Alabama Students Walk to School to Protest Gas Prices

alabama_students.jpg
On their way to class, Brooks High students brave the shoulder along route 72.

Perhaps taking a page from their peers in New Jersey, students at Brooks High in Florence, Alabama are ditching their cars in favor of walking to school. The Times Daily of northwest Alabama reports:

Students began wondering how much they could change gas prices by getting the whole student body to walk to school. Without involving the
school or the administration, approximately 50 classmates were recruited during a meeting last week. The students drew maps and planned for two groups to walk from Killen and Center Star to school.

The students have been walking to school all week. There is much to commend here: The civic-mindedness, the willingness to walk a not-insignificant distance (along a route so hazardous that cops have to check in on them), and the tacit understanding that reducing VMT can reduce dependence on gas. The students even had to work around parade rules that could have put a crimp in their protest plans. And the organizers anticipate that high gas prices are not going away anytime soon:

The group will continue its protest until the last day of school on May 29. Simbeck and McCutchen said they also plan to continue the protest next school year as seniors.

That said, and this may just be a matter of how the reporter chose to word the story, this high school protest appears to be more of a cry for help at the pump than an assertion of pedestrian and cyclist rights. Then again, who wouldn’t turn to pedestrian advocacy after a week of walking, with no sidewalk and apparently no trees, along traffic-dominated, sun-scorched U.S. 72?

Photo: Times Daily

  • LAofAnaheim

    Why don’t they protest land-use? What is protesting gas prices going to do? Nothing. Now, if they can fight land-use policies..they’ll go somewhere…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

SoCal Cutting Back on School Buses

|
The Times reports that Southern California school districts are cutting back on school bus funding to help balance their budgets.  In some areas, the urban design style so "popular" in Southern California has led those students unfortunate enough to lose their bus options no choices besides the private automobile for transport or not going to […]

Krepack: It’s Past Time to Invest in Safe Routes to Schools

|
Next time you pass by one of our community’s schools, take a look at the surrounding streets and one sobering realization will strike you: the streets around our schools are unsafe.  You’ll probably witness students hurrying across five- or six-lane roads, only to reach sidewalks where they must dodge cars whipping into the school parking […]

Thomas Starr King Middle School to Get Pedestrian Upgrade

|
This Google "Street View" Shows Some Challenges in Walking to Thomas Starr King Middle School Every year the state rolls out its "Safe Routes to School" award winners to the schools that have the best plans to make walking to their school a safe and attractive option. Last week Councilmembers Tom Labonge and Eric Garcetti […]

Public Health Student Stephanie Hopp: With a Growing Effort Toward Safe Routes to Schools, Why Not Safe Routes to Universities?

|
Stephanie Hopp is a fourth year student at Union College studying Biology, Environmental Science and Spanish. She is actively involved in biking, health, and environmental protection and plans to pursue a Masters in Public Health following her undergraduate education.    With gas prices reaching nearly five dollars per gallon and university tuitions on the rise, getting to and around school […]