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Old 05-22-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin+babyAndrew View Post
right, but is there a bicycle trail that will get you to the same destination? Very often there is a trail nearby, you just have to look for them. Once you find one, many others will follow. The roads are not the only ways to get around.

I guess maybe this is just another difference between Canada and the US. While we admittedy have similar urban sprawl, it seems we are more cyclist friendly. I suppose I should keep this in mind I did mention a bit further back that I realize not all cities are as established when it comes to bike trails. It will take time, but when your cities do catch up you'll see what I mean.
What about the cities that are already fully developed and have no hope of "catching up"? Will those people living there then be excused from having to justify themselves to you?

Manitoba is a far, far cry from most places in the US, you know
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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Thank you Marcie. I was starting to feel a little attacked there. I havent seen any bike trails anywhere in our city. and people drive crazy. Nothing like driving on 128 north at 3pm. Not to mention I work at night. Would you ride your bike home at 10pm on the highway. Anyways I am really glad others have that luxury. I would love to get a job closer to my house but I would be talking a $5 pay cut and lose of insurance although I am going to see if I can work at the girls school which is across the street from us, so I promise if I get a new job there I will not drive my car
When DH and I lived in Sommerville, we both worked in the burbs (Yeah, brilliant, I know!0 Nothing like having to drive out to Weston. I still have nightmares about 128, and we haven't lived there for 10 years!!!
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin+babyAndrew View Post
I chuckle at the people I see with their reusable bags getting out of their SUV's.. kinda missing the point there aren't they? I guess one thing is better than nothing.
.
ASSume much. Maybe it's not one thing. Maybe that SUV is the one thing that they haven't changed or been able to change. Perhaps they CD, recycle, grow a garden they can own a farm for all you know but that SUV is the one thing that they can't change right now. Then comes someone like you who makes it seem like everything else is irrelevant, I don't get that. Hybrid SuV's (and you can't tell the difference at a glance) gets more gas mileage then a lot of regular cars.

Speaking of hybrids. Why are there no hybrid mini-vans yet? For the longest your only choice was a comapct car so if your family had more than 2 adults and 3 tiny kids that are not expected to grow or something, I never got that either.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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See, where there's a will, there's a way

I live in the coldest city in the world with a population over 600,000. My husband plans to build a winterized bicycle with studded tires so he won't even have to take the bus in future winters unless it's colder than -20 or so. The river isn't too far from our home and they actually groom a bicycle and walking path on it for the winter. how cool is that? The river goes very close to his work which is right downtown as well. The key to surviving in our winters is dressing appropriately and being prepared.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 1growingsprout View Post
DH just called, im spending the next week or so in MI, gas went up SEVEN CENTS over night in phoenix.. its now $3.68 at the 'cheap gas station for the cheap gas" gotta love holiday weekend pricing

On the flip side he said its not going to get over 80 degrees today, the windows are open and there is a cross breeze, finally.. Monday it was 112degrees.
Yay for cooler weather!! $3.68 is cheap compared to here (outside Philly) The cheap station here was $3.87 this morning. The most expensive (on DH's way to work) he said was at $3.99. This is for regular unleaded, NOT premium!
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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What about the cities that are already fully developed and have no hope of "catching up"? Will those people living there then be excused from having to justify themselves to you?

Manitoba is a far, far cry from most places in the US, you know
yes I see this now, and I explained in the post you just quoted.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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we wouldn't do anything differenty. dh already bicycle commutes to work and he doesn't need an engine on it, he actually uses his muscle power and I must say he's getting in great shape Imagine that, a bicycle without an engine... hmmm... http://www.dutchbike.co.uk/Work.htm i'd love one of these with the big bucket on the front for the kids (you can get seatbelts for them) but for now we pull the kids around in the trailer.
I take the kids to the grocery store every second day, we buy a LOT of produce so I like it to be fresh. My oldest rides his bicycle and I put my 2 yo in one side of our mountain buggy urban double. I use the empty seat as a shopping cart so I don't even need to use any type of bag at all I chuckle at the people I see with their reusable bags getting out of their SUV's.. kinda missing the point there aren't they? I guess one thing is better than nothing.
In the winter months, DH takes the bus to work. I walk the kids to school every day.
I love my bike with an engine on it so little ol me can pull 100 lbs of children and my saddles of food/library books/etc up hills. Imagine that.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Mend and make due, and you are delaying the last 1/3, buy used and you are delaying the first 1/3... A used SUV will be lower impact than a new prius for a loooong time.
Thanks for reminding me of this. I shudder when I read people's judgmental attitudes about SUVs. We cannot get up our steep hill in the winter without four wheel drive, we needed a vehicle that could tow a trailer (our minivan did for awhile but it was wearing out the minivan), and one that would fit our entire family. We own a used Suburban that could fit four carseats when we needed it to, we can and often do take an extra passenger or two to fill the empty seat(s), we drive responsibly, efficiently, and infrequently. We take good care of our car and treat it gently so it will last as long as possible. We get about 15mpg on back roads, which is what I understand a lot of older minivan and sedan owners get.

