|Cycling with my son down South Lamar: Not for the faint of heart!|
|A typical arterial street in our neighborhood.|
Lots of parked cars, leaving no room for two cars to pass each other,
let alone two cars and a cyclist.
Both of these articles, however, ignore the hazards we observe everyday as we travel through our neighborhoods: absent-minded drivers who text, ignore crosswalks, and regularly speed through our neighborhood streets. Rosin asserts that the world is not a more dangerous place than it was when we were growing up, but she bases her argument solely on crime stats and child abduction rates, not on traffic safety. Meanwhile, pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise. A pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in a traffic crash in the United States, and 19% of these injuries are to kids 15 and younger. Pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of accidental death among children 5 to 15.
All this being said, I think that ultimately the decision about whether to let your child ride his or her bike alone is a very personal one. It depends on the conditions in the neighborhood, as well as the child's cognitive abilities and experience riding with adults and learning good cycling safety judgment. What also helps: a leap of faith, a kiss on the cheek, and maybe a prayer or two.
|The cast from the broken arm!|
Will we let our children ride alone again? Yes, although next time I will remind them to look out for the cracks in the sidewalk.
|Here's the uneven pavement that was the source of the fall and broken arm.|
This is very typical of the state of neighborhood sidewalks in Austin.
Despite several calls to the City of Austin, this sidewalk has still not been repaired.