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Archive for Monday, February 4, 2013

KDOT seeks input from bicyclists to update state plan

February 4, 2013

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During the summer, Matt Stratemeier weaves his bike through Lawrence on bike lanes and city streets to reach the scenic countryside. His 30-mile, one-hour rides give him an appreciation he cannot receive from riding in a car.

“Really, it’s just about freedom,” said Stratemeier, 34, Lawrence, who is secretary of the Lawrence Bicycle Club. “When you’re on a bike, you don’t have that same kind of hurry-up-and-get-somewhere perspective. It’s a lot nicer to just get away from the city.”

However, Stratemeier’s bike rides are not without peril. He said there are not enough bike lanes in Lawrence, and the few lanes that are in place are not well-maintained.

“Sometimes you’ll see the bike lane littered with gravel or debris, and no one wants to ride in that,” he said. “So you end up riding in the street, and that is dangerous because you have to keep up with the flow of traffic, and if you can’t, it makes you a hazard.”

The Kansas Department of Transportation wants to hear from Stratemeier and others like him. In an effort to update the Kansas Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, KDOT is conducting an online survey about bicycling and walking facilities and policies in the state. The goal is to improve safety, public health, recreation, tourism and community development.

The plan originated in 1995 with the beginning of the bicycle and pedestrian program in Kansas. It includes no public input and has not been revised since.

The Transportation Research Institute at Kansas University developed the online survey, and is working with an advisory committee to lead the update. Jessica Mortinger, transportation planner for the city of Lawrence and member of the advisory committee, said the survey is necessary to gauge true public opinion.

“We really want a direction and a vision from people before they move forward, because people are saying, ‘No, everything is good,’ when it may not be,” Mortinger said. “It will be interesting to see what the results are from the people who participate in the survey, and how that frames the discussion of the state.”

Pat Weaver, associate director of outreach and technology transfer with the Transportation Research Institute and principal investigator on this project, said that once the survey results are in, the data will be synthesized and follow-up interviews will begin.

The development of the plan is expected to start this summer, with a final update to be completed in July.

The survey, which is the first step in the process, will be online through the end of February, and can be found at ksdot.org.

Comments

Left_of_Lawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

Most of Lawrence is not very good for bicyclists. It's scary to ride around this town. Highways without a shoulder, others with huge shoulders but covered with debris (broken glass and gravel) and driver "wake-up" bumps between the car lanes and the shoulder. This gives the bike rider the thrill of riding to the right of the bumps, in the debris, then back over the bumps to the edge of the car lane. Fun stuff! I welcome the chance to provide some input to KDOT.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 7 months ago

It's scary for pedestrians, too. Drivers are downright hostile and threatening. Yes, I use the crosswalks.

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jesse499 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree that KDOT needs to help the bicyclists to be able to ride safely. Some of the bicyclists also need to get their heads on straight to. I have had them ride 3 or 4 abreast and look back and laugh because I'm being held up. I've been on the bic path walking or riding and had a pack of cyclists run me off the path like it's their private race track.Both sides have people that could do with a little courtesy toward each other and help out a lot. The problem is not all the roads not all the auto drivers not all the cyclists but each one is part of causing it or fixing it one thing is not going to do it.

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parrothead8 1 year, 7 months ago

That link only goes to the end of a completed survey.

Here's an actual working link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KTJZNCM

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 7 months ago

They need to figure out a way that the paths and infrastructure for these bicyclists is paid for by those who use them. Bicycles need to be liscensed for many reasons.

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windjammer 1 year, 7 months ago

Why woud bicycles have to bear all the cost? Automobiles seem to be in bike lanes when they should not be.

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parrothead8 1 year, 7 months ago

Are you really going to fall back on the argument that people should only pay for the public services they use? Will you extend that argument to all public services, or just to the ones you don't plan to use? You can't have it both ways.

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dwendel 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm okay with licensing bicycles -- I remember bicycle licensing back when I was kid. They really need to figure out a way to make automobile drivers pay all the costs of the infrastructure they use too -- and the pollution, environmental damage and public health costs they cause. If that were the case driving would be much more expensive and there would be a lot more bicycle riders for sure!

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 7 months ago

Why does Lawrence have all of these bike trails if they just ride side by side in the middle of the road??? Why are they riding on K 10 south of town??? Bikes have no business being on any road that is 45mph, let alone a highway!!!

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windjammer 1 year, 7 months ago

I was under the impression K 10 ran east and west. The last time I was on K 10 it ran through town. If you don't know where you are how can we trust your driving? Have you taken a drivers test in the last couple years? You should!!!

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Anthony Mall 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe you should look at a map before you speak... South of town, not north and south smart guy... Out there around 31 and Iowa and heads west, passing the softball/football fields, where the trails are??? I know you don't get out of East Lawrence much but drop the pipe and look at a map...

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dwendel 1 year, 7 months ago

Sounds like somebody got a booboo from lifitng their wee wittle toesies off the gas pedal for a second or two. Poor little thing. Darn you big, bad mean bicycles!

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