• See below.
  • See below continued.

Elementary School's Anti-Bicycle Policy

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"7. Bicycles are not allowed as a means of transportation to or from school due to the nature of the traffic patterns as deemed by the San Jose Police Department."

Don't ride your bike to school. It's against the rules.

There are NO bike parking facilities at Noddin Elementary School in San Jose, CA. And it looks like there may never be...

This is a hand out given to all the parents at the beginning of the school year. My neighbor's six-year-old daughter is in the first grade at Noddin. Her parents are so upset...

April '09 Update:
Not a half-mile from Noddin is this.

I'm speechless.

Update: Today (May 28, 2009) is 'Bike to School Day' in San Francisco. Twenty-two schools in SF will participate in the program.


Update: Saturday (October 10, 2009) was a great day on the Noddin playground. I couldn't be there, but Richard was there and took a bunch of pictures.

I posted this photo 11 months ago. I was really angry and frustrated, and felt a need to make it public. I did not think things would change.

Today I am elated at the bicycle community's success. I am thankful to the people who made this change happen.

Update: This morning (Tuesday, September 21, 2010), I posted a photo of the rack.

Adrienne Johnson SF and Moment of Inertia added this photo to their favorites.

View 6 more comments

  1. Adrienne Johnson SF 74 months ago | reply

    I know what my opinion of cops telling me how to raise my kids is. It is easier to pray on fear than get out and make people drive reasonably and safely in school zones.

  2. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 74 months ago | reply

    John Brazil (San Jose BikeProgram Coordinator) has been notified and he says he's looking into this. I'll try to swing by here tomorrow to take photos; it would be better to do this during school drop off time, but this is very far out of the way where I go.

  3. Cold Iron 72 months ago | reply

    San Jose could learn something from the island city of Alameda:

  4. Adrienne Johnson SF 70 months ago | reply

    Has there been any movement on this? This being Bike To School Day in San Francisco, I am thinking about it.

    I would love to do a story on this for "Change Your Life. Ride A Bike!".

  5. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 70 months ago | reply

    I just sent a note to John Brazil (city of San Jose) asking about what kind of followup he got.

  6. TalkingChimp 68 months ago | reply

    Having walked my kids to this school many times and participated as a Safety Patrol parent a few years ago, I can tell you that this is not a school you want your kids to ride their bikes to. It has nothing to do with being "anti-bicycle," but rather "pro-safety." The surrounding streets are narrow, and the car traffic congestion is such that kids would probably end up riding on the sidewalk, which already have enough pedestrians on them.

    That said, a good number of kids who finish Noddin end up riding their bikes to middle school, which is about 1/2 mile away, but the streets have bike lanes.

  7. Cold Iron 68 months ago | reply

    Matt Yuen-

    Wow. Perhaps if the school was truly "pro-safety," they could ban cars. After all, 40,000 people die each year in the U.S. in cars.

    But that would never fly, and I would never suggest it.

    I use a car too, and I don't want my right (or anybody else's right) to be mobile taken away.

    To BAN bicycles in the name of safety is wrong. It is taking away a fundamental right.

    Have the powers that be considered widening the sidewalks? How about painting the curbs red near the the school? Perhaps driver education for those who live near the school? What about a 15 MPH speed limit on streets near Noddin? Or any combination of these ideas?

    No... none of these things will happen, I fear. This is the message, and it is loud and clear: If you ride a bike, you don't count. If conditions are unsafe for you and your bicycle, conditions will NOT be changed to acommodate you. You will just not be allowed to ride. However, if you want to get around in a car, Noddin (and most elementary schools) will go out of its way to acommodate you, with drop-off and pick-up zones and curb monitors.

    Noddin banned bicycles. Noddin is anti-bicycle.

  8. bicycler-CNH 67 months ago | reply

    Denying childrens first taste of freedom ,
    this is truly bad !

  9. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 67 months ago | reply

    The city held a meeting with the school district over the summer and the school has agreed to change their policy. From the current handbook:

    Riding bicycles to school will be allowed in the future. The City of San Jose is working with Noddin to secure bike racks and schedule appropriate safety training for students. More information to follow in the newsletter. We have Bike Safety assemblies scheduled for October, and once bike racks are delivered to school, students may ride bicycles to school. Helmets will be required.

  10. Cold Iron 66 months ago | reply

    Thank you for posting the update, Richard. My friend's daughter will be able to ride her bike to school soon, and that's just wonderful.

