We have been told by the SLO City Council recently that cyclists are the panacea for all ills: They don’t pollute, they build the community and they are going to save our planet because, sooner or later, everyone will bike around town and cars will eventually disappear. The last point seems a bit optimistic since it is hard to imagine arthritic old ladies or young mothers with groceries jumping on their bikes to climb the hills across town.
And if bikes don’t pollute, the SUVs that often carry them unfortunately do. Finally, how can a cyclist zipping through a neighborhood he does not know help build the community?
The best thing parents can do for the community and for the Earth is to walk with their children to the closest school instead of making them go to a distant one. Neighborhood schools do more for the community than all the cyclists in the world because parents interact with neighboring parents, and children play with their classmates after school. Everyone works toward the common good and gets to know one another.
Community building starts early, and it starts with children within one neighborhood, not with passing cyclists.
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Odile Ayral, San Luis Obispo