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In Vienna public transport and the streets are full with pupils during the week. Its surprising that in the English speaking world people would not allow their children such a nice and important step of early emancipation. I think its an important thing to learn for children to navigate on their own and also to come home when they are supposed to on their own.
I agree with you 100%. I was quite lucky in as much as I was expected to walk home from school at an early age. From the age of middle school onwards I had to take public transport home on my own - good for survival skills indeed!
Yes, walking home from school and relying on public transport from a young age was great. Gives you self confidence and a feeling of independance. Having to rely on your parents to drop you off everywhere restricts your freedom. Having said that, its not like public transport gave me ultimate freedom, growing up in Auckland.

Yet another disadvantage of automobile based transport is that it put the young, the old, and the disabled at a disadvantage. Not to mention the poor, whose ability to pay for maintaining cars may be limited.

Wrapping your kids in cotton wool can't be good for helping them become more mature.
 
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