Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Tykes on Bikes in the Slope, Continued

January 20th, 2009 · 3 Comments

To get back from today’s lofty history, to the ridiculous, we have the continuation of the discussion about the little ones riding their bikes on the street or sidewalks of Park Slope. Here’s one Park Slope Parents email:

I have two children aged 7 & 10 and I always ride on the sidewalk with them to get to the park b/c it is not safe in the street. We try to choose blocks that are wide and are less populated. It is always extremely stressful to ride bikes with children, and I would rather risk a ticket than ride in the street. Additionally, would anyone expect a small child to ride in the street by himself? Sometimes my children ride up and down the block on the sidewalk on their own for fun. Would anyone tell a child they could not do this?

However, a good compromise for bike riding with your children to get from home to Point B is for the parent to ride in the street while the child rides on the sidewalk and meeting up on the corners to cross. I have done that before with much success.

And there’s this:

I won’t let my kids ride in the bike lanes. They use the sidewalk while I ride in the lane. We moved to Brooklyn when they were 8 and 5, so we were past the bike seat phase. I frequently watch cars use the bike lanes to get around other traffic or in preparation to park without looking for cyclists. I’d like to have bicycles be our primary transport, but I am too afraid of drivers to do so. We live far enough
from the park that walking with our bicycles would be a hassle. Biking for pleasure is unfortunately not part of our lives here. It just feels too stressful and dangerous. Brooklyn has a way to go to be
bicycle friendly for families. Children can legally use the sidewalk until age 12.

And so it goes.

Tags: Park Slope · Uncategorized

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // Jan 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    If you’re that afraid, get off and walk the bike, instead of teaching your kids to break the law when it suits you. Kids don’t understand gray areas, you need to keep this kind of thing pretty black and white.

  • 2 John // Jan 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Wow. Just wow.

  • 3 Crevice // Dec 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Hey, I know it’s a year later but just came across this and thought perhaps it’s not too late. Matt, I found your Hitler Youth card next to a big stack of mellow-out pills at the store. What a break … for everyone.