The Saratoga Springs, NY school district that previously attempted to prohibit students from riding their bicycles to school has revised their policy to allow bicycles on campus, though with reservations.
Unfortunately, the language in the revised rules seems purposely vague and leaves open the possibility for administrators to disallow bicycle access on a case-by-case basis. From the Times Union:
The new rule permits elementary school students and children attending Maple Avenue Middle School to ride bikes on school properties if they are accompanied by a parent/guardian and register in a note, “providing due diligence by the administration and individual school planning committees has determined that the conditions exist under which bikes may safely access school property.”
The new policy, recommended to the board by a committee, also says school administrators “will develop regulations to specify locations, conditions and requirements for such access and modify them as circumstances change.”
District officials have no jurisdiction outside of school property, but by not allowing bicycles on school property they can effectively prevent students from riding to school.
The issue here is that bicycling, which is statistically safer than either driving to school or walking, is being singled out as dangerous based solely upon the misconceptions of school administrators. According to the Times Union, a large number of people from all over the country (including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich) contacted district administrators urging they change the policy.