Usually it is my poor wife who does the school run and like most of the population, she does it by car - because of the distance involved, the expense and inflexibility of the bus service and because getting the children to ride their bikes is simply unrealistic as long as the only place to ride is the road.
Today I had to do it though and let me tell you, it was hideous. There is something very weird about being stuck in stationary traffic like that, blood pressure rising, sweat levels rising and nowhere to go. You're just stuck there strapped into a seat. The only way to blow of steam is by screaming.
Once you get to school, you see a line of huge cars and 4WDs in a line being directed by men in fluorescent vests. One by one, little uniformed boys and girls jump out of the back of the cars in turn. It reminded of that bizarre footage when Paris Hilton's mother came to pick her up when she was released from prison. She didn't even get out of the car. There was just this awkward hug through the car door.
It is all grossly irrational. All of those cars. All of that wasted space. The wasted money. The danger. The lack of freedom and the lesson we are teaching our children.
It brought home to me again why this set up we have where we are so dependent on cars for everything is not good for us. I cannot put it any better than this comment:
The roads in [insert name of your city] degrade the quality of life of everyone who lives in the city. It's not only "cyclists" who are affected, but also parents who have to work as unpaid taxi drivers because they can't let their children travel alone, those same children who would like more freedom but who don't get it because they're not allowed out on their own, people who live on a "rat-run" and wish they did not, and also the everyday driver who doesn't see an alternative but to drive because nothing else feels safe but for whom it's not a stressful experience.
The typically irrational school run, even for Claudia Schiffer. Borrowed from here.