Be predictable! Kirsten Yunuba Stephens underlines that advice to all bicyclists and to those who share the road with them.
Stephens volunteers her time to teach “Bicycle Friendly Drivers” in Lawrence on behalf of the Lawrence Bicycle Club. Based on a program developed by the City of Fort Collins, CO, the course briefs drivers of cars and other motorized vehicles about the rules of the road when they encounter bicyclists. The hour-long interactive class is “aimed at educating all drivers on the best and safest ways to share the road with people on bicycles.” Kirsten has incorporated photographs of Lawrence streets to help learners envision problem situations.
Many drivers are surprised to learn that:
- Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road that cars and other vehicles do.
- Bicyclists can legally “take the lane” and ride in the middle of road.
- It’s okay for two bicyclists to ride side by side.
- Cars should stay at least three feet away from bicyclists.
- Many accidents occur when vehicle drivers making a right-hand turn don’t check for cyclists coming on their right.
Lawrence Central Rotarians braved the cold morning on Saturday, April 7, to fit bicycle helmets for children who attended the Joy Ride sponsored by Gravel Grinders.
The City of Lawrence received great news and Lawrence Central is proud to have helped the city to be able to achieve this designation!
The City of Lawrence has been honored again as a Bronze Rank Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC). The City first received this designation in 2004 from the American League of Bicyclists. There are now 404 communities recognized in the U.S. as Bicycle Friendly Communities; this is Lawrence’s fifth successful application. The Bronze level BFC award recognizes Lawrence’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee members prepared the application utilizing information, such as data collected from bike/pedestrian counts, safety material, outreach efforts, and lane mileage. This year’s application featured Lawrence’s completion of a number of projects that will form the “Lawrence Loop”, a 22-mile paved off-street path around the city, the bicycle education provided by Lawrence’s League Certified Cycling instructors, the on-bicycle safety education at local elementary schools, and the recent commitment in the city budget for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. The Lawrence Central Rotary Club’s Community Bike Ride, Safe Kids Douglas County Bicycle Rodeo and Helmet giveaways, the Tour of Lawrence, the Lawrence Mountain Bicycle Club’s partnership with Parks & Recreation for the development and maintenance of the Lawrence River Trails trail, the National Bicycle Challenge, and 100 percentage of buses equipped with bike racks were also highlighted as part of the application process.
By the numbers, Lawrence now has 16 miles of bike lanes, 9 miles of shared-lane markings (sharrows), 39 miles of signed bike routes, and 45 miles of paved shared use paths.
Four Kansas communities have received the Bicycle Friendly designation: Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, and Shawnee. Find out more information online at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.
The weather was beautiful and around 100 riders and volunteers came out September 17th for the Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride organized by Lawrence Central Rotary. “We had everyone from novices and kids on training wheels to local professional riders come out,” said Central Rotary Club President Jim Peters, “our club rallies around these events and it’s great to be able to provide a safe and encouraging event for bike riding.”
Event chair Steve Lane coordinated volunteers and organized the sponsors from all over Lawrence. “Steve’s organization and prep for this function like a Swiss watch,” said club member Tobin Neis, “we wouldn’t be able to do it without him.”
Lawrence / Douglas Country Community Health Planner Charlie Bryan was on hand showing attendees the proposed “Lawrence Loop” bike / multi-use path. LiveWell Lawrence and partners continue to advocate for finishing this 22-mile loop trail around Lawrence everyone could enjoy.
Exciting for both local Rotarians as well as attendees to see was an assembled ShelterBox which Lawrence Central Rotarians have heavily supported over the years. A ShelterBox is a simple and effective solution to deliver the essentials people need to survive and begin to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a disaster.
ShelterBoxes are tailored for the particular disaster being responded to, but typically includes a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.
Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers who made this happen!
Douglass Country Community Foundation Program and Communications Officer Marilyn Hull and Douglas Country Community Health Department Community Health Planner (and Lawrence Central Rotary Member) Charlie Bryan came to present the findings of the Lawrence Pedestrian Bicycle Issues Task Force Report released earlier this year.
The Task Force’s mission is “use community input and research to recommend ways to create a healthier, safer, greener, more prosperous Lawrence by making it easier for residents and visitors of all ages, abilities, and incomes to walk, ride a bike, or use a wheelchair or other mobility device for everyday transportation and recreation.”
The big takeaway from the report is that virtually every Lawrence citizen walks, wheels or rides a bike in the course of a week. From the report:
It may be as simple as walking or wheeling from a car or bus stop to a grocery store or doctor’s office. It may be riding a bike to school, or walking to work, or wheeling to a downtown event. Everybody needs safe ways to move around the community.
Because the need is universal, the City of Lawrence Pedestrian-Bicycle Issues Task Force has taken an inclusive approach to studying our walking, wheeling and bike-riding environment. Our findings and recommendations are geared toward providing additional safety and comfort for all ages and abilities.
They also pointed out that Lawrence has 72 linear miles of streets with no sidewalks. The report asserts that Lawrence’s sidewalk maintenance policy is ineffective, resulting in a deteriorating pedestrian network. Many sidewalks don’t provide adequate access for people with disabilities or seniors with mobility limitations.
They also showed members a recommended map of upgrades and additions to the local bike and multi-use path network that would ultimately complete the loop around Lawrence.
If you are interested in more information please visit the Pedestrian-Bicycle Issues Task Force at https://www.lawrenceks.org/ped-bike