Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kansas City, see it on a bike

Bike lane in downtown Kansas City
From the KC Community News, 03.26.08:

Experience Kansas City's sights, sounds by bicycle
Theresa Van Ackeren wants people to experience Kansas City from a different driver’s seat--that of a bicycle.

“It’s part of the whole philosophy of ‘stop and smell the roses,’” Van Ackeren said. “When you’re on a bike and going slower, you tend to look around and see things you don’t typically see from the hermetically sealed confines of a car. You come in contact with more people and hear the sounds of the city.”

“I’m a big proponent of using your bike instead of a car for short trips, like to the grocery store,” she said. “I’m somewhat of an environmentalist but I also support it for the physical fitness aspect, for getting people outside and enjoying the fresh air. I plan to ride to work everyday.” (Read more.)
As a bicycling community, Kansas City doesn't get much love. A recent U.S. Census report identified KC as having the lowest rate of bicycle commuting of any of the country's 50 largest cities.

Bike Commute Tips Blog reader Eric Rogers, creator of KCBike.info, reports that things may be changing for the better in Kansas City: "We are actually on the verge of many great things. The city has its first-ever bike/ped coordinator, Andy Clarke (executive director of the League of American Bicyclists) is coming in May for a regional Bike Friendly Communities workshop, and Missouri is getting close to a state-wide Complete Streets law. And last year we hosted the cyclocross nationals and the Tour of Missouri. So it's not all bad news."

Rogers also reports that Kansas City has seen three new bike shops open in less than a month. "This has to be some kind of a record. Two of the shops in particular have a strong focus on commuting and urban cycling." One of these new shops is Family Bicycles LLC, owned by the same Theresa Van Ackeren featured in this article.

Image: Missouri Bicycling Federation.
Visit: Kansas City cyclists making slow progress, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Returning to KC and its booming downtown, Kansas City Star
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
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1 comment:

Noah said...

I've recently worked with Theresa on the Bike Week planning committee. She's very passionate about cycling and the transportation benefits it offers -- a trait that's far too uncommon here in KC.

As for the other stuff, it's definitely an exciting time to be a cyclist here, but there's a long way to go before I'd consider this place bicycle-friendly.