Meet Nan Perez. Nan is Kindergarten mom at Eastern Elementary here in Traverse City. She wrote this lovely comment in response to many, many less than supportive comments regarding a Traverse Ticker story about a possible Safe Routes To School infrastructure grant to make our neighborhood elementary schools more walkable/bikeable.
I’m disheartened by these comments, especially knowing what an amazing benefit riding to school via a Norte! bike train has had for our kindergartner. Indeed, he has made great friends out of his fellow riders and talks about them (and their respective bikes) at home. It gives him a “3rd” and “4th” recess outside of the (2) 20-minute segments he receives at school, which is a huge bonus for his need for gross-motor activities. I’m so thankful for his safe route to school, and I sincerely believe that watching our 5 year old pedal away from his parents every morning is making our son a more self-sufficient, physically active, and confident child. I’d wish the same for any of his peers. And, for the record, we commute with our child into town and drop him off in order to have this experience. It’s that valuable to us.
Please, if your complaint is that it’s unsafe, then let the good activists and engineers do the work. Let pedestrians and bikers be so prevalent on our streetscapes that drivers EXPECT and PLAN to account for them as Ty noted in a recent Michigan Radio interview. Let’s reinstate the benefits of good organization and infrastructure to give our kids those “we walked to school in waist-deep snow both ways uphill” stories.
Keep awesome, Mrs. Perez, and thanks for supporting active, happy, ready to learn children in Traverse City.
Learn more about Norte!’s comprehensive Safe Routes To School programming HERE.