Category: Complete Streets (page 1 of 2)

It’s Your Turn to Tell The City of Lawrence What You Think About Biking & Walking

webbanner-parkThe City of Lawrence’s Pedestrian-Bicycle Issues Task Force began meeting in late June. As part of their program of work, the committee is seeking community input on many aspects related to accessibility and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in Lawrence. The task force is using the city’s new online engagement tool, /Lawrence Listens/, to ask an open-ended question to the community about these issues. The question is:

What would you like to see the City of Lawrence do to encourage and support safe and accessible walking and bicycling for people of all ages and abilities?

The task force will receive the comments from the Lawrence Listens http://www.lawrenceks.org/lawrence-listens
forum at an upcoming meeting for review and consideration.

This question will be available for comment until September 1, 2015 at www.lawrenceks.org/lawrence-listens

Why Biking to Work is a Barrier for Most Americans

This story originally appeared on Urbanful on March 24, 2015.


Photo by Paul KruegerPeople for Bikes, a national cycling advocacy organization, has just released the results of the most comprehensive cycling survey in recent memory.

The biggest take home statistics from the survey, based on the online responses of 16,000 adults: 100 million Americans (34 percent of the population) went for a ride at least once in the last year. Forty-five million of those bikers made at least one ride as a means of transportation, rather than recreation, but only 14 percent of bikers take two or more rides each week.

That’s not because they don’t want to: 53 percent said they would like to ride more, but don’t.

Why?

Not surprisingly, provision of better quality bike lanes was identified as the key to increasing how often people hit the road: 54 percent of respondents said fear of getting hit by a car or truck is what holds them back, and 46 percent said they would be more likely to ride if a physical barrier separated bike lanes from car lanes.

While most cities have made a big push for more bike lanes in the shoulder area of the roadway, fully segregated bike lanes are a form of cycling infrastructure that is just starting to take off. Still, 17 percent of Americans say they feel more safe riding a bicycle now than they did five years ago, giving reason to be cautiously optimistic about the direction our cities are headed.

One thing the study made clear is that daily commuting to work and school is still rare in this country. Fifteen percent of Americans rode a bike at least once for transportation purposes in the last year, but only 10 percent of those, or about 4.5 million people, identified as the kind of regular riders who commute by bike at least 100 days per year. On the other hand, almost 10 million Americans made at least 100 bike trips for purely recreational purposes in the same time period.

Beyond traffic safety, there are a host of other reasons conspiring to keep us in our cars, only some of which were addressed by the survey.

Two of the most popular:

  • Fear of being attacked: Concerns about getting mugged while biking through deserted roadways at night and other such scenarios keep 35 percent of Americans from riding more.
  • Logistical challenges, like going from bike to bus or train. According to the survey, 29 percent of respondents said it was easy to combine bicycling and public transit. Most municipal buses have a rack on the front that fits a total of two bikes. If both spaces happen to be full, the unlucky bikers have to modify their transportation plans for the day on the spot, one of those small inconveniences that weed out many would-be bikers.

Photo by Paul SablemanStill, the study falls short in teasing out the many other minor factors that keep us in our cars. For instance, it doesn’t look at whether there is a safe place to lock a bike once you arrive at your destination. More and more employers are offering bike lockers and some even provide a bike valet or pay their employees to bike to work, but these are certainly in the minority.

It would be interesting to know how many employers promote a bike-to-work culture with facilities like lockers and showers. Bikers often show up at work hot and sweaty, their hair poofed in some places and matted in others, makeup running down their faces. It’s not conducive to jumping into an early morning business meeting, but there are many notable examples of employers attempting to integrate the realities of biking into the corporate status quo.

Perhaps soon we will see a survey that delves into these detailed and telling aspects of biking culture. But one thing is clear: Americans want to bike more, but our cities aren’t always equipped to support it.

For now, the survey leaves us with a few interesting comparisons: While 34 percent of the population rode a bike at some point last year, 39 percent worked at home after hours, 40 percent went jogging, 41 percent used public transportation, 75 percent visited a social media website and 96 percent watched TV. Despite the serious biking data from the survey, those final points certainly give a relevant context for our cultural priorities.

Lawrence Multimodal Planning Studies Draft Reports Available for Public Comment

lawrence transpo planThe Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in coordination with the City of Lawrence, Kansas, invites you to share your comments on the Multimodal Planning Studies draft reports.

The draft reports include a Park & Ride Study, a Fixed-Route Transit and Pedestrian Accessibility Study, and a Countywide Bikeway System Plan.

You can access the draft reports online at http://www.lawrenceks.org/mpo/study

The public review and comment period will be open for 15 days. You are encouraged to submit your comments in writing to the consultant team project manager Jim Meyer at jim.meyer@urs.com by Friday, December 13, 2013.

“Streets Designed for Everyone” community discussion schedule announced

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department invites you to participate in a community discussion about how streets can be designed for everyone, no matter who they are or how they travel – walking, biking, taking transit or driving.

Two sessions are available on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

Session 1: 2-3:30 p.m. at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine St., Lawrence
Session 2: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Senior Center, 745 Vermont St., Lawrence

Questions? Contact Charlie Bryan at 785-856-7357 or cbryan@ldchealth.org.

Please share this event with othersinterested in building a healthy, active environment for Douglas County residents, especially retirees and older residents. Invite your friends, share the events and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/LDCHealth/events.LDCHDEventPC

Live Well Lawrence Celebrates 5 Years!

LiveWell_flyer2You are cordially invited to the fifth anniversary celebration of LiveWell Lawrence. The celebration will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., in downtown Lawrence.

LiveWell Lawrence is a coalition of more than 100 community members who are working together to make it easier for Douglas County residents to eat healthy foods, be physically active and live tobacco free.

The celebration’s program begins at 5:15 p.m. and will include:

  • Welcome — Hank Booth
  • Bringing the vision of LiveWell to life — Marilyn Hull, of Douglas County Community Foundation
  • LiveWell, today and tomorrow — Cindy Johnson, chair of LiveWell Lawrence
  • LiveWell, a state leader — Jeff Usher, of Kansas Health Foundation, and Robert Moser, MD, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Community impact — Douglas County Commissioner Mike Gaughan and Lawrence Mayor Michael Dever
  • Special recognition of Marilyn Hull

We hope you can attend the event and celebrate our community’s successes, which include passage of a Complete Streets Policy in Lawrence, adoption of school marathon clubs and school gardens, and establishment of WorkWell Lawrence, a network of employers who are working together to create a culture of health in the workplace.

There will be free food and beverages along with information booths about community activities ranging from school gardens and bicycling to workplace wellness and transportation planning. It’s a great opportunity to network and learn about LiveWell!

Lawrence Central Rotary and Ride Lawrence will be set up with information about local biking and other exciting giveaways!

RSVP on Facebook here.

Help us promote the celebration. Download and share the event flyer here.

Older posts

© 2018 Ride Lawrence

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Facebook
Facebook