Help Your Kids Get Around Lawrence Easier This Summer

Posted on: Apr 28, 2015

Lawrence Kansas T Summer Student Bus PassThe summer season is quickly creeping up and a lot of parents are strategizing getting kids to the pools, library, recreation centers, and shopping?  In some cases your kids might not be able to ride there bikes there, but the good news is that wherever kids need to go in Lawrence, the T can get them there!

The city announced that for only $10, a student summer bus pass is good for unlimited rides in June, July and August. The pass is for students in grades K-12. This year, there are even more locations to purchase the pass:

Starting May 1, passes are available at: City Hall, Community Building, East Lawrence Rec Center, Holcom Rec Center, Rock Chalk Park.  Starting May 18 you can get them at the Indoor Aquatic Center and starting May 23 they will be available at the Outdoor Aquatic Center.

Trip planning assistance is available online or over the phone. Bus drivers are also there to help whenever a passenger needs assistance. In addition, kids and parents can send a text message to find when the next bus will arrive at a particular bus stop. They can also download the new app “MV Transit Where’s my Bus?” available on iTunes and Google Play.

“Learning to ride the bus and navigate the system can be extremely beneficial for kids,” said Robert Nugent, transit administrator. “Their parents also appreciate it because they know their children are getting to their destination safely.”

For more information, visit www.lawrencetransit.org or call (785) 864-4644.

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Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 6th Nationally and in Lawrence

Posted on: Apr 23, 2015

Bike to SchoolLawrence Safe Routes to School is wrapping up the the school year with National Bike to School Day on May 6th.

Join Langston Hughes Elementary, Pinckney Elementary, and students all over Lawrence as they celebrate the day by getting fresh air and exercise on the way to school.

Please help spread the word to drivers and remind them to slow down and look for student pedestrians and cyclists. And keep your eye out for Pinckney students joining in their first Bike Train!

Throughout the month of May, try biking to work or school so that you don’t miss out on the fun! Contact Rebecca Garza at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department for more information.

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Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Department Annual Helmet Fair is This Weekend!

Posted on: Apr 22, 2015

LDCFS-Bike-HelmetThe  Fire Medical Department will hold their annual Helmet Fair on Saturday, April 25th on the University of Kansas campus alongside the annual Spring Football Scrimmage. The event will be the parking lot just West of Memorial Stadium in Lot 58. The event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is free to attend.

Immediately following the Helmet Fair, the KU Spring Football Scrimmage will take place at 1:00 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.

At the event, public safety staff will be on hand to provide and custom-fit bike helmets for children age 15 and younger (with an adult, while supplies last). Participants can have their bicycle inspected and take a ride on the Safe Ride Course. Staff will provide information on bicycle safety tips, bike trail etiquette, booster seat safety and swimming safety.

The Hyvee Hawk Zone will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. featuring family-friendly inflatables, face painting, music and appearances by Big Jay and Baby Jay.

The city’s Police and Fire-Medical Departments and Kansas University Public Safety are joining efforts to provide this event, along with several private and non-profit business partners including Kansas Athletics, Laird Noller, Safe Kids Douglas County, McDonalds, Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop, Douglas County Medical Society, Lawrence Mountain Bike Club, Dillons, Ranjbar Orthodontics and Lawrence Pilot Club.

Contact the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Department at (785)
830-7000 for more information.

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Why Biking to Work is a Barrier for Most Americans

Posted on: Apr 09, 2015

This story originally appeared on Urbanful on March 24, 2015.


Photo by Paul KruegerPeople for Bikes, a national cycling advocacy organization, has just released the results of the most comprehensive cycling survey in recent memory.

The biggest take home statistics from the survey, based on the online responses of 16,000 adults: 100 million Americans (34 percent of the population) went for a ride at least once in the last year. Forty-five million of those bikers made at least one ride as a means of transportation, rather than recreation, but only 14 percent of bikers take two or more rides each week.

That’s not because they don’t want to: 53 percent said they would like to ride more, but don’t.

Why?

Not surprisingly, provision of better quality bike lanes was identified as the key to increasing how often people hit the road: 54 percent of respondents said fear of getting hit by a car or truck is what holds them back, and 46 percent said they would be more likely to ride if a physical barrier separated bike lanes from car lanes.

While most cities have made a big push for more bike lanes in the shoulder area of the roadway, fully segregated bike lanes are a form of cycling infrastructure that is just starting to take off. Still, 17 percent of Americans say they feel more safe riding a bicycle now than they did five years ago, giving reason to be cautiously optimistic about the direction our cities are headed.

One thing the study made clear is that daily commuting to work and school is still rare in this country. Fifteen percent of Americans rode a bike at least once for transportation purposes in the last year, but only 10 percent of those, or about 4.5 million people, identified as the kind of regular riders who commute by bike at least 100 days per year. On the other hand, almost 10 million Americans made at least 100 bike trips for purely recreational purposes in the same time period.

Beyond traffic safety, there are a host of other reasons conspiring to keep us in our cars, only some of which were addressed by the survey.

Two of the most popular:

  • Fear of being attacked: Concerns about getting mugged while biking through deserted roadways at night and other such scenarios keep 35 percent of Americans from riding more.
  • Logistical challenges, like going from bike to bus or train. According to the survey, 29 percent of respondents said it was easy to combine bicycling and public transit. Most municipal buses have a rack on the front that fits a total of two bikes. If both spaces happen to be full, the unlucky bikers have to modify their transportation plans for the day on the spot, one of those small inconveniences that weed out many would-be bikers.

Photo by Paul SablemanStill, the study falls short in teasing out the many other minor factors that keep us in our cars. For instance, it doesn’t look at whether there is a safe place to lock a bike once you arrive at your destination. More and more employers are offering bike lockers and some even provide a bike valet or pay their employees to bike to work, but these are certainly in the minority.

It would be interesting to know how many employers promote a bike-to-work culture with facilities like lockers and showers. Bikers often show up at work hot and sweaty, their hair poofed in some places and matted in others, makeup running down their faces. It’s not conducive to jumping into an early morning business meeting, but there are many notable examples of employers attempting to integrate the realities of biking into the corporate status quo.

Perhaps soon we will see a survey that delves into these detailed and telling aspects of biking culture. But one thing is clear: Americans want to bike more, but our cities aren’t always equipped to support it.

For now, the survey leaves us with a few interesting comparisons: While 34 percent of the population rode a bike at some point last year, 39 percent worked at home after hours, 40 percent went jogging, 41 percent used public transportation, 75 percent visited a social media website and 96 percent watched TV. Despite the serious biking data from the survey, those final points certainly give a relevant context for our cultural priorities.

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How Do You Perceive Bicycle Safety?

Posted on: Apr 07, 2015

LDC-BACPublic input is essential to developing a better understanding of the community’s perception of Bicycle Safety. The Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) worked with the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff to partner with Senior KU Engineering Student, Carlos Patino to study Bicycle Crash Data and Safety Perceptions in Lawrence. BAC members have partnered to develop a survey to gauge the safety perceptions around bicycling in Lawrence.

A link to the survey is available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PofBS now through April 21. Public participation in the survey will help better define priorities to improve safety in the region.
Earth-Day
In addition, BAC members will be present at the 2015 Earth Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, April 11th from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at South Park is located at 11th Street and Massachusetts Street to collect input. The input collected will be used to draft new or revised policies, programs and projects designed to make Douglas County more Bicycle Friendly.

For more information, contact Jessica Mortinger, Transportation Planner, Lawrence-Douglas County MetropoBike Famlitan Planning Organization, at (785) 832-3165 or jmortinger@lawrenceks.org

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