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Oct 24, 2011
10:14 AM
Life in the Tetons

Fewer Cars = Safer Routes to School

Fewer Cars = Safer Routes to School

Photo by M. McCoy

Late last summer I read about a Tennessee mother who was threatened with arrest for letting her 10-year-old daughter bicycle a mile to school. "The officer informed me that in his 'judgment' it was unsafe for my daughter to ride her bike to school," Teresa Tryon is quoted as saying, at the Bike Walk Tennessee website.

This blew mind at first; I bicycled a mile to school myself when I was that age. But then I began wondering about the nature of the road the young girl was riding on. My cycling to school took place in the early 1960s in a small Iowa town, a time and place where things were a lot slower and less clogged with cars than they are now.

However, I sincerely believe that even — or especially — in the 21st century every kid in America should have a safe route for walking or bicycling to school. That's why I found it very rewarding on Friday, October 14, to take part in an early morning ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new pathway in Driggs.

Tim Adams, executive director of Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, did the ribbon-snipping. Nancy and I and another volunteer served as guards at the three street crossings between Driggs City Park, where the ceremony was held, and Driggs Elementary School, helping the group of young cyclists and pedestrians navigate their way safely. Ironically, the most obvious danger for the kids riding bikes over that half mile was the traffic congestion at the school itself; all the cars and trucks driven by mothers and fathers and grandparents, delivering their kids safely to the front door.

You can get more information and inspiration at the website of the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

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About This Blog

Michael McCoy

Editor Michael McCoy is a native Wyomingite who, through no choice of his own, moved to Iowa (“the third greatest state in the nation,” he says) when he was only a few weeks old. After high school graduation, he beelined it back to the University of Wyoming, where he earned a degree in Anthropology and the nickname of “Mac.” In addition to his Teton-area editorial duties, Mac works for the Missoula, Montana-based Adventure Cycling Association and writes freelance articles and books about the outdoors. “But that’s enough about me,” he says. “This blog is about you. I will prime the pump with an entry now and then--but ultimately, we hope it will be our readers, both locals and out-of-staters, who keep the streams of conversation flowing.”

 

 

 

Contributing blogger Susan Traylor Lykes was born and raised in the Denver area, a third-generation Coloradan. She spent much of her childhood in the mountains, and took up fly fishing at the tender age of ten, wielding her grandfather’s old bamboo rod and Pflueger reel. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Susan earned a master's degree in Town Planning from the University of Montana. For the past decade, she has focused on nonprofit land conservation and land use, serving on the boards of the Land Trust Alliance, the Teton Regional Land Trust, and the Orton Family Foundation.
Susan and her husband, Mayo, call both sides of the Tetons home. They are enthusiastic travelers and outdoorsmen — hiking, skiing, fly fishing, and bird hunting.

 

 

 

Contributing blogger Jeanne Anderson is a Cheyenne native and graduate of the University of Wyoming who has spent the last 25 years as a writer, PR consultant, columnist, and editor. Her passions include hiking, cooking reading, traveling, community, and creativity (she’s in her third term on the Idaho Commission on the Arts). She credits her broad practical streak to her parents, who started the first travel agency in the Cowboy State—from them she learned “every bathroom in the world is down the hall and to the left.” Jeanne and her husband Peter started Dark Horse Books in Driggs in 1995; their two-year experiment lasted 14 years. Now out from behind the bookstore counter, she’s looking forward to many new adventures.

 

 

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