In 2003 the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation intervened in a community where liability concerns caused the local school district staff to ban students bicycling to and from school. Research resulting from this intervention led us to see this as a nationwide phenomenon. Furthermore, as Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs proliferate, we believe their proponents will slam up against the liability wall more and more.
In our intervention, we used tactics that we consider routine parts of our SRTS program. We believe that by using such tactics, well-informed and persistent SRTS operators can knock down liability arguments -- either by presenting the legal facts, rooting out the reality behind the perception, or implementing countermeasures aimed at specific problems.
This paper therefore aims to: