Northeast Indiana doesn't lend itself to walking and biking during winter. Nope! Slipping and sliding at this time of year is just par for the course. We have also all been victims of urban sprawl. Meaning that, it is pretty difficult to walk from Waynedale to Downtown Fort Wayne Directions to look at the Santa Claus display, or ride your bike from Waynedale to Glenbrook Directions in the snow or ice. That is why we still are enslaved to our cars- and probably will be for a long time to come.
Now, there is the public transportation route. That is pretty great and my city's public bus company is trying to be on the cutting edge by developing hybrid buses and finding ways to 'green their fleet'- but still, they are working within an old paradigm. This is northeast Indiana, after all- we are car people.
In the last week or so a large controversy raged concerning closing schools during bad weather. Now, this is when we need to start to really look at two areas;
People! We live in Northeast Indiana! There will be snow and ice and, yes- cold weather! Little Ricky, and little Deja have to get used to this weather if they are going to live here. Quit being so overprotective-kids are becoming so sheltered they don't know how to do anything on their own anymore. I know it is our job as parents, and caregivers to keep them safe. But, how will they develop the skills they need to keep themselves safe later.
This is when walking could come in handy. I, myself, am guilty of driving my grandchildren to school every day. And, I, along with many others sit in a line-up every day to drop off my grandsons at school and then pick them up. A lot of kids don't like to ride the buses- and that reason is for another post- but walking could be useful during this type of weather. I had read one post from a mother who said she thought the school system should make sure the sidewalks were clear for her little darlings so they could make the walk to school without falling down! Listen, it will not hurt your children to fall down – that is when a good parent would say, " Get up, little darling!" Besides kids love to fall down and roll around in the snow, leaves, whatever! They are not those of brittle bones, like the poor author of this post.
Why write about this subject during my green entrepreneur's countdown to New Year's? Because there is a lot of room for discussion on this subject. There are programs in place in other cities, like Walk the Bus that are addressing some of these issues. Perhaps we need to look at developing more walking groups, and more opportunities for walking for all ages in the coming year.