson in without making the commuters late.

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