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Saturday, August 16, 2008
  Cycling in Wichita, Kansas
By Yokota Fritz 
I've only been to Wichita, Kansas once in my life. My dad's family is in the area south of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita is due north of Oklahoma City not far from the Oklahoma / Kansas border. I recall freeways, industrial sections of town, a riverfront, and aircraft industries on the edge of the city.

We drove through Wichita on our way to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS. The largest collection of Russian space junk in America is there in the middle of Amish country.

John B in Wichita, Kansas, is a relative newbie to bicycle commuting. His blog Cycling in Wichita, has a growing local readership of people who are interested in raising their visibility and the consciousness of Wichitans in their decidedly not bike-friendly town.

"We are interested in exploring some of the implications of cycling as a lifestyle choice," says John. "How does choosing to cycle change how one thinks about one's community?"

Cycling in Wichita is less a blog about reviews of equipment and practical advice on cycling than it is about John's reflections on how cycling can change a person's state of mind, with a little advocacy thrown in.

Drop by and give those cyclists in the heartland a hello. Cycling in Wichita, Kansas.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007
  Overland Park transportation and bicycling
By Yokota Fritz 
Overland Park, Kansas is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the second most populous city in the state of Kansas with a population of 167,500. Money Magazine ranked Overland Park number six on it's list of the Best Cities to Live in the United States in 2006.

Over the past decade, residents and business owners have indicated that Metcalf Avenue -- the north-south corridor that bisects the city -- has become an undesirable place to live and do business, with 45% of those surveyed saying traffic is a "major" problem along Metcalf Avenue.

Brent at the the Missouri Bicycle Federation calls Metcalf "one of its very biggest, baddest, most bicycle, transit, and pedestrian UNfriendly streets ... eight lanes of heavy, fast-moving traffic that at times closely resembles what you might see at a demolition derby."

The city is responding with a $1.1 million study to improve the corridor and make it friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders.

“The challenge here, of course, is moving from a paradigm that’s 100 percent auto-oriented to a paradigm where it’s 50 percent pedestrian-oriented,” said consulting team leader Tony Nelessen.

As Brent from Missouri notes:
It may seem impossible to make such a busy street more conducive to walking and bicycling, but in fact it has been done in many other places, it has worked, and what's more--people like it.

Of course pedestrians and bicyclists like it.

Safety advocates like it.

But yes, motorists like it, too.
Some friends who blog from the Kansas City area:

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