So, I do drive my SUV to the store and step out with my reusable bags. Context is everything.

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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back to the topic of the OP.

This is a great thread and there are plenty of really good options and ideas for conserving $ and resources. I'm sure everyone can agree with that, and the fact that there ARE choices people can make right now to solidify their financial position in the future.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
Studded bike tires... my hubby has these on his mountain frame.
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

Yes they do work. Especially on ice.
Fabulous! Thank you.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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I love my bike with an engine on it so little ol me can pull 100 lbs of children and my saddles of food/library books/etc up hills. Imagine that.
Yes I think what you are doing is great! I do the same but without an engine because I live in very flat land. I did explain in another post on this thread that I see people around *here* relying on an electric motor on thier bicycle..not pulling anyone else, not going up hills, just sitting there letting the motor get them along what could easily be man powered... It just makes me kind of ..meh.. thinking about it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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So, I do drive my SUV to the store and step out with my reusable bags. Context is everything.

yes and to reiterate what I said earlier, I am sure many of the mamas here are just like you and I applaud you. It's the yuppies decked out in Lululemon in their shiny new SUVs, who honestly are not making any other efforts. I know many people just like that.. They only have reusable bags because it's "chic" now..

Actually, the people who live right across the street from me are a perfect example. They are a couple with no children. They have 2 vehicles and are perfectly able bodied, about our age. One of their vehicles is a giant shiny new SUV. They drive *everywhere*. did I say *Everywhere*? they have 2 dogs and I have enver even seen them take their dogs for a walk around the block. Obviously they live right across from us and we are close to *everything*... they are choosing to drive all the time. They take each vehicle out at least twice a day..they are always going somewhere for short trips.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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Yes I think what you are doing is great! I do the same but without an engine because I live in very flat land. I did explain in another post on this thread that I see people around *here* relying on an electric motor on thier bicycle..not pulling anyone else, not going up hills, just sitting there letting the motor get them along what could easily be man powered... It just makes me kind of ..meh.. thinking about it.
The amount of electricity used to charge and operate an electric bike is probably lower impact (or at least comperable) to the environment than the production and transport of the amount of food it takes to do the same amount of work as a person.

Just saying, an electric bike is very very efficient.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin+babyAndrew View Post
Yes I think what you are doing is great! I do the same but without an engine because I live in very flat land. I did explain in another post on this thread that I see people around *here* relying on an electric motor on thier bicycle..not pulling anyone else, not going up hills, just sitting there letting the motor get them along what could easily be man powered... It just makes me kind of ..meh.. thinking about it.
But how do you know that those people don't have bad knees and may not otherwise be able to ride a bike?? Do you know if they've been out riding all day and by the time you saw them they were at the point of exhaustion?? You don't know and you won't know unless you asked. And this is what I refered to before, your comments are dripping with judgment without knowing the full story. You're making blanket statements based on blanket stereotypes which may or may NOT be true. And they're carrying over to the mamas here on MDC, whether you mean for them to or not.

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Old 05-22-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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But how do you know that those people don't have bad knees and may not otherwise be able to ride a bike?? Do you know if they've been out riding all day and by the time you saw them they were at the point of exhaustion?? You don't know and you won't know unless you asked. And this is what I refered to before, your comments are dripping with judgment without knowing the full story. You're making blanket statements based on blanket stereotypes which may or may NOT be true. And they're carrying over to the mamas here on MDC, whether you mean for them to or not.
you're right, but some people I DO know.. in the case of my neighbors in my previous post. I know they aren't the only ones, either. It's when people say they have no choice but honestly, when push comes to shove they will make other choices. I do understand it's hard to see the need for it right now.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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The amount of electricity used to charge and operate an electric bike is probably lower impact (or at least comperable) to the environment than the production and transport of the amount of food it takes to do the same amount of work as a person.

Just saying, an electric bike is very very efficient.
Yes I agree with you, an electirc bike is a cool thing. I think that's why I was kind of thrown off when I saw a bicycle with an engine that uses gasoline and oil. Why would someone choose that over an electric model? I am not trying to be snarky, just honestly wondering.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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Yes I agree with you, an electirc bike is a cool thing. I think that's why I was kind of thrown off when I saw a bicycle with an engine that uses gasoline and oil. Why would someone choose that over an electric model? I am not trying to be snarky, just honestly wondering.
Maybe they converted it themselves using a bicycle they already had, making a motorized bike quite cheap for them. A gas powered bicycle is still going to be more fuel efficient than a car.

