If Parents Want Kids to Bike to School, Why Are So Few Doing It?

kids bike to school
Public Domain. Powerhouse Museum Collection

Powerhouse Museum Collection/Public Domain

While some anti-environment extremists are painting bike paths as a communist plot, it's been shown that well-planned, dense urban neighborhoods improve quality of life and increase property values.

That's probably why new research from the Australian Heart Foundation shows a majority of parents want their kids to ride bikes to school. Sadly, that same research shows that less than 1 in 10 actually does—with 60% of parents driving their kids to school due to a lack of safe routes and proper training:

"Cycling to school is clearly something that children are able to do and parents want to encourage, but they re being let down by a lack of safe cycle paths," said Dr Lyn Roberts, National CEO of the Heart Foundation.
"The number of children being driven to school has sadly reached a record high arriving at the school gates by car was rare in the 70s, but now it s the norm for 6 in 10 families. We re missing a huge opportunity to tackle childhood obesity, reduce carbon emissions and ease congestion on the roads."

Once again we see how ridiculous arguments over environmentalism restricting personal freedom really are. The fact is that "freedom" includes freedom to walk, freedom from danger, and freedom to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Sometimes protecting those freedoms requires collective action investment and, gasp, maybe even restricting the freedoms of motorists to do as they please.

Like it or not, we are in this together.