bikes

Courtesy photo / KCATA

Four months into his new job as president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Joe Reardon has several things to brag about, and a few still on the to-do list.

The former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, appreciates being able to focus on a single mission for a change.

“It's an exciting time, and the first four months have been great. We're singularly focused on connecting people ...  I'm loving every minute of it,” Reardon told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

His charge is to connect multiple jurisdictions across the metro that have their own public transit system into a single, metro-wide system, under the brand, “Ride KC.”

“When we're out on a day-to-day basis, we don't pay attention to the jurisdictions. And this economy doesn't either, so were trying to develop a system that allows us to really answer to that call,” he said.

Fear Factor

Jul 6, 2015
Pixabay

Kids are riding bikes less and less. Some of that has to do with parents' fears, and some of it has to do with a shift in community design (after all, you can only get so far in a cul-de-sac). Parents swap stories, strategies and concerns about getting the elementary-school set back in gear.

Guests:

Dan Margolies / Heartland Health Monitor

On a warm afternoon at Garfield Elementary school in northeast Kansas City, a class of grade schoolers charges out into the schoolyard to spend an hour riding bikes. They’re getting training from members of the nonprofit group BikeWalkKC.

The program was created three years ago to teach bicycle safety skills. But BikeWalkKC’s education program manager, Maggie Priesmeyer, says she and her fellow instructors found they would often be teaching children to ride for the first time.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It doesn’t take long to drive a car across the Missouri River.

Depending on traffic, the roughly half-mile trek can take just one minute. But if you don’t have a car, the Missouri River can seem like a much larger obstacle.

According to the U.S. Census, about 84 percent of the Kansas City metro population drives alone to work. That leaves the other 16 percent commuting by other means, like carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or just working from home.

Suzanne Hogan, KCUR

The Missouri River plays an important part in Kansas City's history. But for many people today, it's an obstacle that divides our city. We look into how to cross the river if you don't have a car, and discuss what "The Northland" means.

Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation

A long-awaited bike trail spanning most of Missouri from east to west could be endangered by a pending transportation budget bill.

The measure introduced last week, House Resolution 2609, would eliminate the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which provides funding to states for recreational trails, community improvement activities and safe routes to school, among other programs.

Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious / Flickr

Central Standard's annual check-in on Kansas City's attempts to become a bicycle-friendly town. News, obstacles, progress reports and more. Plus, voices and stories from Missouri's Katy Trail.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

Just outside St. Louis, Missouri, on a high, windy bluff overlooking the Missouri River, a trio of grey-haired cyclists pump up tires and make adjustments to their bikes while their friend Henry Lazarski paces the parking lot, eager to get rolling.

Lazarski, a 73-year-old real estate lawyer from Paris, France, traveled to Missouri to ride the Katy Trail, which stretches almost the entire width of the state just short of Kansas City. At about 240 miles, it’s the longest continuous bike trail in the country.

MoBikeFed / Flickr-CC

A recent federal ruling will help connect the Kansas City metro to the Katy Trail. 

The Surface Transportation Board issued its decision Thursday to allow 144 miles of the Rock Island Railroad tracks to be used as a bike trail. The railroad hasn't been used for more than 30 years.

Once completed, it will create one of the longest cycling trail networks in the country. 

Eric Bunch of BikeWalkKC says the connection will be a boon for both Kansas City and the entire state. 

BikeWalkKC

 

Bike commuters and enthusiasts may soon have more options for safely trekking through downtown Kansas City, Mo.

The Public Works Department disclosed plans Tuesday for redesigning traffic flow and creating bike lanes on a mile-and-a-half stretch of Grand Avenue between the Crossroads and the River Market.

“It’s an opportunity to take Grand from a traditional 1960’s six-lane arterial into a more walkable, livable three-lane street with bike lanes and better pedestrian accommodations,” said Wes Minder, manager of capital planning for the city.

A Kansas City City Council committee has finalized an ordinance making it illegal to intimidate walkers and bike riders on Kansas City, Mo., streets.

Maggie Priesmeyer, who volunteers for an organization that helps provide bikes to needy people, was among those who shared stories about rude, intimidating and inconsiderate motorists.

She told the Public Safety Committee the story of a homeless, jobless veteran named Joe who came in for for help with bike repairs wearing a sling and brace of the type used to support a broken collarbone.

MoBikeFed / Flickr-CC

Honking, cat-calls, projectiles and more get hurled at pedestrians and cyclists in Kansas City. The city council now is considering a law to crack down on that type of conduct.

