- Dr. Scott OswaldCollingswood School District Superintendent
Repeal the Collingswood school district's ban on children riding their bikes to school
Please join us in opposing the Collingswood school district's policy of not allowing children in the borough's elementary schools to ride their bikes to and from school. This policy prohibits children from doing something kids have done for ages: simply riding their bikes to get around their town. A town like Collingswood, with its outstanding network of neighborhood schools located on slow speed residential streets, is the perfect kind of place to ride a bike in. Schools in similarly-bikeable Haddonfield allow kids to ride to school, as do schools in less bike-friendly Cherrry Hill.
In explaining the prohibition on allowing children to ride to school, school district superintendent Dr. Scott Oswald says that “some of our elementary schools are on heavily traveled roads in Collingswood while others are in neighborhoods where sidewalks are tight and traffic around our schools is prohibitive,” but road conditions are what you make of them. With simple efforts like crossing guards and road cones, a "prohibitive" traffic situation can be tamed. The school district must merely find the will to implement a policy that puts child safety first by demanding that drivers act responsibility when dropping off and picking up their kids from school.
Additionally, this no-bike policy encourages more traffic in and around schools in the morning and afternoons, which is a continual source of frustration expressed at community meetings by those who live around them. Giving kids the option to bike to school is way to reduce traffic and congestion in the neighborhoods in which these schools are located, which is a win for everyone. As Sean Schweitzer of Safe Routes to School in South Jersey laments, "This is an opportunity lost. Walking or bicycling to school gives children time for physical activity and a sense of responsibility and independence; it also creates an opportunity to be outdoors and provides a time to connect with parents, friends and neighbors. The entire community benefits when there is less traffic congestion.”
So please join us in sending a message to Superintendent Oswald that this policy is entirely inappropriate for a town like ours. If Haddonfield can successfully allow kids to bike to school, there is no reason it wouldn't work here.
To learn more about this issue, please see the recent article "Can SJ kids bike to school? Rules vary" from the Courier Post at http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/2016/04/27/can-sj-kids-bike-school-rules-vary/83595344/.
- Collingswood School District Superintendent
Dr. Scott Oswald
I urge you to repeal the Collingswood school district's ban on allowing children to ride their bikes to school. Our town has a great network of neighborhood schools largely located on the kind of slow speed, residential streets that make for perfect bike riding. Allowing kids to ride their bikes to school would reduce traffic, which would be a win for the district, a win for the neighborhoods in which the schools are located, and a win for those who still choose to drive their kids to school. Our neighboring towns have successfully allowed kids to be kids and ride their bikes to school for years, and there is no reason it wouldn't work here in Collingswood. It would give kids extra physical activity that's important in an increasingly sedentary world and give them a sense of independence and self-sufficiency that will improve their confidence in the world.
There are so many benefits of letting kids bike to school. It's time to repeal this ban. Thank you for your time.
Joseph Russell started this petition with a single signature, and now has 289 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.