Another Traffic Incident, Followed by Another Anti-Traffic Rant

The view from across the street after the incident.
The view from across the street after the incident.

This afternoon, Sept. 28 at 2:25 p.m., as the usual crowd of kids were pouring over the bridge, the heart stopping sound of a car hitting a bicycle turned all the heads in the same direction. Seventh-grader DJ Cody was pedaling next to the line of cars parked by the curb, and veered too far out into the street without looking. He was hit by a car, but quickly made it back to the curb, where he was surrounded by friends and concerned parents. Thanks to his helmet, his head had not hit the pavement, and damage to both the bike and the car seemed minor. Paramedics were called as well as police, and both were on the scene in less than three minutes.

Ok, friends, this another moment when I stand on my chair and start waving my arms around – Why do we need all these cars clogging up this space? Walking to school in Culver City should be as easy and as natural as running from third base to home plate. The idea that there are monsters lurking in the shrubbery is simply untrue. The idea that it’s too far is laughable; unless you live by Costco or La Cienega, walking to school is easy. Whatever idea there is in your mind that it’s not ok for your kids to walk to school, let it go. It is more than ok, it is ideal.

The more kids that walk, the safer it is. The more kids that ride bikes, the more popular it will be. With less cars and fewer (distracted) drivers we will have fewer accidents.

Walking to school might take a half an hour, but it’s time well spent. It’s also gasoline saved, calories burned and nature enjoyed. Just walk to school.

And remember to look both ways before you cross at the crosswalk.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I was at the scene and you and I spoke. Here’s a thought: Take a page from Linwood Howe’s Bike and Walk to School Week (LAUSD, too, promotes an annual Walk to School month). And publicize safe routes for walking and riding.

    We haven’t quite made it routine in my own household, but my son occasionally walks home on his own and, after reading your article, said he plans to get ready early and walk to school tomorrow morning. I still haven’t figured out how to make it more feasible for my daughter, as her backpack sometimes weighs almost as much as she does, but in the meantime, we’ve agreed to choose a pick-up spot a bit farther away from the school to avoid adding to the congestion.

    I’m willing to help organize a concerted walk and bike to school effort.

  2. if you must drive, (as I must on days that I drive child #2 to another school), please WATCH THE ROAD!! the iphone can wait…it takes a village to keep our kids safe. Thank God this accident was not worse. Our kids need to learn bike safety, but we drivers need to be very careful around schools and drive slowly, knowing that a kid could appear out of nowhere in an instant.

  3. The two cents of a person who lives a half-block from the Robert Frost Auditorium–at least once a week I see a parent whose car happens to be pointing the opposite direction down Braddock than the one he or she wants to be heading. So he or she does a three-point turn or worse yet, a U-turn in the middle of Braddock during school “rush hour.” I’ve even seen this time-saving maneuver done in the middle of the 4-way intersections at Braddock and Huron and at Braddock and Elenda (with the crossing guard in the middle of the crossing!) Hey multitasker–make the block! How much time are you going to save if you end up in the pokey for vehicular manslaughter or reckless disregard?

  4. An account from an eyewitness who actually stayed around to give a police report yesterday emphatically said this particular incident was NOT the driver’s fault. She was driving slowly and paying attention. The child pulled out from between two cars without looking and the driver was terribly upset, as we all would be in the same situation. While I agree that there are too many people that perform illegal manouvers in their cars around all our CCUSD schools, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE also tell your children to be extra careful. Drivers are only human too, and with all the activity around the schools, it is near impossible to see everything all the time. And drivers, stay off your phones around the schools and stop double parking causing even more issues for those of us that are obeying the rules!!!!!

  5. I concur with Judith. I’m trying to figure out when it became necessary for people to drive kids to their neighborhood school? Bikes and feet have been replaced by stressed people (students and parents) starting the day sitting in their cars as they inch ahead on Braddock, Elenda, and the streets nearby. It’s insane! Since when is it not OK to walk or ride 20-30 minutes to school?

    I live within a block of CCHS and CCMS and see it every day. Those who walk or bike seem pretty relaxed and happy, maybe lost in thought or talking with friends. Almost everyone in their cars look stressed and unhappy!! Funny, isn’t it? It’s not uncommon that I see parents and their kids yelling at each other (fighting) in the car.

    Walking or riding a bike to school is more relaxing, more environmentally friendly, healthier, and sometimes faster than driving through the throngs of cars and tense drivers. It’s also time for a little reflection on days past and getting “centered” for the day ahead.

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