Category: Complete Streets (page 1 of 2)

Lawrence hosting open houses on bicycle boulevards design

Community members are invited to attend open houses on the final conceptual design developed for the 21st Street and 13th Street Bicycle Boulevards. Open houses will be held on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16 at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, May 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Meeting in the City Commission Room at City Hall (6 E. 6th Street)
  • Thursday, May 16 from 4 – 6 p.m.
    Meeting at the East Lawrence Recreation Center (1245 E. 15th Street)

Open houses will be hosted in a come-and-go format where attendees can review and discuss the final conceptual design with project staff and the design consultant. Both open houses will cover the same content.
 
The Bicycle Boulevards design has evolved to account for safety considerations, best practices, and public input. Feedback from previous open houses in February and March 2019 as well as from Lawrence Listens surveys was incorporated into the final conceptual design.
 
For anyone unable to attend an open house, the Bicycle Boulevards design will also be made available for review online at lawrenceks.org/bike-blvds starting the week of May 13. Feedback on the final conceptual design can be provided online through a Lawrence Listens survey. The survey will be available once the final conceptual design has been shared online.
 
Project staff will present the final conceptual design to Transportation Commission on Monday, June 3. A presentation to City Commission will follow.
 
Questions on the Bicycle Boulevards project can be directed to:

Lawrence receives a Transportation Alternatives Program grant for part of the Lawrence Loop

The City of Lawrence is excited to announce that the Municipal Services and Operations Department has received a Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation for Fiscal Year 2020. The grant, in the amount of $480,000, requires a twenty percent match and was provided to aid in the completion of a ten foot shared use path for sections of the Lawrence Loop from 8th Street to 11th Street and 29th Street from Burroughs Creek Trail to Haskell Avenue.

Construction of the Lawrence Loop began over 20 years ago with completion of the west-leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway. Segments have been added incrementally through Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program and other grants.

In response to receiving news of the grant award, City Engineer David Cronin said, "The creation of the 22 mile Lawrence Loop has involved the whole community. As many know, we're down to the last four sections of the Loop which comprise about four and a half miles (map). This grant will help us continue to make progress to complete the Lawrence Loop and implement our community's Priority Bikeway Network.”

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, information about the other TA grant recipients is forthcoming. 

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.

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