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Old 05-22-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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I take my recyclabes to the recycling cneter in my SUV, I get those same funny looks.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Maybe they converted it themselves using a bicycle they already had, making a motorized bike quite cheap for them. A gas powered bicycle is still going to be more fuel efficient than a car.
I guess, but electric bikes can be bought relatively cheaply. Especially used ones. How much does it cost to buy an engine and all the parts needed to convert an existing bike? Either way, yes it's much better than a vehicle. And I know how good it feels to not be dependent on a vehicle. It's very liberating.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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The amount of electricity used to charge and operate an electric bike is probably lower impact (or at least comperable) to the environment than the production and transport of the amount of food it takes to do the same amount of work as a person.

Just saying, an electric bike is very very efficient.
Just curious, is that off the top of your head, or do you have any data?

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But how do you know that those people don't have bad knees and may not otherwise be able to ride a bike?? Do you know if they've been out riding all day and by the time you saw them they were at the point of exhaustion?? You don't know and you won't know unless you asked. And this is what I refered to before, your comments are dripping with judgment without knowing the full story. You're making blanket statements based on blanket stereotypes which may or may NOT be true. And they're carrying over to the mamas here on MDC, whether you mean for them to or not.
Nothing wrong with a little generalization, and of course there are usually exceptions. If you go down to the supermarket, and see that half of the vehicles in the parking lot are SUVs, well, some of them might have a legitimate need for them, some might be mindful, but most are likely to have bought them just because. Seriously, you can't see the irony of someone driving an SUV and then using a reusable shopping bag? Because the attitude that "Oh, I'm doing my bit by using this bag, so I'm cool!" while not thinking beyond that is pretty widespread.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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I guess, but electric bikes can be bought relatively cheaply. Especially used ones. How much does it cost to buy an engine and all the parts needed to convert an existing bike? Either way, yes it's much better than a vehicle. And I know how good it feels to not be dependent on a vehicle. It's very liberating.
Technically gas is still more efficient than batteries.

An engine and kit at retail price is around $200-$400, upkeep is less than electric, portability is greater (you can fill up, carry more fuel, etc), weight is less, and our infrastructure for storing, collecting, and distributing fuel is more efficient than battery power.

In all honesty, with current tech, gas and electric are comperable for most things, and for a bike, gas might actually be better, because the battery life and manufacture of electric bikes does not have the efficiency benefit of 120 years of internal combustion manufacturing/mass production.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Just curious, is that off the top of your head, or do you have any data?



Nothing wrong with a little generalization, and of course there are usually exceptions. If you go down to the supermarket, and see that half of the vehicles in the parking lot are SUVs, well, some of them might have a legitimate need for them, some might be mindful, but most are likely to have bought them just because. Seriously, you can't see the irony of someone driving an SUV and then using a reusable shopping bag? Because the attitude that "Oh, I'm doing my bit by using this bag, so I'm cool!" while not thinking beyond that is pretty widespread.

I love you! Thank you for seeing my point. I was very surprised that more mamas here didn't get it. I guess I'll take my crown of being an "environmental elitist" and enjoy it. lol
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Just curious, is that off the top of your head, or do you have any data?
ok lets say you have a very efficient bicycle
30 miles is about 1100 calories for 140lb person

30 miles is one full charge for an eBike
36V and 10 Amp Hours
which is 360watt hours, 1/3 of a kwh, which is the unit of measure for electricity in your home, nationwide prices are 10-20 cents per kwh.
lets assume 75% loss (50% loss is more likely) when charging your bike, so 1 kwh, 15 cents to go 30 miles.

so the real comparison is which has more impact 1kwh of electricity or 1100 calories.
That is:
17.5 ears of corn
or
5.5 cups of rice
or
17.5 oz of steak

Coal generates about 2,460 kWh/ton so for 1kwh it takes 1.23 pounds of coal

But the main thing is coal plants turn 40% of the thermal energy into power, our body just doesn't. I don't have time to finish the full explanation, but it is at least interesting to think about how much it actually costs to pedal a bike.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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I really didn't mean to sound as though I was attacking anyone. I was just asking honest questions. really It's just difficult for me to grasp that not every community is so cycling friendly, it seems like it makes good sense to have lots of bike trails kwim? So when people talk about how they HAVE to drive, around here that means they are choosing not to.
Based off what you have said thus far, I am going to assume that you don't live in the states? There are vast parts of the states that are neither cycle friendly nor do they have public transportation. I think its easy to forget when we are on a discussion board that people are in various locations throughout the world so its important to be mindful of that.

