ALERT: Defend Bike Lanes in Johnson County

The city of Olathe, KS is planning to put bike lanes on 127th Street, but some serious NIMBY opposition from residents near this street is threatening to kill the bike lanes. There have already been shady back-room dealings concerning this project, so it’s critical that bicyclists make a show of force Thursday night in support of safe streets in Olathe.

The public meeting is at 7:00 p.m. and a group is bicyclists is riding there at 6:30 p.m. If possible please consider riding to the meeting. Full details are below and here is previous coverage of 127th Street.

From the Johnson County Bicycle Club:

Be on the front line or just stand in support of better bike-friendly roads in Olathe. PLUS get a ride in, too. Any and all bicyclists are encouraged to attend. If you’re from Olathe, it’s all the more critical your voice is heard and your presence seen in support of preserving the bike lanes on 127th Street.

What’s a Bike & Speak Up? It’s a bike ride with a chance to speak up for bicycle-friendly roads.

Date: September 27, 2007
Time: 6:30 PM Sharp ride time
Where: 54th Street Bar & Grill, Olathe, NE of Great Mall of the Great Plains (map)
Ride: 12 miles to/from public meeting or more. Lights and Helmets Required
Speak Up: Defend 127th Street Bike Lanes against NIMBY opposition

The City of Olathe is hosting a public meeting to present and discuss designs for 2 miles of 127th Street from the new I-35 overpass at Mur-Len Road east to the Overland Park city limits at Pflumm Road. Link to Public Meeting Announcement:

http://www.olatheks.org/Residents/News/127mtg_0907.pdf

Bike lanes were originally proposed and the city was awarded federal funds to construction the bike lanes. But adjacent residents have narrow-mindedly focused their frustrations with the road improvement’s supposed impact on their neigbhorhood towards the bike lanes and have come out vocally opposed to them. Link to read their comments from a limited invitation-only Open House for adjacent residents:

http://www.improve127th.com/pdf/April_5_comments.pdf

A strong showing from all bicyclists (it’s a public road using your federal tax dollars) and particularly Olathe bicyclists (it’s your town and property taxes paying for most of the roadway) is needed to defend the continued inclusion of the bike lanes in the final designs. City staff supports the bike lanes, but need to hear and see support for the bike lanes to justify their continued recommendation to City Council in the due to the vocal and often misleading opposition to the bike lanes by many adjacent residents.

Adjacent residents have been writing and calling City Council members. This meeting will begin a renewed effort by JCBC to preserve the bike lanes durig the final designs phase of the 127th Street.

If you can’t or would rather not do the ride, I urge you to attend the 127th Street Public Meeting and Speak Up for bicycle-friendly streets:

When: September 27, 2007
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Santa Fe Trail Junior High School
Ridgeview Road & Harold Street (map)

Link to Project Home Page: http://www.improve127th.com/index.html

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