THB Teaming Up with BikeWalkKC
BikeWalkKC is a new member-funded organization that promotes biking and walking in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Launched last spring, BikeWalkKC has 3 full-time staff persons and conducts a wide range of programs in bicycle education, promotes safe biking and walking routes, and lobbies city government to design streets for bicyclists as well as motorists.

The THB group is interested in promoting BikeWalkKC because increasing the amount of walking and biking provides one of the quickest and cheapest ways to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution produced.

The THB group provided funding to BikeWalkKC for them to construct a bike valet parking system. This is a portable system of racks that allows up to 250 bikes to be parked securely. This sort system is important in getting large numbers of cyclists to large public events, since space at permanent racks and ad hoc spaces such as street signs are quickly exhausted.

BikeWalkKC has taken over the administration of Bike Week, which is held annually in May. During Bike Week a variety of rides and educational clinics are held throughout the area, including the Clean Commute Challenge where individuals and teams commute to see how many miles of car-based transportation can be replaced by walking, biking and transit riding.

The Clean Commute Challenge usually attracts several hundred participants who travel thousands of miles and keep thousands of pounds of CO2 out of the air.

More recently, BikeWalkKC has been running a letter-writing campaign called “Put Paint to Pavement” to promote the construction of bike lanes in KCMO and other cities in the metro area.

Another current project is to bring a bike-sharing system to Kansas City. Bike-sharing systems allow users to rent bikes on a short-term basis from stations around the city. Bike-sharing systems have been highly successful in many cities around the world.

Both the Clean Commute Challenge and bicycle education program are conducted throughout the year. You can track your bike/walk miles, calories expended and pollution prevented on the Clean Commute website. The education program will teach you to ride safely on the street, do basic mechanical work and use a bike to commute to work and haul groceries.

Search Facebook for BikewalkKC or go to bikewalkkc.org for more information.