Childhood Independence, In Japan

I read the article and then Clover and watched a few of the youtube videos of children running errands by themselves. We were both fascinated and worried because they looked so young. It is not something that we would feel comfortable doing here in Oakland for sure.


My siblings and I walked to school beginning in grade one. My own children walked out to the highway to catch the school bus for kindergarden. I imagine that the effect of shock headlines and stories in the main stream media has warped the perception of parents who live in large metros?

I walked to school at various points, and caught a bus on a large street as well, but it didn’t require me to cross streets that didn’t have proper facilities, and even cross-guards, that kind of thing.

We love Oakland, and this city gets a bad rep, and we ignore that. But as a complete streets advocate, we don’t have many pedestrian facilities that I would feel safe letting my kid walk on by their own. In the video, you barely see a car drive by. We live near multiple large avenues where our little string bean just doesn’t make a large enough presence for my comfort. :slight_smile:

We also live on a(n annoyingly large) hill. Cycling is a pain for the adults, let alone a kid. And I am pretty sure e would wipe out at the bottom eventually. Not fall off the bike and scratch up head to toe fall. Like, could be fatal. And again, this is based on working in pedestrian and cycling advocacy for over a decade; the US has really messed up streets, it is like we worship car-gods that get all the best property.

Probably! And I don’t consider myself immune, but I don’t think that is the case here. People look at us like we are daft when we insist we moved to Oakland to raise our kid. We feel super safe here, this city raises us up with its community. But car-gods threaten most American cities. Maybe those stories aren’t all just shock headlines. :relaxed:

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You’ve probably read/heard it already, but everyone should: … or what is essentially a podcast version of the same material,

~100 years ago it was kids vs cars, and the car [dealers] won. The propaganda on both sides was pretty interesting. The winning side’s not recognized for what it is now.

I think there might be a narrow chance to re-fight and win against cars over the next ten years. But probably humanity will be lost.

There is an even briefer, fun video version of the above: Evil YouTube Video: Adam Ruins Everything - Why Jaywalking Is a Crime. I just want to get this info out to everyone, regardless of their attention span. In fact, those with the least attention need to know this the most…

…And to all a good night! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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