Kansas Bike/Ped News, January 2013

A roundup of Kansas bicycle and pedestrian news for January 2013:

2012’s Deadly Toll

In 2012, pedestrian fatalities in Kansas jumped from 20 to 30, with many killed trying to cross highways. The number of people killed in Kansas auto collisions rose 5 percent for the year, to 402 deaths, according to preliminary data from the Kansas Department of Transportation. Officials plan to analyze distracted driving, which might involve cell-phone use or texting. They also intend to look into the reasons underlying the significant increase in pedestrian fatalities. [via the Lawrence Journal-World]

Eight bicyclists lost their lives on Kansas roads in 2012, up from three in 2011. [via Kansas Cyclist]

Pedestrian Killed Near Manhattan

On January 5, Carl Schurle, age 72, of Manhattan was killed by a vehicle on the west side of Manhattan. Schurle was walking eastbound about 6:50 a.m. in the southbound lane of traffic in the 5900 block of Anderson Avenue when he was struck. The Riley County Police Department investigated. [via Topeka Capital-Journal: initial report, followup]

Later in the month, Police Rule Deadly Riley Co. Pedestrian Death An Accident: “A deadly collision involving an elderly pedestrian and teenage driver was the result of a horrible accident.”

Hit-and-Run Driver Strikes Pedestrian in Ottawa

On January 7, 54-year-old David Cook was arrested in connection with a pedestrian hit-and-run incident at the corner of 15th and Cedar streets in Ottawa. Cook was arrested by Ottawa police on suspicion of duty to give information and render aid, duty to report an accident and disobeying a stop sign. Cook is accused of driving a vehicle that struck Hannah Thomas, 18, Ottawa, and then fled the scene about 3:49 p.m. Monday at 15th and Cedar streets. [via Ottawa Herald]

Pedestrian Killed in Wichita

On January 8, Thomas Wimberly, age 80, was struck and killed by a car in downtown Wichita. Police say Wimberly was crossing the street in the middle of the block and a northbound car hit him. The 20-year-old woman driving the car told police she didn’t see the man until he was in front of her car. Police say there is no indication that the car was speeding or that the driver was drinking, and that they do not think the driver will be charged in the case. [via KSN, Wichita Eagle]

Abilene Proposes Making Walking and Bicycling Safer

“The Abilene City Manager reviewed a proposal from the Health and Wellness Coalition discussing ways to make walking and bicycling safer throughout the community. Due to limited resources, the City is not able to address all areas that may be benefited by improvements. One way to address the lack of available resources is to create a designated trail or alignment where strategic investments may be made by the City, and potentially the private sector, to establish a base corridor for safe walking and bicycling. Additional branches could be improved once the initial corridor is designated and improved, providing a safe and accessible community-wide network for pedestrians and bicyclists.” [via Abilene Reflector-Chronicle]

Park Trail Planned in Lincolnville

In Lincolnville, council members would like to see the development of a paved “fit trail” in the park, but the city looking for help to pay for it, and hopes the generosity of others will make up for limited city funding. “If it doesn’t work, at least we tried. I guess we can continue to walk on the street instead of the sidewalk.”

Iola Repeals Mandatory Bicycle Registration and Sidewalk Cycling Laws

The Iola City Council has voted 8-0 to eliminate mandatory bicycle registration in their community, and to eliminate a ban on riding bicycles on sidewalks. Iola is also considering adding bike lanes to some of their streets. [via Kansas Cyclist]

Kansas Bicycle Pedestrian Survey

The Kansas Department of Transportation is beginning the process of updating the state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and one of the first public steps is to solicit input from Kansans, which they are doing in the form of an online survey: Survey for Adults, Survey for Parents On Behalf of Your Children

Eudora submitting bid for pedestrian walkway over K-10

“If all goes as Eudora officials hope, a pedestrian walkway over Kansas Highway 10 will connect the south and north parts of the city within two years.” The current lack of a safe crossing presents a “huge gap in the quality of life in Eudora”. [via Lawrence Journal-World]

Pedestrian struck and killed by train in Wakarusa

A was killed on November 24th “after being struck by a train in southern Shawnee County in what officials with the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office are calling a suicide.” [via Lawrence Journal-World]

Edwardsville walking trail moves forward

“The Edwardsville City Council approved steps needed for construction of a walking trail with the help of state funds. The 8- to 10-foot wide asphalt trail would connect Edwardsville City Park to Riverfront Park.” [via BonnerSprings.com]

Walking School Bus Planned in Paola

“Community members, including city and school officials, met to discuss how to create a walking school bus and bicycle train program. The proposed idea would encourage students to walk or ride their bicycle with other students to and from school under the supervision of a trained adult.” [via Miami County Republic]

Quiet Cars Endanger Pedestrians

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound standards in order to help make all pedestrians more aware of the approaching vehicles. Electric and hybrid vehicles do not rely on traditional gas or diesel-powered engines at low speeds, making them much quieter and their approach difficult to detect. The sounds would need to be detectable under a wide range of street noises and other ambient background sounds when the vehicle is traveling under 18 miles per hour. At 18 miles per hour and above, vehicles make sufficient noise to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to detect them without added sound. [via Kansas City infoZine]

Well Done!

A multi-use trail crossing in Chanute, Kansas

A multi-use trail crossing in Chanute, Kansas

The Kansas Bike/Ped News is published by KanBikeWalk, a non-profit, statewide organization whose mission is to promote a safe bicycling and walking environment for Kansans through education and advocacy.

Join KanBikeWalk and help to make Kansas a great place to walk and bike!