Biking to School

Jack Franklin, Writer

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The average Houston High School student’s commute to school can be a hassle. However, for those students living within a close proximity to the school, There is a safe and convenient alternative to driving… the bicycle.

For the past two weeks, I have been riding my bicycle to school. Travel time has been reduced significantly from 15 minutes to 47-ish seconds (I literally live right next to the school) . In the mornings, this efficient travel provides many benefits. Those who bike are able to set their alarms back half an hour, for you don’t have to worry about hitting bad traffic in the morning or finding that perfect parking spot. This extra sleep allows you to feel more rested in the morning, and your mind is less stressed about getting to school. With the confidence of leaving school at a later time, your departures to school are exceptional. Also, you don’t have to be in a hurry at 2:45 to get out of the lot in order to beat out the often standstill traffic. Now, you can leisurely pack up your bag, talk to any teachers you have questions for, and prepare yourself for the following day. Typically, I depart from the high school at 2:50 and arrive at my house at 2:52. My only concern in the afternoon is paying attention to the occasional student whose eyes are not on the road but on their phones.

There are a number of other benefits for riding a bike to school that don’t impact the bicyclist. By not driving to school, you are one less car that our peers have to worry about in the lot. One less car on the road means reducing the carbon footprint.  Unlike walking, a leisurely bike ride is much easier than walking. Especially when the temperatures cool down, biking to school will be a breeze.

Cut-throughs on both the East and West lots of the school provide easy pathways into the bordering neighbourhoods of the school. Once the the construction on Wolf River is completed, the roads will also have safe bike lanes that students can use.

There is only one thing that makes biking to school inconvenient. Storage of bikes. Luckily, Matt Taylor, the HHS band director, is allowing me to store my bicycle in the band room. However, for the few (and I mean few) students that also ride their bikes to school, they have to store their bicycles on a small bike rack adjacent to the “A” building. If a student has an expensive bicycle, they probably don’t want their bike sitting outside in the elements all day long. In order to make biking to school a reality for students, Houston High School MUST provide a safe, climate controlled room for students to store their bicycles.

During the first two weeks of school, I was a first-hand witness to the horror of driving to school. Once I realized I could more easily ride my bike to school, my commute each day has completely changed. It is my hope that as the 2016-2017 year progresses more students at HHS begin to ride their bikes to school.

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