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Archive for Sunday, September 20, 1998

A KANSAS CITY, MO., CONSULTANT WILL SPEND THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS LOOKING AT HOW SEVERAL LAWRENCE STREETS CAN BECOME MORE BICYCLE-FRIENDLY.

September 20, 1998

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An engineering firm will take traffic counts, look at on-street parking and study other factors to determine how to make bicycling safer on several streets near Kansas University.

The city recently hired TranSystems Corp. to study selected streets in the city for ways to make them more bicycle-friendly.

``They're going to have to take a look at safety,'' said Aaron Bartlett, the city's transportation planner.

``If you don't widen the street, you have to re-engineer the street. They're going to be looking at if (on-street) parking can be sacrificed at the benefit of putting in (bicycle) lanes,'' he said.

``They're going to look out there to see where the safety issues are at, and to see what options we have.''

The following stretches of streets will be the focus of the study:

  • Naismith, from 23rd to the KU campus.
  • Ninth, from Mississippi to Massachusetts.
  • Sixth, from downtown to Wakarusa.
  • Tennessee, from Sixth to 19th.
  • Kentucky, from Sixth to 19th.
  • Vermont, from Seventh to 21st.
  • Louisiana, from 31st to the KU campus.
  • 15th, east of the KU campus.
  • 19th, from Louisiana to the city limits.
  • 11th, from Mississippi to Haskell.
  • Connecticut, from Seventh to 15th.

TranSystems Corp. will take traffic counts in the areas, prepare study maps and ``develop alternative on-street bicycle conditions that will positively affect the BCI (bicycle/automobile compatibility index).''

``There's a lot more to it than just painting a yellow line down the street,'' said Gayle Martin, the city's communications coordinator.

``We'll look at both the physical characteristics of the streets and the operational characteristics of the streets,'' said Tom Swenson, senior associate with TranSystems.

``I hate to draw conclusions too quick, but maybe we'll look to put bicyclists on lower-volume streets. The idea is to put out a lot of options that people can look at.''

TranSystems, which is being paid $24,495 by the city, has eight months to complete the study.

Several public meetings also will be held to discuss elements of the study, according to the company's proposal.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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