MoDOT Grant Provides Bicycles for Safety Enforcement, Patrolling

Steve Porter of MoDOT District 4 sends the following info about a new grant to support bicycle and pedestrian safety in the Lee's Summit area:
Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Responsibility
MoDOT and the Lee's Summit Police Department are working together to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety by placing officers on bikes to enforce traffic regulations in the city's busiest areas.

The Lee's Summit Police Department's upgraded Bicycle Unit has purchased six fully-equipped Trek bicycles, helmets and uniforms through a $6,000 grant provided by Destination: Safe, a MoDOT-funded partnership with law enforcement, local governments and advocacy groups to reduce serious-injury and fatal accidents.

The Bicycle Unit will educate and raise awareness for bicycles, pedestrians and motorists to reduce cyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities. So far this year, 11 pedestrians have been killed in the Kansas City region. Officers will patrol as weather permits, focusing on pedestrians, bicyclists and crime that may occur in their presence. The new bikes replace worn-out bikes that have been in use since the unit began 10 years ago.

Bicyclists are increasing in Lee's Summit, where the community has hosted the MS150 and Tour De Lakes bicycle runs. The city's many bicycle-friendly streets and pathways are frequently used for bicycle training. The Bicycle Unit will educate the public on the rules of the road regarding bicycle operation and obligations of both motorists and bicycle riders to obey traffic rules and be aware of threats to safety.

Police officers on bicycles will be most visible in the revitalized downtown area, Summit Woods Shopping Center and eventually at the new shopping center northeast of Route 50 and Chipman Road. Increased police presence will be evident during International Walk to School Day October 8 and on Halloween. The Lee's Summit Police Department continues to fund the Bicycle Unit through its departmental budget and it is not included as part of the MoDOT grant. Bicycle patrols also re-enforce the community-oriented policing philosophy of the Lee's Summit Police Department.