It is becoming increasinly obvious that the best way to promote cycling is through the spread of positive images of stylish, relaxed, happy, normal people on bikes. This is already common in some of the most advanced and rational countries, the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan. There are plenty of places still lagging behind though. Here’s some inspiration.
I can’t remember where I came across this video, but who wouldn’t want their child’s schoolgrounds to be like this?
Clearly there are steps that local councils and national governments, even individual parent-teacher committees can take towards this vision. The most fundamental aspect is safety.
The cheapest and easiest actions are probably to lower the speed limits around the school, reduce or remove parking spaces from the school grounds, provide safe and plentiful bicycle parking, and bring in a car-free day once a week to wean parents off the habit slowly.
Better long-term planning (also relatively inexpensive) would see streets around the school become ‘complete streets‘ and safe and direct bicycle and pedestrian routes connecting the school to local neighbourhoods, and free and available bicycle training for children (and adults).