Location: KansasCity

Leawood Aims for Bicycle Friendly Status

The Johnson County Sun is reporting that Leawood, Kansas is aiming to become a bicycle-friendly community:

Leawood officials would like it known that their community is a good and safe place to ride a bike.

Saying it, however, does not make it official. So steps are being taken that potentially could lead to the city being certified a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

City Parks Director Chris Claxton said the first step will be to file an application with the league. Doing so costs nothing, and the league’s response will tell the city where it stands even if it achieves no ranking.

“The assessment shows what you’re doing now, and it will tell us what else we need to do” to qualify for Bicycle Friendly Community status, Claxton said.

Earning the designation would put Leawood in rather select company. Only 108 cities nationwide have the designation. The only one in the Kansas City metropolitan area is Shawnee, which carries a bronze rating. Above that level are platinum, gold and silver rankings.

Lawrence, also a bronze, is the only other Bicycle Friendly Community in Kansas. Columbia is the only Missouri city on the list, and it recently graduated to silver status.

Claxton said it is unlikely Leawood will qualify for one of the top four categories, but she does think there is a good chance for being placed on the honorable mention list. The city then could gradually move up.

Achieving Bicycle Friendly status would send positive messages to the public in general and especially to the cycling public, city officials said.

“We want to do what we can to encourage people to ride bikes more,” Claxton said. “A lot of cycling goes on in Leawood, and a lot of streets are being ridden on whether it’s appropriate or not.”

There are plans to create more places where cycling is appropriate. [read more]

Congratulations to Leawood for taking this step, and best of luck with your application.

But what’s this talk of “appropriate”? Bicycling is appropriate everywhere except interstate highways…

See also: Leawood going for Bike Friendly Community designation from KCBike.info.

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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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