Location: KansasCity

Another Mile of Bike Lanes Set To Come Online in Olathe

More good news for Olathe, Kansas!

Olathe has added another mile of bike lanes to it’s extensive network of on-street bicycling facilities.

This makes, by my count, something like 15+ miles of defacto bike lanes. (A mile or two of what I’m referring to as “bike lanes” are striped as bike lanes, but they don’t have the official on-street bike lane symbols, bike lane signage, or “no parking” signs.)

127th Street between Mur-Len and Blackbob, which was previously a narrow two-lane street, has been reconfigured as a four-lane divided roadway with bike lanes and pedestrian pathways on each side of the street.

One lane of the roadway is currently open to traffic while construction and landscaping crews finish up the final details. The road is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The bike lanes are not yet officially open, but they’re certainly rideable, other than occasionally having to detour around work vehicles.

Here are a few photos of the new facilities:

This is the western extent of the 127th Street bike lanes, looking east from the intersection with Edinburgh Street.

This is a mid-block crosswalk. Interesting that the “stop arrows” don’t extend through the bike lane. Looks like there are electrical fittings in place for lighted crossing signs.

This is the crosswalk next to Pioneer Trail Junior High School. The stop lines do extend through the bike lanes here (as they should).

Here’s the eastern end of the bike lane (looking east towards Blockbob). It gets a little confusing here, as the bike lane ends, and through bike traffic will need to cross traffic headed toward the dedicated right-turn lane. Seems like this might be a good place for “Yield To Bikes” signage.

OK, now we’ve crossed 127th and are headed back towards the west. This is a view looking west from Blackbob. Here we have the bike lane dashed out as it’s crossed by the right-turn lane leading into the school. Note the “Yield To Bikes” sign.

And finally, this is at the western extent of the bike lanes, looking east towards the intersection of 127th and Mur-Len, with the 127th Street overpass (over I-35) beyond, and the Harold Street bike lanes beyond that (making 127th Street a great corridor for bicycle traffic). At this point the roadway becomes six lanes as it crosses I-35 on the overpass. There is no dedicated bike lane on the overpass, but there are wide outside lanes and dedicated pedestrian sidepaths.

(Not sure what this guy was doing walking his bike across the street like that, rather than walking across at the crosswalk or riding in traffic lanes. Taking a shortcut, I guess. Weird.)

Construction on the next stage of this project — extending the four lane road plus bike lanes east another mile, between Blackbob and Pflumm — is scheduled to begin in 2014. You can learn more at improve127th.com and the City of Olathe.

By the way, these new bike lanes will be part of route for the 2010 KanBikeWalk Ride, which I’ll be leading. Please join 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]

2 responses to “Another Mile of Bike Lanes Set To Come Online in Olathe”

  1. Peter Smith says:

    that road is a perfect example of raised medians protecting cars from cars, while taking road space which should be used to protect bikes from cars.

  2. Dale Crawford says:

    Great review, Randy. Can’t wait to ride it on satruday!

    I’ll add the project includes an 8′-10′ wide sidewalk/trail on the westbound side (north) which ties into the Indian Creek Trail just east of Black Bob Road. This “trail” was built to provide a MetroGreen “upland connection” between Indian Creek Trail and the Mahaffie Creek/Mill Creek Trail systems further west for trail users, pedestrians and novice bicyclists not comfortable riding in bike lanes. Right now that upland connection extends over I-35 to Old Kansas City Road, but is proposed to be extended about 1/2 mile to Santa Fe Trail Junior High and Two Trails Park at Ridgeview. When done Mahaffie Creek & Mill Creek Trails will be linked to Indian Creek Trail making a continuous trail system over 30 miles long.