Let’s Stop Blaming Our Children

For many of us, this time of year affords a chance to spend more time with the little people in our lives—our own children, nieces or nephews, cousins, grandchildren. Maybe it’s just me, but at this time of year I find myself especially cherishing my kids’ innocence, and am reminded how much I care that the world is healthy, safe, and prosperous for them, and for all of our kids. Creating that world is our mission at CalBike, and I hope you will support that mission with a donation today.

Because we have a long way to go to make that world a reality. Last summer, four blocks from our house, a 7-year-old boy on a bicycle was hit by an SUV and seriously injured. The authorities determined that the accident was “caused by the cyclist.”

I have my own 7-year-old, so I understand perfectly well that kids that age make mistakes on their bikes. But there’s something wrong with this picture. Is a 7-year-old to blame that there’s no safe place for him to ride while he’s learning? Is he to blame that the speed limit on our quiet neighborhood streets is unsafe for people on bicycles, and is not enforced anyway? Is he to blame that even our so-called bicycle boulevards are used by motorists to cut through the city? Or that the SUV driver likely could have ridden a bicycle, but didn’t, because driving seemed easier?

Your California Bicycle Coalition is pushing for the day when we won’t have to blame the 7-year-old, because the collision won’t happen. This year, our number one goal is to get funding—lots of funding—for bikeway networks: webs of quiet streets, protected bike lanes, and off-street paths. We think kids—and everyone: elderly people, beginners, those who are afraid to ride with cars—should be able to experience the joy of bicycling, and get where they need to go.

But we need your help to make it happen. Support us today with a generous donation; your gift help make California a place where kids, and everyone, can ride a bike, safely and comfortably.

Thank you!

Jenn Guitart

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