Parade Day is almost here!

Saturday is Topeka’s annual St. Patrick’s ‘Day’ Parade! Bikes will be well represented this year, with about a half dozen crews rolling along.

The lineup starts at 10am at 4th & Kansas… so if you’re a late starter, plan to look for bikes around 2nd & Kansas at 11am or later. We’ll save you a spot.

The ride is pretty slow, and lasts a couple hours. Bring water and maybe a snack. And wear green & decorate your bike!

Downtown is looking good

downtown

(OK, this photo is a little drab, it’s really looking better than this. From KC Star.)

But we could do even better!

Check out this dramatic transition underway in Rochester:

rochester-loop-before

(Before)

rochester-loop-after-4

…and after. (Grabbed from Mobilizing the Region)

Imagine if we brought the human scale back to our downtown, and did away with the high-speed highway that cuts through the core of our city. There could be new opportunities for rebuilding housing, connecting commerce, and bridging meaningful access across the east and west sides of Topeka.

Even more food for thought, albeit on a different scale:

txtrails-draft-49

Basically, if we are only measuring highway traffic, we’re missing the point. Via Stroad to Boulevard.

 

Ding Ding Ding

Is that the sound of a bike bell ringing? Or the sound of sweet success?

Three victories to celebrate this week:

First, the League of American Bicyclists awarded Topeka with Bronze status as a Bicycle-Friendly Community. Not too shabby. Ding!

video-screenshot

 

Next, local cyclists fully funded the purchase of the C3FT device to help enforce the three-foot law. Ding!

C3FT

Finally, it’s Bike to Work Week! Ding! Last night was the Ride of Silence, with 50+ riders, including the Chief of Police. It also opened up some critical dialogue about the statewide three-foot law with the Sheriff. Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones has failed to charge the motorist who recently struck and seriously injured local rider Paul Engler. That conversation continues.

One last note, tomorrow (and also every day) is Bike to Work Day.. make it count!

Make Topeka safer, three feet at a time!

The Topeka Community Cycle Project and the Topeka Police Department are teaming up to buy a “3-ft device” to measure how close a car passes a bicycle. The device will be used to help enforce the Kansas law that requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing cyclists.

But they can’t do it alone! Can you help the campaign? The device costs about $2000, and once purchased, the Police have offered to use it in enforcement at least once a year.

C3FT

Designed and manufactured by Codaxus of Austin Texas, the C3FT registers the 3 foot violation, indicates the distance the car is passing, in inches, and is recording this information the whole time with a HERO 4 GoPro Silver. The device has been used with great success for almost a year now by Officer Robert Simmons of the Chattanooga Police Department. “Our primary goal is not to write citations; our primary goal is education, [and] behavior modifications,” states Simmons.

Campaign contributors will have the benefit of knowing that they are contributing to safer streets here in Topeka – educating riders and drivers, and preventing collisions. Contribute to the GoFundme campaign now to help purchase a C3FT for Topeka.

Shoutouts!

It’s Friday and Topeka is crushing it in the biking and walking game lately, so some shoutouts are due.

First: Topeka Planning Department.

Bikeways Plan is happening, being implemented, and we have tons of sharrows and bike lanes on the road now. The City put out a great video on rules of the road to go along with these efforts.

Pedestrian Plan was approved and passed through City Council and will be implemented over the next ten years. (Only a few decades overdue, but hey, it was recognized as a problem and is being addressed.)

sharrow

Sharrow on SW 4th St. looking west.

Honorable mention to the Planning Department’s “Land Use and Growth Management Plan 2040” which was also finished within the last year. It’s a toned-down version of Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary. (Basically, the further you spread out your city, the harder it is to maintain your infrastructure.)

Next: Visit Topeka, Inc.

They’ve taken the reins to host a Cyclovia (bike fest) this summer, a bike party for all!

Finally: Topeka Metro Bikes

Well, this one should be obvious. Metro launched the first bikeshare in the state of Kansas a year ago today. A year later and no other city has jumped into the game – and in two weeks the TMB system doubles to 200 bikes! Eat our dust, Wichita! 😉

 

 

Iowa DOT Director: State’s road system will shrink | The Gazette

Kansas is in the same boat. We can’t maintain all that we currently have. In no way should we be considering building more.

The state’s top transportation official, Paul Trombino, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, has been candid in his assessment of the road system here.

Source: Iowa DOT Director: State’s road system will shrink | The Gazette

Why Texas is Spending too Much on Roads and How to Stop — Strong Towns

How is this relevant to Kansas? We’re about to spend $200 million over the next couple decades on a mere 3-mile section of highway in our downtown corridor. At what scale will that ever be sustainable? Click through to Strong Towns to read why #NoNewRoads makes sense for Texas (and for Kansas, too).

Patrick Kennedy is a Strong Towns member actively working to end Texas’ overspending on roads. Today, he shares what got Texas to this point and how it might be able to change course.

Source: Why Texas is Spending too Much on Roads and How to Stop — Strong Towns