We were pounded last night! At 5 p.m. it was sunny and 70° F (21° C). At 6 p.m. half the sky was covered in ominous clouds with occiasional horizontal lightning. At 6:30 p.m. heavy rain and marble sized hail started up and the temperature dropped 15 degrees. Heavy thunderstorms continued until about 1 a.m. Light snow in the forecast this morning so with all the storm debris and chance of snow, I drove the kids to school and myself to work. I’m glad I did, there were several portions of the bike path that were still covered in standing water and I’m sure the parts that are close to the creek are covered in tree limbs and mud. Here is a shot of some of the hail that still remains this morning.
In a continuation of yesterday's post, I spoke with one of the crossing guards and with the school principal yesterday regarding the number of children who walk to school. The guard (who is stationed about a half mile away from school) says he gets about 8 to 10 kids a day. The principal said that there are a few more that walk the other direction, but not many more. She thinks that on nice days they'll get 20 -25. She then told me that we are fortunate to have the ones that we do as the city requires 15 children to warrant a crossing guard. She had to push hard to get the guy .5 miles away - but that is a very busy intersection and the city, rightfully, agreed to the guard. Fortunately, once a guard is in place it is very difficult for the city to pull them off that site.
So, most parents aren't letting their kids walk because of perceived safety issues. Additional crossing guards would, most likely, increase the number of people walking -- but, we can't get more guards until we get more people walking... Arrrrgh.
Thankfully, there are organizations like Safe Routes to School. I'm going to be contacting them to discuss our area. [I can't believe I'm turning into an activist.]
Now, for some good news -- I think my waiting by the bike rack for my son every afternoon is starting to pay off. Yesterday I heard a little girl ask her mom if they could ride their bikes to school. The mom said "Honey, I'd have to get Daddy's bike down to do that." So, I think I'll keep showing up to ride home with my boy. I do think I'm going to ditch the bright yellow jacket with the reflective tape and just wear a sweat shirt or tee shirt, just to make sure the "I don't want to have to buy all that stuff" excuse can't be used.