To be green, they’re going to have to change a few things. Despite all the mayor’s crowing about it, policies keep Dubuque from being as eco friendly as they like to make believe they are.
Let’s take, for example, the public school transportation system. Right now you must live in the zone for the school AND live more than two miles away. What kind of system expects a child to walk nearly 4 miles a day, in a place where sub zero temperatures are not unheard of? Furthermore, as Dubuque is not a walker-focused city, a child walking to school is in very real danger of getting hurt. The light on 22nd and Central, for example, is green for a few seconds. Running does not get you across fast enough. A person should be able to walk, not run, across the street. Who doesn’t drive? Many elderly and children. Short lights are a danger to them.
If you don’t walk, you can take public transportation. It’s free for children, which is fantastic, but the schedule does not match up with the school schedules. Furthermore, the public transportation ends so early that a child cannot go to a job or an activity after school. No wonder all the high school kids drive! Some schools don’t even have transportation nearby. If you go to Roosevelt MS, if you miss the school bus, or the city bus, it is a $20 cab ride from the end of its zone. This is insanity. Zoning kids from at least 4 miles away when there are schools that are closer? Why? To ensure they can’t participate in activities? To isolate them from their community?
Then there is RTA. RTA is around $35 a week. This is a huge expense for a family who uses it, especially if more than one child uses it. They aren’t private rides, for a subsidized government transportation option, it sure is expensive!
Lastly is the most common option. The kid arrives in private car. Either a parent drives them, or they drive if they are old enough. The most common way to arrive to school is by car. This is not green. This is not eco friendly. This is not the way things should be.
Lower the RTA price. Make the range smaller for school busses. The busses are out already. They are a good way to get a number of students to school without clogging the roads with private cars or the air with exhaust. Consider expanding public transportation in Dubuque. Anything to lower the amount of cars on the road because of some ridiculous cutoff regarding which children can use a yellow school bus.
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