Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Editorial: Worthy legacy

Library and fitness programs are a great way to remember the community contributions of the late Dr. Bob Frederick.

October 10, 2012


Congratulations to the family of the late Bob Frederick for their efforts to keep alive the memory and the values of the former Kansas University athletic director who died in a 2009 bicycle accident.

This past weekend was noteworthy for two events that promoted physical activity and healthy lifestyles in Frederick’s memory.

At the Lawrence Public Library, children not only could get their library cards, they also could select a book and receive a bookmark in memory of “Dr. Bob.” A selection of books dealing with nutrition, good sportsmanship and exercise was available as part of the library’s Dr. Bob Book Program, inaugurated at a reception at the library. This program is expected to benefit around 1,200 youngsters each year. The family provided a financial gift to launch the program.

The second event of the weekend, on a chilly autumn morning at the Rim Rock Farm cross-country course north of Lawrence, was the third annual “Dr. Bob Run,” a 5-kilometer race for adults that this year also featured events for teams and for youngsters. About 300 people took part. The Dr. Bob run supports a scholarship named for Frederick in the KU School of Education.

Members of the Frederick family were on hand and thoroughly enjoying both events. The activities were a genuinely positive way to remember the genial Bob Frederick, who loved running and bicycling and espoused a healthy lifestyle and good sportsmanship.

Three cheers for Mrs. Margey Frederick and her sons, Chris, Mark, Brad and Brian (who also was married during the weekend!) for these beneficial community-based efforts that keep alive the memory of their husband and father.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Cost of one four lane mile or Fieldhouse will buy an entire Hike/Bike Infrastructure.

--- Mayor Sam Adams said recently caught our attention. In a video on, Adams touts our biking culture while adding that we built our bike network for about the same amount of cash that a mile of highway would set us back.

--- "You know in 1993 we weren't the bicycling capital of America," he says. "Seventeen years later, for the equivalent cost of a single mile of freeway, we have a bike infrastructure."

--- Our first stop was the mayor’s office, which forwarded us an e-mail from Roger Geller, the city’s bike coordinator. Geller said that in 2009, the staff set out to put together an estimated total cost for the city’s bike infrastructure in 2008 dollars.

--- When all was said and done, they came up with an estimated value of $52 million and adjusted it up to $60 million to be safe. Here’s how they arrived at that figure:

--- "We assumed that all elements that contributed to the city's bikeway system were reasonable costs to include, even if they were not built for the express purpose of creating a bikeway. For example, we included the cost of pedestrian half-signals and bicycle-pedestrian bridges across I-5, among others. These signals and bridges facilitate crossings for existing bicycle boulevards, even though they were in place before the bicycle boulevards were constructed.

--- "For multi-use trails we split the construction cost of the trail in half and assigned half the cost to pedestrians. For the Eastbank Esplanade I believe we divided the cost into thirds and assigned one-third of the cost to park development, as much of the construction of that pathway was not about transportation but was also about creating a parklike environment."

--- To be clear, he added, the network did not actually cost $60 million. It was probably less than that: "The $60 million figure is essentially the replacement value of our network as it existed in 2008 in 2008 dollars. In other words, if the bikeway network disappeared overnight and all the elements that contribute to its functionality, whether built by the city's bikeway program or not -- $60 million is approximately what it would cost to replace it all."

--- We called Geller directly to go over the specifics with him, just to make sure we were on the same page. We wanted to be sure that this official estimate included bike-only corridors and other such construction projects.

--- The one thing Geller said it didn’t include was city programs that deal with bicycles -- Oregon Safe Routes to School, for example. Even so, the cost of those activities, stretching back to 2004, could be absorbed in the rounding up from $52 million to $60 million, Geller said.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

--- In essence what Lawrence,Kansas could accomplish for the cost of one Fieldhouse would be an estimated 250 miles of exercise space, safe walkways and bike ways that would connect. This would provide a health and safety benefit that would very likely attract new economic growth to Lawrence Kansas. A project such as this would create jobs for awhile. Best bang for a tax buck!

--- The cost of a mile of freeway isn’t easy to pin down. The mayor’s office said Adams was referring to a mile of a typical 4-lane urban freeway. That cost, according to the city’s data, ranges between $20 to $80 million depending on various environmental factors.

--- They chose $60 million -- the middle road -- to indicate the average cost. "Of course," Geller wrote in the original e-mail, "it is possible to find examples right here in our region of a single interchange that cost much more than $60 million."

--- Their source for that figure was the Rails to Trails Conservancy. That group published the figure in a 2008 report on transportation. We asked the Conservancy for their original source and they sent us a document that offers a considerably wider price range.

--- According to that document the cost of freeways (in 2006 dollars) breaks down as such:

--- Rural areas: $3.1 million to $9.1 million per lane mile; $12.4 million to $36.4 million for a four-lane mile.

--- Urban areas: $4.9 miilion to $19.5 million per lane mile; $19.6 million to $78 million for a four lane mile.

--- Areas with severe restrictions: $16.8 million to $74.7 million per lane mile; $67.2 million to nearly $300 million for a four-lane mile.


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