Lawrence Kansas Recognized as Bicycle Friendly City by League of American Bicyclists

The City of Lawrence received great news and Lawrence Central Rotary (who sponsors the Ride Lawrence website)  is proud to have helped the city to be able to achieve this designation!

City of Lawrence Kansas Transportation News

loab-bronzeThe City of Lawrence has been honored again as a Bronze Rank Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC). The City first received this designation in 2004 from the American League of Bicyclists. There are now 404 communities recognized in the U.S. as Bicycle Friendly Communities; this is Lawrence’s fifth successful application. The Bronze level BFC award recognizes Lawrence’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee members prepared the application utilizing information, such as data collected from bike/pedestrian counts, safety material, outreach efforts, and lane mileage. This year’s application featured Lawrence’s completion of a number of projects that will form the “Lawrence Loop”, a 22-mile paved off-street path around the city, the bicycle education provided by Lawrence’s League Certified Cycling instructors, the on-bicycle safety education at local elementary schools, and the recent commitment in the city budget for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. The Lawrence Central Rotary Club’s Community Bike Ride, Safe Kids Douglas County Bicycle Rodeo and Helmet giveaways, the Tour of Lawrence, the Lawrence Mountain Bicycle Club’s partnership with Parks & Recreation for the development and maintenance of the Lawrence River Trails trail, the National Bicycle Challenge, and 100 percentage of buses equipped with bike racks were also highlighted as part of the application process.

By the numbers, Lawrence now has 16 miles of bike lanes, 9 miles of shared-lane markings (sharrows), 39 miles of signed bike routes, and 45 miles of paved shared use paths.

Four Kansas communities have received the Bicycle Friendly designation: Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, and Shawnee. Find out more information online at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.

Lawrence is Looking for People for the new Transportation Commission

cityoflawrence-multimodalThe City of Lawrence is seeking volunteers to serve on the newly established Transportation Commission. The Transportation Commission will serve to advance the health, safety, and welfare of all residents of the City of Lawrence through multi-modal transportation planning.

There are five Mayor-appointed positions to fill that represent the following members in our community:

  • one person representing local businesses
  • one person representing bicyclists
  • one person representing pedestrians
  • one person, who shall have a background in planning or engineering, e.g., architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, city planning, or the like
  • one person who has a demonstrated interest, knowledge, or training in fields closely related to multi-modal transportation planning and engineering, such as a health profession, landscape architecture, city planning, urban design, geography, or the like.

If you meet one of the above criteria please consider volunteering to serve the community to advise the City Commission on matters relating to multi-modal transportation planning and related transportation decision-making.

Sign up to volunteer online at: http://lawrenceks.org/volunteer-board/ before December 2nd. Once membership is appointed, a monthly time and place for Transportation Commission meetings will be set by the members.

For more information, the Transportation Commission establishing resolution can be found online at: http://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2016/11-01-16/pw_lawrence_transportation_commission_resolution_7172.html or  contact David Cronin, City Engineer, 832-3130, dcronin@lawrenceks.org.

Are You Walking or Biking To School October 5th?

Lawrence / Douglas County's Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Lawrence / Douglas County’s Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Below is is a repost from a  Lawrence’s Well Commons article dated 9/27/16
Lawrence-area students are once again dusting off their walking shoes in preparation for this fall’s annual Walk to School Day.

Slated for Oct. 5, the global event encourages kids — and their parents — to walk or bike to school on a designated day each year. All Lawrence elementary schools — with the exception of Pinckney, which has moved students to Lawrence’s East Heights School while undergoing renovations — are participating in this year’s local celebrations, says Michael Showalter, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s health promotion specialist.

The health benefits of walking, he says, are obvious. In addition to spurring more physical activity overall in kids, studies link walking with helping to maintain healthy weight, blood pressure, and bones, muscles and joints, Showalter said.

There’s also, he said, the promise of social interaction that kids won’t find in a car commute.

“It’s about togetherness and connecting with your community and your friends,” says Showalter, who also coordinates the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program.

