I am writing this on behalf of my girlfriend and her two kids. There has been an issue with my girlfriend's Ex-husband about the fact that we allow her two children (age 7 and 11 as of March 9th 2009) to commute to school by themselves on a bicycle. The Ex contacted there Mediator Arbitrator and complained, and the Med/Arb set a ruling forbidding the children to commute by bicycle by themselves.Given that my major mission is to promote bicycling as a safe activity, I'm very concerned about these kinds of misinformed rulings.
All of us commute by bicycle all over town, and my girlfriend and I both commute to Boulder. If we were to continue to transport ourselves by bicycle, her two children need to go it alone to their school in the mornings. We had ridden with them for over 4 months, the same route everyday, and taught them all of the rules of the road.
As we felt the youngest lacked the responsibility to do this on his own bike, we set them up with a Yuba Mundo (www.ilikebikeonline.com), a cargo bike that is built to transport multiple passengers as well as cargo. I installed an extra set of handle bars on the rear of the bike for the youngest to hold on to. My girlfriend and I made several test rides with them to and from their school to ensure they not only operated the bicycle safely, but that they also felt safe on the bike and the route.
The route they travel is as safe as any route in town, and 90% of it is on streets with bike lanes, the other 10% in on streets either wide enough to have a bike lane, or little to no traffic. They use crosswalks with lights, or intersections with stop lights or 4 way stops to cross major intersections.
I feel a very dangerous precedent is being set here that should concern us all. I am asking for your help to fix this situation.