    As policy updates become available, I'll post them.

  11. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 66 months ago | reply

    I just got this plea from the San Jose bike education coordinator -- Tara Jones. Contact me for Tara's email address if you think you can help.

    I have a Bicycle Roadeo schedule for Oct. 10, 2009 from 8:30am-2p.m., and
    yes, that is a Saturday. I have put an email out to my usual volunteer
    list, and have had NO OFFERS. I am down to two weeks before the event, and
    I'm starting to panic. I need at least 6-8 volunteers and have one
    possible. The great thing about this particular Roadeo is that we had heard
    the Principal at this school, Noddin Elementary, would not allow any
    students to ride their bikes to school, because she had deemed it unsafe.
    She agreed to a sit down meeting with me to see what Street Smarts and DOT
    had to offer. When I explained everything, she agreed to a helmet giveaway,
    series of safety presentations, and a Bicycle Roadeo; students will now be
    allowed to ride to and from school.

    If you or ANYONE you can think of would be so kind as to help me out, it
    would be so appreciated!!! If you're not familiar with a Roadeo, there will
    be four stations that groups of kids at a time will go through, and each
    station teaches a simple safety technique. For example, there is a station
    to learn avoiding objects in the street, or learning to check over your
    shoulder for cars. It's fun, and very rewarding. It just is impossible
    without help! So again, if you know any bike enthusiasts, people who need
    community service hours, or if you're bored, please let me know!! Thanks in

    p.s. we will probably pack up way before 2pm! And I'll provide lunch!

  12. Cold Iron 66 months ago | reply

    The policy at Noddin will change soon, but not so for all schools where bikes are not allowed.


  13. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 66 months ago | reply

    Dave, I'll be at Noddin this Saturday as a volunteer.

  14. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 66 months ago | reply

    Hi Dave - I met Eva this morning, who I guess got this whole thing started

    Eva -

  15. TalkingChimp 57 months ago | reply

    Checking in on this, now that our first year of bikes at Noddin has finished. The rodeo was a success, and some kids did start biking to school, although not too many. I'm sorry Cold Iron's anger made it difficult for him/her to understand the reasons for the former policy. Comments such as "The message is that if you ride a bike, you don't count" are reactionary rantings that add nothing to the solution.

    As for the suggestion that streets be widened, well that is absolutely ridiculous. Have you seen the streets there? Take a guess how much it would cost to compensate all the neighbors for eminent domain. To say that if bikes are forbidden, then one must be automatically "anti-bike" makes absolutely no sense and is knee-jerk. It was never about being "anti-bike." I think guns should not be brought to school, but I am not anti-gun.

    I agree that the better solution is not to ban the bikes, but to try to make conditions safer. Fortunately, that is what Eva and others did instead of merely posting emotional ventings on Flickr. Congratulations and thanks to them.

  16. Earthworm 57 months ago | reply

    Hmmm. Yes you're right TalkingChimp, but sometimes you have to rant to the choir to keep up one's spirits then continue the long slog to make change peacefully.

  17. Cold Iron 55 months ago | reply

    Matt Yuen-

    "Reactionary rantings?!?"

    I simply put the shoe on the other foot.

    "Widening the streets?!?"

    I suggested widening the sidewalks, not the streets. Please don't put words in my mouth.

    "Merely posting emotional ventings on Flickr?!?"

    The principal's message in the photo was Eva's. She was pretty emotional when she told me about it. I asked her if I could see it. She showed it to me, I took a picture, and 'merely' posted it here.

    I won't take credit for changing Noddin's policy, but I did play a part. I am the 'Dave' in this post on Cyclelicious.

    Please get your facts straight. I am not the ridiculous one.

  18. Cold Iron 55 months ago | reply

    I just saw a story on Channel 7 News about a new 'walk to school' program at Bagby Elementary in San Jose. Budget cuts have reduced school bus service to the school, and parents are encouraged to keep their cars parked and have their kids walk to class. Mayor Chuck Reed made a speech at the school today, and in his speech he talked about how dangerous school zones are in the mornings...because of parents driving recklessly.

    Two thumbs up, Mayor Reed. It's refreshing to hear an elected official speak a potentially unpopular truth.

  19. Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 55 months ago | reply

    Thanks Cold -- cool story. I hope it's online somewhere!

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