Bike Paths Moving Forward

The Hays City Commission voted in favor of moving forward with two projects designed to support increased bicycle traffic in the city limits.  Both projects passed with a vote of 4-0-1.  Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV abstained from voting on each measure.bike_lane

While Schwaller’s concern over the on-street bike paths stemmed from the process the project has gone through up to this point (and having 10% of the project cost be just from the design) he was very clear why he abstained from the 2nd project which involved putting a bike path on the levee.

“Again, I want this project just as badly, I want to ride my bike on that. But, to pour a concrete lane on a levee, it shouldn’t cost $50,000 to design it.  I’m sure there’s something special and miracle here that I’m missing.  I want the state to be more efficient and do its job and focus on core services and not force us to spend $100,000 to pour a sidewalk on a levee.  It’s all I want, and I dream of it. I’m voting no.”

The Commission’s vote will allow the City Manager to enter an agreement with Wilson Company for the design of the levee trail in the amount of $49,238 to be funded out of Capital Projects.

  • davey kennedy

    A well kept & more technical dirt path in my opinion would be far more efficient, more fun, and attract a lot more out of town attention.

    • Singletrack Needed

      It would be great to put some money into the current bike trail system behind TMP. I know there are private land issues, but anything would help. I support anything that promotes the people of Hays getting off the couch and moving.

      • Bob

        Putting in a bike path will not motivate those currently sitting on the couch. That’s just wishful thinking and a selling point which anyone with any common sense doesn’t buy.

        • Jay

          Of course having good trails and safe streets to ride will promote people to get outside and bike, run or walk. If my only options are busy streets, sidewalks with an intersection every 50 ft, no bike lanes, angry drivers, it doesn’t make for as enjoyable of an experience.

  • Berty

    What a silly waste of money. Part of the plan that the city staff have indicated in public remarks will be to reduce the speed of motor vehicle traffic flow (indicated when Assistant City Manager presented to County Commission).

    So will the levee be updated AFTER the sidewalk on it is poured…and then we’ll have to have anothe project to replace the sidewalk on the levee when it is torn out to repair the levee?

  • hmmmm

    While I don’t agree with schwaller on many things, I would have to say he is absolutely correct on this. I have been in favor for a bike trail for a long time, but $50,000 seems this type of money could be used in a better way.

    • Uncle Thomas

      Schwaller is only playing a political game. He is voting no because it is safe. He knows it was going to pass without his vote. He likes to ride the fence and to look like the conservative good guy.

      • John

        utYou got it right, he’s the definition of a politician

  • Bob

    Bike lanes on our streets are an absolute joke! Didn’t the city just take away parking on 27th st not long ago for what they called safety reasons? Now they want to put in bike lanes on streets. Come on, everyone on the city commission needs to start using common sense. Focus on needs not wants. What a waste on money, not only on the upfront cost, but the cost to maintain these lanes year after year. How about we postpone this project and put it up to a vote. Let the public decide how they want their taxpayer money spent.

    • Just a taxpayer

      I agree, 100% with Bob

    • Jay

      The funds for the bike lanes come from a special alcohol tax
      which states “city
      treasury and shall credit 1/3 of the deposit to the general fund of the city,
      1/3 to a special parks and recreation fund in the city treasury and 1/3 to a
      special alcohol and drug programs fund in the city treasury. Moneys in
      the special parks and recreation fund may be expended only for the purchase,
      establishment, maintenance or expansion of park and recreational services,
      programs and facilities”.

      I applaud the state for requiring
      cities to use a portion of funds in this manner. Otherwise I believe commissioners
      in Hays would never vote for improvements to bike and hiking infrastructure in
      this town, due to the vocal residents like Bob, JATP, BD or Berty, that would
      never go for tax dollars being spent on quality of life improvements such as
      bike lanes, trail expansion and improvements.

      Thank you commissioners for moving Hays in a positive direction!

      • taxed out

        The State requires that we use alcohol tax in this manner? Nonsense that is just not true & you know it Henry! Property taxes would be a lot lower if we didn’t waste other taxes on bike path projects & agencies like DHDC. The nearest town in any direction is minimum of 15 miles & that’s not enough for you to bike on?

  • other shoe

    The city commission is going to take a very busy 4 lane street and turn it back into a 2 lane street with a turn lane and a bike path on each side. That is the stupidest thing ever to come out of City Hall. Are commissioners ignorant of traffic flow or are they now totally brain dead?

  • BD

    Cannot believe the city stupid ways of wasting money. We all ready have horse and buddy streets in this town and they want to put a bike trail on the streets. What a joke. See how many accidents they are going to have on 13th street. They have a nice 4 lane to move traffic and now going to slow traffic down for a bike trail. Some one needs to pull there head out and the city must be getting a kick back this is why they do stupid things. Watch out for the accidents now.

  • KanCycler

    Obviously, the people posting on this sight don’t try to cycle in Hays. I am very in favor of anything that promotes our communities health. Putting a bike path on the dike is a great idea it will help get cyclists off the city streets which will make them safer. Like it or not, bicycles have as much right to be on the streets of Hays as the cars and a dedicated lane for bikes would be great. If any of you have ever ridden a bike around town you know that not all motorists think so. People that are serious about cycling are not going to ride on the sidewalks like some people think they should. Serious cyclists are riding 20-60 miles at a time and deserve to be safe while they are doing it. I know that the majority of adults in this town have not ridden a bike in years, so I wouldn’t expect the majority to understand this decision. For the minority of us that do cycle I support this 100%.

    • some guy

      my wife and i save a lot of money not having a car so our mode of transport is bicycling. she is not a very good street rider so a bike lane would be perfect for her and others like her, you have no idea how worried i get when she goes to the mall to get her nails done, by herself
      I also think that some motorists try to intimidate riders by driving to close, but my favorite is the ones that pull out past the sidewalk and look at me like im the one in the way, legally you are not allowed to pull out past the sidewalk in an auto, or past the stop sign. ah but what do I know im just a healthy rider, on a bicycle with a headlight, taillight that can be seen for a quartermile or more. but im not a fat slob going to cerves to get more snacks in my 3 ton SUV

  • PO

    You are correct, the bike riders do have the same rights as a cars on the streets. I only wished they would follow the same traffic laws as the drivers have to. Turning 13h street into 2 lanes with a turning lane is nuts. Just wait and see how traffic stacks up when the kids are off to school in the mornings. We have some really stupid commissioners. You nut cases should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Berty

      That is exactly the plan….slow down traffic in favor of more “socially desirable behavior”, all the while creating more problems for government to fix ( we’ll surely need a new road project because of the congestion). Government 4 – Sheeples – 0.
      We thought that Government was of the people….how silly of us, government is to manage us and then develop ways to perpetuate itself and all the while become more important and the people need it more.

  • Hayshasterribledrivers

    I’m sure since all of you people posting about slowing traffic and what not are all perfect drivers and won’t have to worry about that.

  • Bill

    Let me get this right, bicycle traffic has increased in Hays to the point where we must put in bicycle lanes. However, the only bicycle shop the town had, closed last December. This just doesn’t make sense when business must have been booming! How can a community, that cannot even support a bicycle shop, waste so much money on a project that such only a small minority of the population will utilize?