FWD: Transportation planning in NE Kansas

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Eric Rogers

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Feb 19, 2009, 9:53:16 AM2/19/09
to kc-bike-...@googlegroups.com, letsgokc, Dale Crawford
FYI, Dale Crawford shares this information about upcoming public
meetings regarding transportation planning on the Kansas side of the
metro area. These meetings will help set future policy for
transportation planning in Northeast Kansas.

Attending one of these meetings is a great way to let public officials
and transportation planners know that citizens want more choices for
getting around - including public transit, bicycling, and walking.

http://www.5countystudy.org/pdfs/5county_dialogue_invite.pdf

Eric Rogers


-------- Original Message --------
From: Dale Crawford <kan...@comcast.net>
Subject: [KanBikeWalk] 5-County Regional Transportation Study - Public
Dialogue Meetings
To: Cycling-n-JC <Cyclin...@yahoogroups.com>, GKCBF
<bo...@kcbikefed.org>, KanBikeWalk <KanBi...@yahoogroups.com>,
KBW_BOD <KBW...@yahoogroups.com>

KDOT & MARC are hosting a series of meetings in each region of the
5-County Regional Transportation Plan area in NE Kansas. The following
link shows the when and where of each meeting. Please find the location
nearest you on an evening you can attend. The bicycle community is
building momentum and these types of public opinion opportunities are
what will carry Kansas into the next generation of transportation
planning. If we want bicycle transportation, safety and equality on
Kansas roadways, we need to be seen and we need to be heard. For
detailed information on the event click below.

http://www.5countystudy.org/pdfs/5county_dialogue_invite.pdf

These studies start out looking at the macro scale, but end up
determining the details of individual projects. There are a number of
overarching issues to deal with in Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson,
Miami and Douglas counties.

*Over Arching Issues:*

- Removal of barriers - Interstates, freeways, railroads and rivers all
create barriers to all modes of local transportation, in particularly
bicyclists and pedestrians. A policy for the region to accommodate
bicycle and pedestrian needs into every project which cross these
barriers would greatly improve the ability of bicyclists and pedestrians
to move about their respective communities.

- Equality - Bicycle and pedestrian accommodation is not considered on
an equal par with motorized vehicles, yet we share the same rights to
the road (except interstates or where otherwise posted as illegal).
However, the current transportation system essential discriminates
against all non-motorized modes through exclusionary design practices.
For example, most cities build new roads with only the vehicular lanes
provided. Sidewalks for pedestrians are often not included or required
to be built by adjacent development sometimes many years later. Bike
lanes on heavier traveled roadways are seldom included, making it nearly
impossible to bicycle to many destinations.

- Education - There are numerous misunderstandings of the rules of the
road as they apply to bicyclists on the part of all roadway users.
Unfortunately, there is not a common understanding of the rules of the
road for bicyclists within among the numerous law enforcement agencies
across the region either. A greater emphasis on public education would
improve the safety of the roadways for all users, not just bicyclists.

- Enforcement - Equal, consistent and strict enforcement of all rules of
the road would be to the benefit of all roadway users, but especially
for bicyclists. There are a lot of motorist who intentionally violate
traffic laws, just as there are bicyclists that do the same. More
resources directed at equal and uniform law enforcement is to everyone's
benefit.

There are also many specific issues that need to be addressed in the
region. Here is a list of just a few of the issues I have on my list. If
you have similar issues you want addressed, come to the meeting to
express them and pass your issue on via the email exchange service.
There may be others that share you concern you can team up with to get
it addressed.

*Specific Roadway Issues:*

- _Kansas River crossings_ - K-7 highway is slated for conversion to a
full limited access freeway (like K-10) from Lansing to Spring Hill.
This is a great opportunity to improve the safety of bicycle access over
the Kansas River. However, without a strong show of concern, KDOT will
likely restrict our access to the future freeway eliminating the
critical river crossing. The other existing bridges over the Kansas
(DeSoto, Turner, 18th Street, 7th Street, 12th Street, etc.) all need
improvements to provide bicycle and pedestrian crossings over the river.
They did it in Portland, OR. It can be done here.

- _K5 Highway realignment _- several cities are pushing for a new K-5
Highway. Currently a significant portion of the existing K-5 highway is
used by bicyclists riding from Wyandotte County Lake to
Lansing/Leavenworth (the George's Westin Ride route). Any new roadway
work should include bike lanes and accommodations for pedestrians.

- _83rd Street_ - The roadway is in major need of geometric improvements
to safely accommodate the growing traffic demands on it. Bike lanes
should be required to be constructed with these improvements to re-open
the barred section of roadway to bicyclists.

- _Downtown KCMO & KCKS to Olathe Corridor_ - A continuous, bike
commuter-friendly route is needed along this heavily travel corridor
basically paralleling I-35. The combination of SW Blvd, Merriam Drive,
Santa Fe Trail Drive, Old Kansas City Road and critical links between
these segments is possible, would encourage people to get off of
overloaded I-35 and encourage more people to bicycle commute to/from
Downtown KCMO and hundreds of destinations along the general route. The
route could be a combination of on-road bike lanes and trails, depending
on the most appropriate type of facility in a particular part of the
corridor. Spurs connecting to Downtown KCKS would improve access into
and out of this destination zone as well.

- _Olathe__ to Paola Corridor_ - Bicyclists are frequently seen on
various routes to between Olathe and Spring Hill, most commonly
Ridgeview Road and soon again they'll be able to use Lone Elm Road again
after the new interchange with its bike lanes over I-35 is complete.
However, from Spring Hill to Hillsdale Lake and onto Paola there is only
one option-Old Kansas Road. Shoulders would greatly improve the safety
for motorists, including many with boat trailers, and bicyclists, alike.
Connecting this corridor to the Downtown KCMO to Olathe corridor would
create a seamless bicycle route from Paola to Downtown KCMO and easily
branch off to KCKS.

- _Interstate and Freeway Crossings_ - You name the crossing and it
likely does not safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians, yet
people have to cross them without cars everyday. This has to be a top
priority to getting people out of their cars on and on their feet or
pedals.

I can go on and on, but this gives you the general idea of the potential
gains to be made by expressing YOUR needs and wants as a bicyclist. So
dream on and think about what would make YOUR bicycling better in and
around your neck of the asphalt jungle we share.

Let's hear you ideas and get some conversation going.

/Dale Crawford, ASLA/
KanBikeWalk Vice-President

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