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  • Help us transform the streets of KC in 2015

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    A lot of good happened for local cyclists and pedestrians on Kansas City streets in 2014.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.30.08 PMThis summer, the city’s bike share system, Kansas City B-cycle, doubled in size, with eight new stations in the Country Club Plaza and Westport. Thousands of area kids learned bicycle safety from the proven BLAST youth bicycle course in 17 elementary schools throughout the region this year.

    And more recently, Kansas City, MO and Lee’s Summit passed a Safe Streets Ordinance, protecting hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists from harassment on city streets.

    BikeWalkKC was behind these and other exciting projects — but we couldn’t have done any of it without you. Now that we’ve got momentum going towards a better city for bicyclists and pedestrians, we’re ready to grow it in 2015 — with your help.

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    What kind of impact could you make?

    If each of our members gives $50, we would instantly have $25,000.

    But it doesn’t stop there — with that amount, we would be able to leverage $125,000 in Federal funding to make our programs go even further — five times further.

    Your gift of just $50 would become $250 to help make Kansas City’s streets better for the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians.

    In 2015, BikeWalkKC is ready to bring new bike share stations to KC’s streets, more lessons to area students, and more change at City Hall.

    Will you help make that happen? Donate online today.

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  • Give the Gift of Better Walking and Biking on #GivingTuesday

    givingtuesdayDuring Black Friday, people scramble about corporate businesses, bargain hunting and Christmas shopping. Some get out again on Small Business Saturday, supporting local businesses in their communities. And then there is Cyber Monday, where the internet explodes with shopping traffic. On Tuesday, give the ultimate gift to your family and the future of your community by participating in #GivingTuesday.

    At BikeWalkKC, we strive to normalize bicycling and walking in the Kansas City metro area. We host events, such as the Women’s Bike Summit, which encourages women of all ages and backgrounds to gather and share their passion for active lifestyles. Our BLAST program encourages biking for Kansas City’s youth. We teach them bicycle skills and safety techniques that are crucial for them to safely maneuver the streets of their communities.

    Our staff are passionate about what they do and strive to provide quality instruction and share their love of biking with students. “To see the pride in a student as he or she masters a new technique on the bike is exhilarating,” says Steve Inman, a BLAST instructor. “To have a student tell you how they described their new skill to a parent is heart-warming. To be a part of this revolution is priceless.”

    We reach hundreds of individuals with our B-cycle program, allowing residents and visitors to rent bicycles at a 20 stations throughout Kansas City (with more on the way). Bike fever is spreading rapidly. New people are hopping on bikes for the first time everyday.

    “Yesterday when I was walking by the river I thought what a great day for a bike ride it would be,” Emily Allen, a River Market resident. “And it was. I was wobbly. I was a bit afraid I’d run into someone. I couldn’t do the down ramp curves on the way there, but could on the way back. My legs will complain to me tomorrow because of the inclines and hills, but it was worth it. I’ll do it again.”

    To encourage this development and enhance the quality of life for current bikers in Kansas City, BikeWalkKC actively advocates for new or improved bike paths and sidewalks, laws and ordinances protecting pedestrians and cyclists, increasing numbers of available bike racks, and more.

    Our job is to fight for you and Kansas City’s cycling community. But we can’t do it without help.
    No donation is too small. By giving to BikeWalkKC, you are investing in Kansas City’s future. If you can’t give money, consider volunteering.

    Together, we can spread the momentum that is growing throughout the country. Support this initiative. Support the future of your health, your community, your children’s hometown, and the environment.

    Give today, give to the future…a bikeable, walkable KC!

  • 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!

    We would like to thank our supporters for making these events possible and for their continued support. Please consider becoming a member or donating to BikeWalkKC. 

  • 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

    Key Facts

    • 12 miles of bike lanes and buffered bike lanes from the River Market to Crown Center, and from the Westside and West Bottoms to 18th and Vine

    • 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