November News and Updates
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, BikeWalkKC wanted to take the time to highlight the work of some of our rockstar community partners, including KC Healthy Kids, RDA, Earth Riders Mountain Bike Club, Revolve KC, and more!KC Healthy Kids hosts I Am Here Campaign to engages schools
KC Healthy Kids is continuing their work to create healthy environments for children in Kansas City schools. The I AM HERE Photo Contest is one aspect of this movement. Students in grades 3-8 have been asked to submit photos displaying how their surroundings help or hinder healthy habits. Winning classrooms will be given $1,000 for health and wellness programs at each school.
RDA develops Rozarks Nature Trail
In Rosedale, the Rosedale Development Association (RDA) is trying to combat the high obesity risk for children in Rosedale schools, who face a 51% average, compared to the national average of 33%. They built over 2.3 miles of nature trail, connecting the community to parks and other key spots. Plans to expand the trail even more are underway. The RDA also hopes to add bike lanes to Rosedale roads, and build new grocery stores and a community center. Way to go, Rosedale!
Earth Riders Mountain Bike Club Hosts Second Annual Kansas City Women’s Dirt Summit
On November 8th, Earth Riders Mountain Bike Club hosted an annual public mountain biking event open to women mountain bike riders of all skill levels. This was a free event and included child care, allowing busy parents to participate. To support BikeWalkKC and Earth Riders Mountain Bike Club, supporters purchased raffle tickets to win a free bike. Winners went home with a 2015 Giant Tempt 4 or the 2015 Trek Skye SL, donated by Bike Stop and the Trek Store of Shawnee, respectively.
Revolve KC welcomes new mechanic to the team
Revolve KC recently hired a part-time Bike Mechanic at the RevolveKCK location. Abril Negrette has experience in nonprofit work for underserved or minority populations. She is fluent in Spanish and has worked with Hispanic youth in Kansas City. In addition to fixing bikes, Abril will help Revolve with weekly bike rides on Saturdays and will use her language skills to help us reach the Latino population. Currently, they are looking for funding to send her to United Bicycle Institute for professional mechanical training in the spring. They are also looking into teaching their bike safety curriculum in Burmese, expanding accessibility to one of Kansas City’s larger minority groups.
816 Bicycle Collective Gears up for Late Spring Move-In Date
The 816 Bicycle Collective has had a busy fall building up and selling bikes, teaching patrons bike maintenance skills, recruiting new volunteers and continuing to work on the new shop space for a late spring move-in date. 816 is hosting a Thanksgiving bike sale on Sunday, November 23rd, 10 AM-1 PM in front of the new bike shop building at 31st and Cherry. There will be a variety of over 30 bikes for sale. Join the Bike Collective and buy a bike for the holidays!Jackson County Hosts Trip the Light Fantastic
Participate in a magical bike ride through Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park this month. On November 25th, riders throughout the Kansas City area will gather at the Frank White Sports Complex in Lee’s Summit for a four-mile bike ride, starting at 5:30 pm and ending at 9:30 pm. This is a free event, sponsored by Jackson County Parks and Rec, and is open to riders of all ages and skill levels. The Salvation Army will be on-site, offering complimentary coffee and hot chocolate, and festive holiday music and costumed characters will be there to add to the ambience. T-shirts will be available for purchase, and a portion of these proceeds will go to the Salvation Army. Be sure to dress up! Prizes will be given to the owner of the best decorated bike and the best dressed rider. Be sure to stop by the BikeWalkKC table for high fives!
Here at BikeWalkKC, we have also been busy planning events and managing our education programs.
Handlebar Happy Hour: Midtown Kansas City
Are you passionate about biking and walking concerns in Midtown? Do you want your voice to be heard? We will meet on December 11th at Green Room Burgers and Beer for December’s Handlebar Happy Hour to discuss biking and walking issues in Midtown. We will also reveal details of Complete KC, BikeWalkKC’s newest initiative. Supporters are encouraged to bike there. We have a B-cycle station located right in the Sunfresh parking lot!
BLAST finishes up record semester
BLAST classes are rolling to a halt at the end of the month after a busy and successful semester! Our hard working instructors taught at twelve schools and in four school districts, totaling 1300 students. Instructors will enjoy the less busy, off season, but will be gearing up for a full spring semester. Three Earn-a-Bike cohorts totaling 38 students all received bikes, helmets and plenty of knowledge about bike maintenance skills this semester!
Advocacy Alert: Downtown Bike Network and Grand Boulevard Road Diet
KCMO has a plan for 12 miles of new bike lanes linking the various neighborhoods of Downtown - River Market, Loop, Crossroads, Westside, 18th & Vine, and Crown Center. The centerpiece is a transformation of Grand Boulevard into a transit and bike corridor with buffered bike lanes, enhanced “super stops” for public transit, and a consolidation of north/south bus routes. The addition of a center turn lane would also improve traffic flow and reduce congestion for motorists.
Open House on Tuesday, November 25th
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Encompass, 1512 Grand Boulevard, KCMO 64108
Grand Boulevard “Road Diet” with buffered bike lanes and improved transit service.
Connections between five B-cycle bike share stations
Implements key prioirities in the Greater Downtown Area Plan, Bike KC master plan, FOCUS KC, Making Grand Grand vision, and KCATA Downtown Service Improvement plan.
Supported by Downtown Neighborhood Association, Downtown Council, Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Parking and Transportation Commission.
