Introducing #StreetsR4Families – Raising Kids On Foot, Bike, and Transit

Joe's one-year-old daughter Maeve sitting on her mom's lap on the Amtrak Surfliner last weekend. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Joe’s one-year-old daughter Maeve sitting on her mom’s lap on the Amtrak Surfliner train last weekend. Note: This picture wasn’t staged, and Maeve was certainly not always this captivated by the passing scenery. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

With both Streetsblog L.A.’s editor, Damien, and head writer, Joe, raising young children, we’re especially interested in how families can raise kids while safely and comfortably navigating city streets. In Los Angeles, sometimes it can be difficult for individuals to get around by foot, bike, and transit. Doing this with a family in tow includes a new set of challenges and rewards.

When Damien and Sammy went on their first bike ride in January 2010, we knew of one other baby that was riding in a cargo bike in Greater L.A. While it's hardly mainstream, there are dozens of families using cargo bikes for kid-transportation today.

When Damien and Sammy went on their first bike ride in January 2010, we knew of one other baby that was riding in a cargo bike in Greater L.A. While it’s hardly mainstream, there are dozens of families using cargo bikes for kid-transportation today.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of Angeleno families get around on foot, bike, bus, or train. Anecdotally, we’re seeing more kid bike trailers and occasional kids in cargo bikes, too. We’d like to see these numbers increase. By sharing our stories, and by pressing for facilities that are planned and built with families in mind, we want to make sure that our cities are great safe, healthy, multi-modal places for everyone.

This coverage isn’t really new. Damien wrote about his son Sammy’s first ride on the Expo Line, and gave us family-centered previews for CicLAvia. National Streetsblog coverage has included articles on getting kids on bike-share, family-friendly Uber services, and even national pediatric organizational recommendations.

What’s new is how we’ll be branding family-oriented coverage.

We’ve created a new hashtag, #streetsr4families, so that it’s easier to find and follow this coverage.

Yes, we will be telling some of our personal stories, but we also plan to write about how livability policies, facilities, and priorities can make things better for all families. And we want to hear your stories, too, so we can all share our car-free or car-lite child raising experiences, successes, and setbacks. If you use the hashtag, it will be easier for us to find each other.

This coverage is still taking shape. We’re looking to write on various topics, like: helpful hints, products, policies, child safety, needs of low-income communities, safe routes to school programs, places for kids to learn to bike, transit-friendly kid-friendly destinations, children’s books, lessons from other localities, web resources, and more.

Use the comments below to let us know what you think. Do you want kid bike seat product reviews? Parent readers – are there experiences, websites, products, resources, etc. you would like to share? Others – are you tired of hearing about our kids, and just want to get back to wonky Metro budget pieces?