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Old 05-22-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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Based off what you have said thus far, I am going to assume that you don't live in the states? There are vast parts of the states that are neither cycle friendly nor do they have public transportation. I think its easy to forget when we are on a discussion board that people are in various locations throughout the world so its important to be mindful of that.

Shay

Yes I understand and I did address this in an earlier post including stating where I live.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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I already had to quit my job. (35 minutes away with NO traffic, quite often more of an hour-hour and a half, gas at $3.80 here, 30 mpg, it had to have been costing me at LEAST $7-8/day to get there and back -- for 4-5 hour shifts most days at 7.50/hour) . . . it wasn't worth it. Although that was not the only reason I quit -- not even the main one -- it certainly played a part.

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Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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ok lets say you have a very efficient bicycle
30 miles is about 1100 calories for 140lb person

30 miles is one full charge for an eBike
36V and 10 Amp Hours
which is 360watt hours, 1/3 of a kwh, which is the unit of measure for electricity in your home, nationwide prices are 10-20 cents per kwh.
lets assume 75% loss (50% loss is more likely) when charging your bike, so 1 kwh, 15 cents to go 30 miles.

so the real comparison is which has more impact 1kwh of electricity or 1100 calories.
That is:
17.5 ears of corn
or
5.5 cups of rice
or
17.5 oz of steak

Coal generates about 2,460 kWh/ton so for 1kwh it takes 1.23 pounds of coal

But the main thing is coal plants turn 40% of the thermal energy into power, our body just doesn't. I don't have time to finish the full explanation, but it is at least interesting to think about how much it actually costs to pedal a bike.
It is indeed interesting. I never really thought about 30 miles on a bike taking 5.5 cups of rice. I used to do a lot of long distance cycling, and know that I ate more, but never tried to break it down. I'd have thought...oh, 30 miles/1 banana (not disputing your figures...just saying, after 30 miles I'd eat a banana, and maybe a little peanut butter ). But then I'd of course eat a bunch of pasta later. Wonder how much extra energy I'm storing in my body right now? A lot of miles' worth, I'll bet. Aaaah, don't want to think about that right now. (It's the knees, you see. They're just gone...)

One point, though. Energy isn't going to stay at .20/kwh. Not for long. What's really interesting is, when you remove fossil fuels (and synthetically derived nitrogen) from the equation, how much more expensive do food calories become? Can we even grow enough food to feed everyone?
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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Based off what you have said thus far, I am going to assume that you don't live in the states? There are vast parts of the states that are neither cycle friendly nor do they have public transportation. I think its easy to forget when we are on a discussion board that people are in various locations throughout the world so its important to be mindful of that.
You also realize that this will have to change, right? With $10/gal gas? One way or another, it will have to change.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zeldabee
If you go down to the supermarket, and see that half of the vehicles in the parking lot are SUVs, well, some of them might have a legitimate need for them, some might be mindful, but most are likely to have bought them just because. Seriously, you can't see the irony of someone driving an SUV and then using a reusable shopping bag? Because the attitude that "Oh, I'm doing my bit by using this bag, so I'm cool!" while not thinking beyond that is pretty widespread.
What???

I have an SUV (Honda Pilot) and I may not 'need' it in some people's eyes since it seats 8 and there are only 4 of us, but I got it for camping, toting the kids' friends places (mine are still in boosters so they don't fit 3 across in a car) and for family. In my opinion, using one SUV is more environmentally friendly than using 2 cars. Plus, I SAH so I may drive the SUV 200 miles/month.

And, I use reusable bags, have a garden, use home made cleaners, etc. not because it's 'cool', but because I do care about the environment.

I think that broad, judgemental statement is just rude.

Back to the main topic, my biggest fear is that if gas gets to be ridiculously high (not that it isn't already), my DH will lose his take-home patrol car. Right now, it saves us hundreds in gas each month, plus tolls. If he had to drive to work, that would easily tack on $300-400/month.

Sgt. Renninger, Ofc. Owens, Ofc. Griswold, Ofc. Richards, Deputy Mundell
Gone but not fogotten.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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I bet gas being $10 a gallon would result in A LOT more kids walking to and from school. I'm continuously amazed by the number of people who drive to our neighborhood school like 4 blocks to school, idle in the parking lot for 10 - 15 min and then drive home 4 blocks. I can see being worried about your child walking home alone but couldn't they walk up to meet him or her?

Yes, some of them are picking up the kid as they are coming home from work or are going somewhere else right away, but I know that a lot are specifically driving to the school just to get their kids and then going home again.
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