From an article in the Kansas City Star, discussing a proposed Streetscape project on Santa Fe Street in Olathe, Kansas:
The plan would redevelop Santa Fe from the downtown area to the east with wide sidewalks lined with brick pavers, crosswalks constructed with brick pavers rather than striped with paint, way-finding signs, street medians, street furniture, upgraded street lights, black signal poles, plants and bus shelters.
At Large Councilman John Bacon said he didn’t like the phrasing of one section dealing with future street projects. He argued that it placed too much emphasis on bike lanes.
The section read: “Balance between modes. Street systems should seek to balance, auto, transit, pedestrian and bicycle movements. Action) Incorporate transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities into street standards and the Transportation Master Plan.”
Bacon said he hadn’t seen anyone in Olathe riding to work on a bicycle.
“I’m just not there, yet,” he said, referring to acceptance of the provision. “This is not like India or something.” [read more]
You must not be paying much attention, Mr. Bacon. Hundreds of bicyclists use Olathe streets everyday (on some days, perhaps thousands), and many of those ride their bicycles to work.
And how can you tell, just by looking at them, whether they’re riding to work?
And why should that matter? Is everyone driving a motor vehicle using it for commuting? I think not.
I was riding through Olathe yesterday during evening rush hour, and encountered several cyclists that I know were commuting from work (because I asked them). Numerous others may have been, but I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with them.
Check out the bike lanes on Ridgeview, leading to Garmin World Headquarters (where they make products used by cyclists). Check out the bike lanes on 127th Street, on 143rd Street — these are well-used by cyclists of all stripes. Check out the bike lanes on Dennis Avenue — bicyclists, every day. I seldom traffic any of these streets, whether by car or by bike, without seeing someone using these bike lanes to get around town.
Mr. Bacon, I’d suggest taking your blinders off, getting out on a bike and mixing with the cyclists. They’re far more numerous than you seem to believe. And talk with them. Ask them if they appreciate the bike lanes they have. Ask them if they’d like more. Ask them if they’d use them.
I think you’re find that people do want, and would use, bike lanes.
Cyclists, if you’d like to let Mr. Bacon know how you feel about bicycles on Olathe roads, his email address is email@example.com. His phone number is 913-269-6305. He’d love to hear from you.
Post tags: Olathe