ACT NOW by adding the November 25th open house to your calendar. Your voice is needed to show decision makers that there is strong support for finally implementing a comprehensive bike network for Downtown Kansas City.
Planning to ride Trip the Light Fantastic at Christmas in the Park? Stop by the public meeting on your way to Longview Lake!
What Is a Buffered Bike Lane?
Buffered bike lanes use an extra area of painted pavement between the bike lane and car lanes, to provide additional visual and spatial separation between the two modes. The image below depicts the general configuration that the City has planned for Grand Boulevard.
BikeWalkKC welcomes two new additions to the staff
BikeWalkKC has seen a lot of growth over the last year, and we recently welcomed two individuals to our full-time staff: Joe Blankenship and Joshua Hoffman.
Joe Blankenship will be working with BikeWalkKC as the Safe Routes to School Planner. BikeWalkKC received a two-year grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to expand on work done through a pilot Safe Routes to School Program done at James Elementary in Kansas City, Missouri. Joe will be working with a number of elementary schools in the Kansas City Public School District to expand on the program BikeWalkKC implemented at James Elementary.
Safe Routes to School is a national program that is implemented at the local level with the goal of improving the overall health of children and communities through safe and viable active transportation choices such as walking and biking.
In order to move towards this goal, Joe will be working with the KCPS District, individual school administrators, students, parents, community organizations and other stakeholders to engage in a participatory community planning process. This process will entail analyzing current conditions around schools and the realities of student/parent travel to and from school, advocating for improved infrastructure, promoting events and classes that support active transportation choices and encouraging students, parents and the community at large to sustain a conversation on the benefits of active transportation.
Joe is excited to begin working with BikeWalkKC on this exciting project and looks forward to getting to know Kansas City in a new way.
Joshua Hoffman is BikeWalkKC’s newest addition to the programing and education team. Joshua is helping the Education Programs Manager Maggie Priesmeyer deliver and expand the BLAST and Earn-A-Bike programs as well as pilot the new Youth Ambassadors program for middle-school aged students. Additionally, he is researching and securing new grant funding to help grow BikeWalkKC’s impact on the Kansas City region.
For the last three years Joshua has worked as a part-time instructor and volunteer for BikeWalkKC. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to join BikeWalkKC as a staff member. He brings over a decade of experience working with elementary and middle-school students and a passion for data-driven program development.
If you see Joe or Joshua at one of our next events, help us welcome them to the team! We’re excited to have their talents and expertise to help make KC a better place to bike and walk.
Photo above: Left, Joshua Hoffman; Right, Joe Blankenship
Shawnee Parks Tax Up for Renewal on November
On November 4th Shawnee voters will be asked to renew the “Parks and Pipes” sales tax that supports parks, trails, and bike lanes in the metro area’s first nationally recognized Bicycle Friendly Community.
The 1/8 of a cent sales tax is up for renewal as Shawnee Question 1 on the Novermber 4th ballot. The sales tax is split equally between park/trail projects and stormwater projects. It has funded eleven park and trail projects in the last ten years, including the first three phases of the Clear Creek Trail.
If renewed, the Parks and Pipes tax would support future projects like:
- Clear Creek Trail extension
- Midland Trail extension from Renner to Ogg
- Shawnee Mission Parkway Trail between Woodland and Barker
- Additional trail and bike lanes on Shawnee Mission Parkway between Nieman and Turkey Creek
Question 2 – Street Sales Tax
A second question on the ballot will ask voters for an additional 3/8 cent sales tax for street repair and maintence. While this tax will not fund any new on-street bike lanes ,it will be used to improve the overal quality of pavement on Shawnee streets.
BikeWalkKC encourages all registered Shawnee voters to learn more about Question 1 and Question 2 at http://www.cityofshawnee.org/ppp and to vote on November 4th.
Advocacy Alert: Update on Safe Streets KC, the ordinance that protects our rights to use the streets safely
Advocacy Alert: Update on Safe Streets KC, the ordinance that protects our rights to use the streets safely
The “good” news first: The City Council is committed to making Kansas City a safer city and supporting the ordinance intended to protect vulnerable road users. The council debated for almost one hour in the business session and another hour at the City Council meeting on Thursday. We are excited and welcome the debate, and everyone seems to agree that we want a safer, more walkable, more bikeable KC.
The “not so good” news: The Council is sending the ordinance back to the Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee for further discussion and language changes and then on to City Council on October 2nd. Once Council passes this ordinance it will go into effect immediately.
Our take: The council is balancing our First Amendment rights and protections they know we deserve. This is part of the legislative process and democracy in action. Part of being a citizen is realizing that you will never get exactly what you want. Both parties have to work together to come to a natural compromise that works for everyone and especially one that works for KC. Click here to see the complete Council meeting and watch the debate (Ordinance 140777) and the testimonies of the courageous citizens who testified on why we need Safe Streets KC.
BikeWalkKC is dedicated to infrastructure, education, and policy change to make Kansas City a safe and accessible city. We have heard your stories, read your testimony on street harassment and compiled it – and it speaks volumes about what we must do to keep Kansas City safe – we must pass SafeStreetsKC!
Things you can do now:
Fill out our form to e-mail Mayor James and City Council Members.
Share the Safe Streets KC’s report.
Tweet about the anti-harassment ordinance. Include @BikeWalkKC and use hashtag #safestreetskc
Sign our Safe Streets KC petition if you haven’t already.
Put Thursday, October 2nd on your calendar to attend the City Council meeting at 3:00
Thanks so much for your support and keep moving forward,