Poll: Bike Paths for Hays?

On September 12, the Hays City Commission approved moving forward with two projects designed to support increased bicycle traffic in the city limits.  bike_lane

The Commission vote on the two projects allows the City Manager to enter an agreement with Wilson Company for the design of the levee trail in the amount of $49,238 , as well as an agreement with CFS Engineers for the design of the on-street bike routes in the amount of  $48,400.  Both projects will be funded out of Capital Projects

  • unclear

    So, you say two projects, but only list the one, the trail on the levee. I have no problem with that (however, I am concerned about the repairs or what not that need to be addressed on the levee itself, will the trail come after those repairs or be integrated into them? It certainly needs to be addressed by the city before moving forward)
    I do have concerns about bike lanes on the streets. I am not against them. I just think the logistics need to be addressed. What streets will they be on? How do you foresee this impacting traffic flow? I believe that once these, and other concerns, are addressed, you will have less people shouting their dislike of the idea. Let’s be honest, sometimes getting across town sucks the way it is. People do not want to see it become more of a problem. Not only that, if you put the proposed plan out there, maybe the people pushing for the Bike Lane will have a problem with it too. Maybe they won’t like the limited amount of lanes or whatever it may be. To me, these are things that need to be shown to the public before giving the go ahead and spending money. It would be silly to do this and then find neither side is happy (auto drivers or bicyclists).

    • Jay

      Here is a link to the Hays bike plan. http://www.haysusa.com/HaysBikewaysUpdated.pdf

      • unclear

        That is very helpful. However, does anyone know how this is expected to effect traffic and parking?

    • alexander

      “Let’s be honest, sometimes getting across town sucks the way it is.”

      I know, sometimes it takes 8 whole minutes to get from one end of town to the other. Madness.

  • Stupid

    We can’t even get decent streets to drive on, but we are going to spend money on bike trails? That makes great sense.

    • Jay

      The money for the bike lanes are funded through a special
      alcohol tax that the state requires 1/3 of those funds collected to be spent on quality of life improvements (i.e. bike lanes, trails, parks). These funds have already been set aside for this project. The city doesn’t have a choice to use those funds on street improvements even if it wanted to.

      The levee improvements are a separate project that is being funded by the State, and another portion of the project is being paid for using money from the storm water fund.

      • John

        Commissioner Jay? Just about everything you said is not true! The bike path became a mandate to all Hays citizens because 250 Hays citizens replied to a online poll on Comprehensive Planning, then the City Commission voted to pass it. I like the new brown paper in door on that white elephant you own on Main St..

    • Resident

      That makes perfect sense. Less people driving cars mean less wear on the streets which reduces the cost of street repairs.

      It seems like people are looking at this solely for recreational instead of transportation. If you follow the map that Jay provided a link to then you will see the bike trails runs through all major businesses including Walmart, Dillions, mall, schools, etc. This would reduce vehicle traffic by promoting an alternative method of transport.

      Also, there needs to be more of these types of projects developed to keep the younger generations here in Hays considering there are very few recreational options here currently. It is almost a ghost town in Hays during the weekends as people are trying to get out of this town to find activities to do which is depressing. How do you expect future growth of this town by younger generations if the current residents can’t find activities to do in this town or preferring to do the same activities (shopping, dining, theater, etc.) in other areas like Salina or Wichita?

      • BD

        After college they move on. What is in this town? Wendy’s and McDonald’s. I don’t blame anybody for moving on.

      • Jeff

        I’m a young adult and like to ride. That being said, Hays having bike trails is the last thing I’m considering when deciding on whether on not to stay in Hays. First is jobs, it seems that the leadership only focuses on bringing in manufacturing jobs. We need more professional jobs! Second is housing, all leadership wants to bring in is low income rental housing. This most upsetting part of this is that the revenue these properties bring in is sent out of Hays. There is nothing nice in the $100,000-$170,000 range. I also look at the way the city commissioners are running things. It appears to be a smaller version of our federal government, big spending with little to no return on their investments. Back to topic though, North Vine is an accident waiting to happen, adding bikers to the equation will only make things worse. If its true that they want to convert 13th from Vine to Canterbury to two lane with a turning lane, you are only creating a bottleneck on a very busy street. In addition, funneling all that traffic into 2 lanes will only require street repairs on a more frequent basis. This is Hays, Kansas, lets embrace it and make it the best it can be. We
        will never be a big city so lets stop trying to be one by wasting money on studies and engineering fees on nonessential projects. Why do we pay all these salaries to city workers when all they do is hire consultants for projects, where common sense is an easy solution.

        • BD

          I have to agree with you 100 %. I feel the same way. Take when they build something from the pool to the sport complex they want to build like salina, Olathe, like other big citys but Hays will never be a big city. Look at the money fly Hays spend on the radio and newspaper and i would not fly out of Hays. But they make it sound like a big city. I also ride bike but will not take there bike trail

  • Voter

    Would also like to see the number of voters that voted in the poll included the results.

  • jackson

    more wasted tax money . i can’t even get these guys to repair a side street in our area. but we got money for this.

    • Jay

      It wasn’t a choice between street repairs or bike lanes, see my response below.

  • Bob

    Appreciate the poll but it definitely could have been set up differently. Like “Unclear” posted, some people may support some aspects of the plan and not others. I bike myself but I am currently against the entire project, especially bike lanes on the streets. I just feel that the money could be better spent. However, I could possibly get on board with trails along the dike. You also only included the engineering fees in the article, not the overall project cost, there’s a large difference.