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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
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Mueller Community

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Joined on August 31st, 2007
Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys: Bogota, Colombia and children playing
by Kateg on January 27th, 2010


"I'd rather have the habit of pulling in to the alley at a leisurely 3-5 mph and seeing some children playing there (CHILDREN! PLAYING!) and accommodate them, then be concerned about saving an additional 7-10 seconds of time."

I see the alley as an extension of our backyard. It is also a place to meet and get to know my neighbors. Knowing our neighbors keeps us safer and happier. Frolicking in the alley in a responsible way, BBQing, kids racing bikes and laughter creates community. I invite those of you who find it a nuisance to slow down and roll down your window when the kids move to the garage when you drive by and let them wave enthusiastically at you to say hello. And then join us for a beverage and a bike race sometime soon. How about this afternoon?!

- kate
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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by schroed on January 27th, 2010

You have back yards, parks and sidewalks. If you want to BBQ or gather (or ride your bike -- do it there. Why do you have to play in the alleys?

Take your bike out of the garage, and go straight to the street, where there is better visibility and less danger. Playing in the alley is not only unsafe, but inconsiderate.

Are you sure you have the right neighborhood forum? Where are these back yards you speak of? And on what planet is it safer for kids to play in streets packed on both sides with parked cars than in alleys with none?

To be fair, Larry was right about at least one thing: the alleys that have row house paths adjoining in the middle are potentially unsafe, and both parents and drivers share responsibility for minimizing the chances of a tragedy here.

PS- Rod, you rock!
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Shannon Sobeck
Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by Shannon Sobeck on January 27th, 2010

I agree, slow down and watch out for people walking, jogging, scootering, bicycling, etc...

I see children using scooters on the sidewalks and when your coming out of the alley way it is impossible to know if a child is travelling fast down the sidewalk across the alley way as you enter the street...
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Greg Buford
Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by Greg Buford on January 27th, 2010

'cause, baby, tramps like us, baby we were born to ruuuunnnn!

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Mueller Community

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Backing out of garages
by dmick on January 27th, 2010

One issue I haven't seen addressed:

Backing out of garages.

Many cars (like one of mine) have poor rear visibility. Many of us have no choice but to back slowly into alleys trusting that nothing has moved behind the car after we get-in/start-up.

Now that there are delightful children in my alley, I will look both ways every time to ensure that it's fully child-free before getting into the car.

(Backing into the garage would be a great solution, but I'm afraid it would require reverse gear skills I don't possess, and my fenders and walls would suffer too much.)
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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by AnnaSlade on January 27th, 2010

Ditto Melanie. I also live on a corner lot and I often do the same thing when exiting, after looking to see there's no one poised to enter. I suppose I should drive all the way down to the end though.

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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by gophils026 on January 27th, 2010

I also enter the driveway going "the wrong way". This automatically ensures that I have to drive slowly and cautiously and keeps me from driving through most of the alleyway like I would have to do if I entered at the designated entrance. Both of these things are beneficial towards avoiding a tragedy like is being discussed on this post. It also seems way more environmentally friendly to me, because to drive to the designated entrance would add two blocks to my drive. This would total over 50 miles a year if done just once every day.

There just isn't a high volume of traffic coming out of the drive ways, so it is very rare that I actually encounter someone and end up in the way. I do feel wrong and rude when this happens, but it is certainly not a tragedy.

I know it is not following the rules, but the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages to me.
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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by danx111 on January 27th, 2010

Keep in mind that the alleys are public thoroughfares, same as the streets and that we have APD patrolling the neighborood every day.........
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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys: Bogota, Colombia and children playing
by doug on January 27th, 2010


"...Do we really value cars more than we value children being able to play?" (paraphrasing).


This is the best post on the subject so far. I think you have arrived at the essence of this thread. Also relevant to the conversation is whether those who view children playing in the alleys actually have young children. Additionally, have these negative posters been on a bike since they were a child? You might want to try it some time. It feels like flying

And one more thing to these naysayers - I moved to Mueller because it is so bike and pedestrian friendly. Despite the negative comments, I still think it is. The number of children (and adults) who ride, play, scooter, jog, bbq in the alleys will continue to increase, so please don't run us over with your oh-so-powerful automobile. Remember, the 14 seconds you save could cost a human life.
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Mueller Community

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Bicycle Safety of Children in Alleys
by john.miller on January 27th, 2010

Well -- I use my backyard. I also drive at 5 mph in the alleys. I do not think it safe for children to play in the alleys.

I will say though that I will be very sad when the first child is struck due to their parents negligence.

Hopefully everyone here who is advocating the play in the alleys will feel sad as well.

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