Will Kansas City put a bike lane near where the cyclist died?

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On Tuesday August 30, 2022, a small wooden cross could be seen next to a sign post as a memorial at the corner of View High Drive and Longview Road cyclist Charles Crinière who was killed there on Saturday by a hit-and-run .

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A number of cyclists are asking their local governments to install a bike lane on a stretch of road in Kansas City where a father of 10 was recently killed while riding.

But the city of Kansas City says it would need help from the city of Lee’s Summit to make it happen.

Longview Lake Loop is a bike trail that stretches approximately 10 miles around Lake Longview and through Kansas City, Grandview and Lee’s Summit. Much of the Kansas City stretch of road either has bike lanes already installed or bike lanes under construction.

But a 0.7-mile stretch of View High Drive toward Lee’s Summit was not included in plans to create better cycling infrastructure.

As cyclists approach the intersection of SW Longview Road and SW 3rd Street from the north, along View High Drive, the bike path extends just past the intersection of East 109th Street, forcing cyclists to merge on the road with drivers just before leaving Kansas City and entering Lee’s Summit.

It is on this section, devoid of a cycle path, that the husband, father, deacon and professor of mathematics at Charles Crinière college, 43, was hit by a car and killed at the end of August. Now, in light of Mane’s death, some cyclists are trying to raise awareness of what they believe to be a fatal flaw in road design that forces cyclists to leave the existing bike lane and merge with traffic. where the bike lane ends.

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A five-year “conceptual” bicycle facility implementation plan released by the Kansas City Department of Public Works shows current and planned bicycle lanes around the Longview Lake area. Kansas City

In response to some of those concerns, Kansas City Department of Public Works spokesperson Sherae Honeycutt said the city would be open to a conversation with the town of Lee’s Summit about installing more bike lanes on this stretch of View High. Conduct.

“Lee Town Summit has no bike lane infrastructure on SW 3rd Street or continuing on SW Longview Road,” she said in an email Wednesday morning. “To install cycle paths in this area, the roadway would have to be designed to provide a safe transition between municipalities.”

Honeycutt said the Public Works Department “is open and available for a collaborative discussion in which bike lane improvements could be implemented with the Town of Lee Summit.”

Cheryl Nash, spokeswoman for the town of Lee’s Summit, said they’re also open to a conversation, but it’s not as simple as building protected bike lanes once View High Drive becomes SW Longview Boulevard once it reaches the border of Lee’s Summit.

A signed bike path with shared lanes already exists through a few roundabouts on SW Longview Boulevard, which helps to naturally slow traffic, contributing to safer driving, Nash said. But because the road was built before Lee’s Summit implemented its bike transportation plan, the city doesn’t have the space or capacity to add dedicated bike lanes to the street.

“The lack of dedicated or buffered bike lanes south of Third Street or along Third Street at Lee’s Summit does not preclude the continuation of Kansas City bike lanes to and throughout Lee’s Summit,” Nash said.

Not all bike paths need bike lanes or have to look the same; and bike lanes can safely and fluently transition between types of cycling facilities. Lee City Summit intends to follow up on adoption Bike transport plan which is part of the city’s overall plan, for bicycle routes and hosts conversations with Kansas City as Kansas City also seeks to implement its bicycle plans.

Need safe bike lanes on Longview Loop

Athol Barnes, senior pastor at Grace Point Baptist Church, where Mane was a deacon, has been traveling the Longview Loop for a decade. Even before Creinière died, the merger on View High Drive made him nervous. Also, some riders said there is a patch of sidewalk near the merge that is uneven, which creates an additional hazard to bike tires.

“What will it take for the resources to be allocated to solve this problem? Barnes asked Tuesday. “We want a healthy community, we want a community that exercises.”

Ryan Corrigan, an avid Grandview cyclist and close friend of Mane for 16 years, rides many of the Metro’s trails. But he said Longview Lake remains one of the best and busiest, and that is made evident by the number of cyclists of all ages and experience levels who ride around the lake each day, with a site cycle route listing the Longview Lake loop. among the 10 best metro cycle routes.

But the View High Drive merger also makes him think.

“I think a tragedy at this level would put this at the forefront of conversations related to roads, road safety,” he said. “I know there’s a lot going on, but it’s a massive traffic area and something really needs to be done very, very soon.”

The weather in the Midwest is rough on the roads, making it difficult for cyclists to find routes without potholes. While the Longview Lake Circle had its fair share of potholes in the past, the sidewalk is still nicer than most other places, Corrigan said. Also, the recent addition of protected bike lanes on 109th and Raytown Road was a big deal.

“That’s why people keep coming back to the loop,” he said.

How Kansas City envisions bikes

Kansas City is building more bike lanes as part of Vision Zeroa city initiative with the goal of ending road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Improvements are planned for the whole city. A five-year plan for the implementation of “conceptual” cycling facilities published by Public Works suggests improvements to the area around Longview Lake. This included the recent installation of protected bike lanes on View High Drive, north of the East 109th Street intersection. Protected bike lanes are also in place along East 109th Street from Raytown Road to View High Drive.

And more bike lanes are still in the words, Honeycutt said. This year, the city is also working to install protected bike lanes on Raytown Road that extend south to the town line of Grandview. Overall, Kansas City is looking to build an additional 30 miles of bike lanes through the city. When possible, these lanes are added as part of capital road projects, Honeycutt said.

Jeremy “JC” Van Deventer, a middle school teacher in Kansas City, Kansas, who bikes to work every day from his home in Lee’s Summit, said that while the city was looking for a way forward, other security measures could also be considered.

This includes more frequent street sweepings, to keep debris off the roads, giving more space for vehicles and bikes. He also looks at sections of View High Drive where he says some crevices line the side of the road, which is an obstacle riders need to avoid so they don’t snag their wheels on uneven ground and risk crashing.

But he hopes action will be taken following concerns raised by the cycling community following Crierere’s death.

“I would be shocked if they didn’t do anything because of the way this road is travelled,” Van Deventer said. “Because of the level of danger that some components of this road pose to them, I think they’re going to have to do something because the alternatives in this situation aren’t very good.”

But the future of the stretch of road where Mane lost his life is still unknown.

“It would be a huge statement to the cycling community, to Charlie’s family, that we take this very seriously,” Corrigan said in response to the city’s statement. “I think there are thousands of cyclists who are afraid to ride their bikes because of people texting and driving and things like that.”

Memorial ride for Chris Mane

Awaiting answers, members of the cycling community and those close to Crinière are planning a memorial ride for Crinière, hoping to raise funds for his family while raising awareness of road safety and encouraging cyclists to equip their bikes of lights.

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Charles Mane is pictured with his wife, Megan. Mane was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Saturday. On August 27, 2022, when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of the family

The journey, called “Bright Lights for Charlie” will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 17.

It is estimated that around 500 cyclists will come together to ride the Longview Lake Loop anywhere from one to 10 times, event organizers said. The course will start at Longview Lake Beach at 11101 Raytown Road.

Donations are accepted in lieu of registration fees. The money will go towards expenses such as the mortgage, utility bills, maintenance and food, said Van Deventer, who is arranging the ride. A GoFundMe was also set up to help the family of which Crinière was the sole financial provider.

This story was originally published September 8, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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Anna Spoerre covers breaking news for the Kansas City Star. Prior to joining The Star, she covered crime and the courts for the Des Moines Register. Spoerre is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she studied journalism.

Earnest L. Veasey