Location: KansasCity

Olathe Bicycle Plan Council Meeting

From Dale Crawford (JCBC Advocacy Co-Chair, KanBikeWalk Vice-President):

To all Olathe & Johnson County Bicyclists: YOUR PRESENCE IS NEEDED

The long-dormant Olathe Bicycle Transportation Plan has resurrected and is being discussed at the Olathe City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008 @ 7:00 PM, Olathe City Hall, 100 W Santa Fe, Olathe, KS 66061 [ see map ]

This will be a Study Session, so public discussion will be minimal. But there is plenty of seating available to show support for this progressive approach to addressing the needs of bicyclists in a suburban community. Council rarely has citizens show up in support of something (usually in opposition), so a strong showing from the bicycle community will leave a huge impression. To see the Council Agenda Item go to http://www.olatheks.org/files/CityDocuments/CityCouncil/agendas/12-23-08.pdf.

No formal action will be taken since this is a Study Session, but the bike plan is early in the agenda so please be on time. There will be a presentation by staff followed by discussion with Council during which Council will give staff direction on future of the plan. Primary discussion will focus on costs to implement the plan. If, and it’s a big if, Council supports the plan, staff anticipates bring the it back to Council for hopeful adoption by March 2009. We can expect at least one more Study Session to discuss additional policy/implementation issues following a presentation of the bike plan in January at an upcoming public Developer Forum. More on these future meetings will follow when timing is confirmed.

If you can’t attend, consider a short personalized email to City Council members stating something along the line of the following examples. Any personal touches of experience bicycling in Olathe would be great.

If from Olathe: “As an Olathe resident, I support the dual system plan currently proposed in the Olathe Bicycle Transportation Plan. It addresses the needs of “all” bicycling citizens from children to advance commuters. As a road bicyclists, improving the arterial roadway network by adding wide outside lanes and bike lanes improves the safety of the road for all users, not just bicyclists. Safety alone is enough reason to justify the small additional cost to road improvement projects in Olathe. As the plan is incrementally implemented through future road improvements, Olathe residents will begin to feel they have a safe alternative to always driving their car. As you constituent, I urge your support of the Olathe Bicycle Transportation Plan.”

If not from Olathe: “As a frequent bicyclist of Olathe’s roadways, I support the dual system plan currently proposed in the Olathe Bicycle Transportation Plan. It addresses the needs of “all” bicycling citizens from children to advance commuters. As a road bicyclists, improving the arterial roadway network by adding wide outside lanes and bike lanes improves the safety of the road for all users, not just bicyclists. Safety alone is enough reason to justify the small additional cost to road improvement projects in Olathe. As the plan is incrementally implemented through future road improvements, Olathe residents will begin to feel they have a safe alternative to always driving their car. Thank you for supporting the Olathe Bicycle Transportation Plan and the safety of all roadway users.”

Email addresses for Council members are listed below and can also be found at: http://www.olatheks.org/Council/Members

The weather has been lousy for bicycling, so why not spend an evening making Olathe and Johnson County a better place to ride when the weather is better. Staff needs citizen support on this initiative to gather enough Council support to get it adopted. It is by no means fully supported at this time making your presence all the more important.

This plan proposes both bike lanes and trails so please forward to any bicyclist or runners you may know who like trails, too.

Please show your support for this important initiative, by either attending in person, or emailing the council.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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