He has seen plenty of groggy kids in school parking lots rolling themselves out of Mom’s car in the same way they’d sluggishly roll themselves out of bed in the morning. Walking, Showalter says, wakes students up, creating a mindset that is ready to engage in learning.

Last year, “we had over 3,000 students,” mostly at the elementary-level, participate in Walk to School celebrations in Lawrence, he says. This year, the Health Department and its partners are widening their scope to Eudora Elementary School, where kids will end their walking journey to school after meeting first at the Eudora Public Library and using the new shared-use path that runs behind the school.

In Lawrence, Sunset Hill Elementary School is offering muffins and juice for walkers, while Langston Hughes Elementary School is celebrating with music and prizes. New York Elementary School students are invited to meet staff and Principal Nancy DeGarmo at Hobbs Park (702 E. 11th St.) at 7:30 a.m. for an en masse walk down 11th Street and eventually New York Street to the school.

Local Walk to School Day events are coordinated in partnership the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program, with the city of Lawrence, the LiveWell Lawrence coalition, Lawrence Public Schools and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“What we really want to impart to community members and students is that walking and biking is fun. And it’s easy,” Showalter says. “And the more you do it, the more fun you have and the easier it becomes.”

Showalter encourages parents to reach out to their schools for more information, or to contact him directly at 843-3060 or mshowalter@ldchealth.org. Schools are also posting Walk to School Day events at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

 

Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride a Rousing Success!

The weather was beautiful and around 100 riders and volunteers came out September 17th for the Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride organized by Lawrence Central Rotary.  “We had everyone from novices and kids on training wheels to local professional riders come out,” said Central Rotary Club President Jim Peters, “our club rallies around these events and it’s great to be able to provide a safe and encouraging event for bike riding.

Event chair Steve Lane coordinated volunteers and organized the sponsors from all over Lawrence. “Steve’s organization and prep for this function like a Swiss watch,” said club member Tobin Neis, “we wouldn’t be able to do it without him.

Lawrence / Douglas Country Community Health Planner Charlie Bryan was on hand showing attendees the proposed “Lawrence Loop” bike / multi-use path.  LiveWell Lawrence and partners continue to advocate for finishing this 22-mile loop trail around Lawrence everyone could enjoy.

Exciting for both local Rotarians as well as attendees to see was an assembled ShelterBox which Lawrence Central Rotarians have heavily supported over the years.  A ShelterBox is a simple and effective solution to deliver the essentials people need to survive and begin to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a disaster.

ShelterBoxes are tailored for the particular disaster being responded to, but typically includes a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.

Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers who made this happen!

Lawrence’s Fall Community Bike Ride Scheduled for Sept 17th

The 2016 Lawrence Community Bike Ride on Saturday, September 17th, at the Haskell University stadium parking area and using the Burroughs Creek, and recently refinished bike Trail south of Haskell.

The event is open to anyone and there is no cost to participate.

There will be a three-mile ride along the Burroughs Creek Trail.

Other activities from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. include:

  • A Training Wheel Takeoff. Experts will help children who are ready to take off their training wheels in a safe environment.
  • Bike Rodeo. Kids can practice and improve their riding skills
  • Bike Helmet Fitting and Giveaway. Safe Kids with LMH will help outfit kids with helmets, while supplies last, along with providing cycling safety tips for kids of all ages – and for adults too!
  • Inflatable Bounce House and Slides for the kids!

“One of our goals as a club is to get more and more people discover cycling and an active lifestyle as a fun and healthy activity,” said Steve Lane, a member of Central Rotary Club. “This event is a great opportunity for families and individuals to enjoy cycling in a safe and scenic area on Lawrence’s east side.”

If it is raining September 17th, the ride will be rescheduled for on Sunday, September 18th, at 1PM.

Registration for the event is required and can be done before the event.

Releases will be available at the event or you can download one HERE to fill out ahead of time.

Thanks to all our sponsors and partners who help to make these events happen in Lawrence.

Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride 2016

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