Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: May 19, 2010

Kansas Trail News for May 19, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Prairie Spirit Trail Now A State Park

Governor Mark Parkinson is poised to sign into law a bill making the 51-mile Prairie Spirit Trail a state park. This is the state’s 25th state park. State park status for the longest completed rail-trail in the Sunflower State will result in additional signage and other publicity and this will in turn increase awareness and ultimately usage. The trail intersects the Flint Hills Nature Trail in Ottawa which can now be traveled between Ottawa and Osawatomie. There was some concern that the Kansas Farm Bureau’s team of high-powered lobbyists would slip an amendment into the bill which would further hinder the development of rail-trails in Kansas.

Osage City Trails Back On Track

According to City Manager Nick Hernandez, the City of Osage City is about 95% done with the design work necessary to develop an approximately two-mile east-west segment of the Flint Hills Trail and another north-south path within the city limits. Bids will be let within 30-60 days and construction will hopefully start later this summer on this concrete recreational paths. The east-west trail corridor is to be leased from Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy. Total project cost is $1.6 million with the City providing a $200,000 match. A federal Transportation Enhancement grant is paying 80%. There have been numerous delays with this project. Community residents, though concerned about the high cost, are anxious for the trails to be completed.

State Highway Bill Leaves Out Alternative Transportation

Despite lobbying by KanBikeWalk members, the new $8.2 billion state transportation bill totally leaves out alternative transportation such as multi-purpose paths and other pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Part of the funding for this highway-building program will come from a regressive 0.4 cent sales tax starting in 2013. Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy President remarked, “Kansas continues to remain behind other states when it comes to trails and bicycling and walking facilities. Some day the Sunflower State will catch up to the 21st Century, but probably not in my lifetime.”

WellCommons Links Health Needs, Resources

The Lawrence Journal-World has launched WellCommons.com which is an “online tool designed to help residents, organizations and businesses match their needs with advice, support, services and anything else that could make the community a healthier place to live.”

They plan to add ‘goals applications’ designed to help groups get where they want to go.

An example: “LiveWell Lawrence may want to see 10 miles of bike trails added in town. The organization could establish a timeline, and set a ‘1-2-3-4-step process’ for betting there, with appeals for community support along the way.” (Lawrence Journal-World, 5-06-10)

Bike Program In Downtown Hutchinson

Hutchinson, Kansas is launching a new bike sharing initiative, called the Public Bike Project, this week, with an initial fleet of three bikes, with plans to soon add more. The idea is to make available to the community bicycles that can be ridden from business to business in the downtown area and left in bike racks for the next person to use. Bike Sharing Comes to Hutchinson, Kansas

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Recreational Trails, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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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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