PeopleForBikes has released its third annual ratings of the best cities for bicycling in the United States: the 2020 PlacesForBikes City Ratings. Lawrence has been recognized as a top-performing city in the 2020 Ratings, ranking 3rd in the individual "safety" scoring category.
The PeopleForBikes City Ratings program is a data-driven analysis that evaluates more than 550 cities and towns and shows city leaders how they can invest to make bicycling better for all residents and visitors. City Ratings are scored across five key indicators:
- Ridership (how many people are riding bikes)
- Safety (how safe is it to ride bikes)
- Network (how easy is it for people to bike where they want to go)
- Reach (how well the network serves all parts of the community)
- Acceleration (how fast the community is working to improve biking).
Lawrence had a safety score of 3.9, which was the third-best score in the category nationwide. The full ratings are available at: cityratings.peopleforbikes.org.
"This recognition shows that we should take pride in the work we are doing to improve bicycling in Lawrence and to calm our streets for all users," said Jessica Mortinger, Transportation Planning Manager, City of Lawrence.
Data for the ratings come from existing sources (including the U.S. Census American Community Survey and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System), as well as sources developed by the PeopleForBikes team to capture city-specific data based on mapping, city planning information and survey responses from community members. This year, individuals submitted a record-breaking 68,000 surveys. From these sources, 184 calculations are performed per city to determine the five category scores, as well as a city or town’s overall score. Read more about the methodology here.
“Now in its third year, the City Ratings create a complete picture of bicycling in cities based on measurable factors,” says Rebecca Davies, bicycle networks data manager for PeopleForBikes. “Top scorers are cities of all types and geographies who have succeeded in different ways, including cities that have made strong historical investments in active transportation as well as cities pursuing ambitious plans to rapidly implement high-quality bicycle networks on their streets.”
City Ratings is a key component of the PlacesForBikes program, which provides measurement tools, guidance, peer networking, and storytelling to help U.S. cities quickly plan, build and promote great places to ride of all kinds. PlacesForBikes is supported by a generous grant from Trek Bicycle Corporation, as well as contributions from other bike businesses, foundations, and individuals.
Looking for volunteers!
As a result of the COVID pandemic, Lawrence residents are out along the Lawrence Loop in unprecedented numbers. Our friends at FLAT (Friends of Lawrence Area Trails) are interested in getting a better idea of how much use of the Loop has increased, so FLAT is conducting a formal count of trail activity in early June!
They will be conducting 2-hour counts on Wednesday, June 3, and Saturday, June 6. If you've ever participated in the City of Lawrence/MPO bike/ped count, we're using that same method, and the tentative plan is to integrate these results into the MPO 2020 counts.
They need volunteers to make this happen! Please follow the link below to sign up for a slot. Detailed instructions will be provided after you've signed up.
Walking / running / biking on the Lawrence Loop is a great way for everyone to get out and enjoy nature. This project will help to show just how many Lawrencians take advantage of the community resource.
Amazing news – the City of Lawrence was awarded two grants totaling $1,470,000 from the Kansas Department of Transportation as part of its Transportation Alternatives Program for Fiscal Year 2021.
Lawrence received a federal award of $1,070,000 for the Lawrence Loop project and an award of $400,000 for phase 2 of the Safe Routes to Schools project. Both projects are overseen by the City's Municipal Services & Operations Department. The Transportation Alternatives grants require a 20% local cash match.
“We are extremely excited to learn that we were awarded the grants for these two projects,” said City Engineer David Cronin. “Safe Routes to School and the Lawrence Loop are two high-priority community projects for improving multi-modal transportation. These grants will help us move forward with both.”
The Lawrence Loop grant will be used to help extend the existing Peterson Road shared-use path to Michigan Street, just a few blocks from the Burcham Park Trail. The Safe Routes to Schools grant will be used to complete phase 2 of the project, targeting routes to three different elementary schools.
“Kansans value safety in all modes of transportation, which is why it is an important element of the new FORWARD transportation program,” said KDOT Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “I’m pleased that these projects focus on improving safety for pedestrians and children walking to school.”
KDOT received 32 applications from eligible project sponsors and awarded a total of $8.6 million for 18 projects for Fiscal Year 2021. Lawrence is the only city that was awarded two separate grants.
Lawrence Public Schools, in partnership with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, is working on an updated city-wide Safe Routes to School plan for Lawrence. The next step in the development of an updated plan is to collect parent input on the desired components of a Safe Routes to School program.
The Be Active Safe Routes team is working with PTOs/PTAs and Site Councils* to gather parent input to help prioritize programs that will ultimately improve student travel to school and shape the vision of our city. We ask that all parents visit lawrenceks.org/safe-routes to fill out the worksheet packet for their school of interest. Parent input is vitally important even if their child does not currently walk or bike to school. In addition to parents, other interested Lawrence residents are invited to share their opinion by filling out the worksheet packet.
If you have any questions, please email: [email protected].
The Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking for volunteers for a variety of bicycle and pedestrian counting projects happening this September in Lawrence, Eudora and Baldwin City. There are hundreds of available counting opportunities as part of the following projects:
- The annual Bicycle Rider and Pedestrian Project will count locations throughout Lawrence, Eudora and Baldwin City to gather data on bicycling and walking usage to assist city and regional leaders in estimating usage and demand for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
- The Lawrence School Crossing Guard Count is one of our first steps to developing a citywide Safe Routes to School Plan. Data is being gathered at existing school crossing guard locations. This data collection effort was started in the spring, but rain delayed the completion of the counts.
- The Lawrence Downtown Count is an ongoing effort to collect usage numbers. These counts have been conducted every spring and fall.
To sign up as a volunteer for any of the three counts visit: www.lawrenceks.org/mpo/volunteer
For more information about volunteering for bicycle and pedestrian counts, please contact: Ashley Myers, Transportation Planner, at (785) 832-3155 or [email protected]