Calling these actions “threatening and dangerous behavior,” the proposed ordinance seeks to protect “vulnerable road users.”

Councilman John Sharp is expected to recommend the ordinance at this week's council meeting. He and Kansas City Star reporter Mike Hendricks joined Steve Kraske on Up to Date Monday to discuss the details.

Gvolk / Wikimedia Commons

When the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as the KATY, canceled its route from Machens to Sedalia, the railroad’s loss became a gain for hikers and cyclists. The 200 miles of converted rail bed, now known as the KATY Trail, is an economic engine that falls short of reaching Kansas City — but that could be changing.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we find out what’s next for the KATY Trail, and how it might expand. 

Guests:

MoBikeFed / Creative Commons, Flickr

Some bicyclists are all-purpose riders, using a mere two wheels to get to work, school, the grocery store and everywhere in between. But lots of people ride just for fun and relaxation. Central Standard invited expert panelists and listeners alike to share their favorite recreational biking trails in Kansas City and the surrounding suburbs. Below is a list of a few places where the weekend warrior can enjoy a leisurely ride.

Paul Kruger / Flickr/CC

When you pull onto a street in a car, you have certain expectations. The road will be smoothly paved, with clearly marked lanes, and the network of streets will not end without warning, leaving you stranded before you’ve reached your destination. But, if you’re riding a bike in the Kansas City metro, finding a safe, continuous route can be challenging.

Courtesy photo / Denesha Snell

Denesha Snell remembers the first time her cycling club rode through Swope Park and down the Paseo.

"There was a guy in the park, and he said, 'Somebody told me there was a bunch of black women on bikes.' And he didn't believe it. We rode past him, and his mouth dropped to the floor because he could not believe it," says Snell. "The myth is that we don't work out and we don't exercise."

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The fall air was crisp on Saturday morning as Steve Conard lifted his 1940s era Western Flyer from the back of his car.

"Today the weather is absolutely perfect for this kind of a ride," said Conard, dressed in a large, vintage tweed jacket and plaid pants. He said he had been looking forward to joining the Kansas City Tweed Ride since the day he found the rusty bike frame for five dollars at a bike swap this summer. It had taken him six weeks to rebuild the bike from salvaged parts.

Is Kansas City Bike Friendly?

Sep 19, 2013

For most of us getting around Kansas City is a matter of finding the road with the least traffic and no construction. But for some of us, the problems are more elemental than that: Is there a bike lane or will I have to dodge traffic? Can I walk to get my groceries or go to the doctor? What do I do if I don’t have a car? 

Lance Rake

When you think of getting a bicycle, finding one made of bamboo isn't usually your first thought.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with University of Kansas design professor Lance Rake about how he took an underused Alabama crop and turned it into an economic stimulus for the town of Greensboro, Ala.

Guest:

Biking in KC

Jan 29, 2013

A recent study from the University of British Columbia found that installing bike infrastructure greatly reduces the likely hood of cyclist injury.  In fact, cycle tracks (bike lanes physically separated from motor vehicle traffic) alongside major streets had about 1/10 the typical risk to cyclists.  Our guests, Elizabeth Bejan, of Revolve KC, Aaron Bartlett, Bicycle and Training coordinator at MARC and Deb Ridgeway, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for Kansas City Public Works Department, explore these risks in Kansas City and how organizations and the city are working to address them.


bikewalkkc.com

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • Streetcar Plan On Track
  • Bike Share Rolls Out
  • Trial Date Set For Bishop & Catholic Diocese
  • Kansas Agriculture Secretary Blasts Bioscience Authority
  • Artists In Their Own Words: Year Of The Dragon

Bike Rentals Wheel Into KC

Jan 26, 2012

Residents will soon have new way to get around downtown Kansas City.  The advocacy group BikeWalkKC, with help from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, has announced its launching a bike share program. 

Bike Way Builders Closing on Goal

Aug 24, 2010
Mo Bike Fed photo.

Kansas City, MO – Not counting evening rush hour, construction of a new bridge-borne bike and walking path is slowing drivers' progress on half the Heart of America span. The daily restrictions will be in place through Friday, August 27.

Transit Breakthrough: Retro Style

Mar 31, 2010
photo by Dan Verbeck.

Kansas City, Mo. – Work is about to begin retrofitting the Heart of America Bridge for bicyclists and walkers. The $3.4 million job is scheduled to be completed by the fall. For the first time in at least a hundred years, Kansas City will have a bridge usable for non motorized traffic.

Planners picked the bridge over others based on safety, lowest environmental impact and cost. A concrete barrier will separate bikes and pedestrians from traffic.