Transportation Planning Analyst with the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization, addressing intergovernmental leaders Monday, photo by Cathy Dawes
You’ve likely seen the green bikes around Manhattan–known as the Green Apple Bikes. And Jared Tremblay, who serves as Transportation Planning Analyst with the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization, told intergovernmental leaders Monday just how much those bikes are being used by members of the community.
One bike was tracked by a GPS unit for one month and it rode 146.7 miles–with 350 bikes, soon to be 700, that adds up– with Tremblay saying “Bikes, particularly Green Apple Bikes, are being used as transportation and they are important to our region.” Anyone in need can borrow the bikes when found in racks around town.
That wasn’t the only information Tremblay shared. New automatic bicycle and pedestrian counts have allowed Tremblay and the MPO to gather a variety of numbers around town. He says some were surprising, such as in City Park, bicycle boulevards are also being heavily used by bicyclists, with a higher usage of bicycles than vehicles on those roadways.
Tremblay adds another area of extremely high usage by bicycles is at Vattier Street and the 1200 block on campus, with 250 bikes a day on average.
He also talked about bicycle safety work being done in USD 383 through a grant from KDOT. A bicycle safety and awareness program will be built into the physical education program for fifth and sixth graders.
Tremblay will be a guest on KMAN’s In Focus a week from Friday.
Intergovernmental leaders Monday also received a warning of sorts from Flint HIlls MPO’s Transportation Planning Manager Stephanie Watts. It has to do with a measure being considered in Congress called the Woodall Amendment, which Watts indicated would rescind transportation funding from sources MPOs currently rely on for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit projects. Watts adds the amendment also impacts what the state can use for certain types of funding–including funds currently designated for MPO’s.
Watts encouraged the intergovernmental group to get in touch with local Congressional members. Manhattan Mayor Linda Morse expressed interest in sending some type of letter in that regard.
The group includes the city of Manhattan, Riley County, USD 383, K-State, Fort Riley, and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.