Olathe, KS, creates citywide bicycle plan

Olathe, KS, put itself in the forefront of bicycle planning in the Kansas City metropolitan area with the recent announcement of a bicycle plan for the city. A KCStar article reports:
“This plan really exceeded my expectations,” said Mark Scrivner, president of the Johnson County Bicycle Club. “They really took the opportunity to create a good basis for a plan that will cater to all levels of cyclists.”

The plan would create two citywide bike networks that would cater to both advanced and novice cyclists. The proposed routes, which would total roughly 230 miles, would use some of Olathe’s existing bike paths and extend them so cyclists can travel all over town and even connect with other city’s bicycle paths.

Alonzo Linan, assistant director of public works, said that as more people move to Olathe, residents are demanding alternative modes of transportation that include bicycling.

“As we continue to grow, residents need to have the ability to drive there, bike there, walk there or ride the bus there,” Linan said. “Yes, we have set standards in the past for transportation, but we are doing nothing for our bicycle riders.”
One of the best aspects about the plan is that they are including input from bicyclists in the community at every step. In addition they are working to make a complete, sustainable system that encompasses every needed aspect, from construction to maintenance.

This plan could be a model for cities across Kansas and Missouri to follow in creating their own citywide bicycle plans.

Information presented at the meeting, including maps, displays, and summaries, can be found on Olathe's web site.