i Bike Lenexa – City Council Primary Election Questionnaire

Lenexa - on-street bicycle infrastructure

i Bike Lenexa is a Facebook community group focused on making Lenexa, Kansas more bicycle friendly. We want to be a positive voice for change promoting safe cycling, raising driver awareness, and encouraging cycling as a viable form of transportation.  The group is interested in working with the Lenexa City Council and other community groups to develop and execute a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan that will transform our streets and make cycling a viable form of transportation.  

In order for us to be successful it’s important that we elect city council members that share our vision and will support our efforts.   On August 1, Lenexa will hold primaries for ward 2 and ward 4 council members.  There are 3 candidates for each ward.  We have developed a series of simple questions and asked each of the candidates to respond.  All candidates were given two weeks to respond and I sent a reminder two days prior to the due date.  We received responses from 4 of the 6 candidates.  I have copied their answers below and added any additional comments that they included in their email response. I have also included their contact information from the Johnson County Election Office website.   If you want to comment on any of these responses please do so on the i Bike Lenexa Facebook page.

On behalf of the i Bike Lenexa members I want to thank the candidates that responded for taking the time to do so!  I know that this information will be helpful in making voting decisions.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE!  Our participation in these elections is critical to achieving the improvements that we all want to see!

Council Member – Ward 2 (4 Year Term) *** PRIMARY ***

Stacy Knipp (Incumbent)
21112 West 90th Street, Lenexa, KS 66220
(913) 593-7192 (c)

***EDIT*** (RESPONSE FROM STACY KNIPP WAS RECEIVED AFTER INITIAL POST WAS PUBLISHED)

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“I think it is important for me to make sure bicycle plan is included in a Complete Streets Plan. Right now, we have some rudimentary adaptations for cyclists but the place I think I can make the most impact encouraging the incorporation of bicycle friendly streets in future developments. At the June 14th Committee of the Whole meeting, I also thought it was worth looking into bike lanes on our trails, particularly the Mill Creek Trial system. This is a great trail system for all cyclists however at this point in time due to the mixed users of the trail, it is most suitable for recreational/leisure riders but is not so great for the event training riders. Because many of our training cyclists go long distances at fast speeds, incorporating bicycle infrastructure on our more “country” roads, especially as the agriculture land becomes more developed, makes it so it is always a part of the landscape of the community vs. being retrofitted, which seems to be much more expensive than doing it from the get go. Further, I think it is important to work with our neighboring municipalities…bike friendly needs to be more than Lenexa and I am willing to take the steps to bring other communities into the conversation. There could be funding opportunities that open up if we work together but as a minimum, it makes it so our whole area is known as bike friendly, not just Lenexa.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“I do support on-street bike routes but have concerns about the cost of adding bike lanes. I think it is very important to determine how many people would be taking advantage of a bicycle opportunity. I do believe signed routes could be a huge step forward because of the ability to give recognition to everyone to pay attention to bicyclists on the road (safety) and awareness that we even have designated routes could be very encouraging for folks to incorporate cycle transportation in their lives. Another concern I have is getting fellow communities to participate. If we have bicycle friendly streets but our cyclists can’t get to them, I’m not sure what we have achieved as many of our business employees are not residents of Lenexa. Although I do have strong concerns, the flip side of the coin is that sometimes “if you build it, they will come” is the right mind set. Any plan that comes together has to keep the many complexities of the City in order to work and be successful.”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“Again, if the plan is thoughtful in its design and takes into account the needs and abilities of our City balanced with the needs and abilities of our residents, I would be able to support it.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“Definitely. It is amazing how educating a community opens minds to all the possibilities and even if it is something that is not for them, it becomes something that is understood and accepted.s and abilities of our residents, I would be able to support it.”

Bill Nicks
21310 West 98th Street, Lenexa, KS 66220
(913) 424-9228 (c)

***EDIT*** (RESPONSE FROM BILL NICKS WAS RECEIVED AFTER INITIAL POST WAS PUBLISHED)

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“I would support the study of making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation.  A professionally done study/questionnaire to help us determine and gauge the need would be foremost.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“The concept of on street bike routes is a good concept.  I would want to study such aspects as: the need, the benefits, the cost, how employers encourage such commuting, how we educate motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, truckers in their use, how we build new, how we retro-fit, how north-south routes merge with east-west routes etc.”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“Once a professionally administered study/questionnaire gauges the need and benefits of such a comprehensive bicycle plan, I would evaluate funding.  I would add the development of such a plan to the list of other city needs.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“Absolutely–health and safety educational efforts are the best bang for the buck that governments invest in.  For example the vast majority of us wear seat belts now and second hand smoke is nearly a thing of the past.  Both of those are the result of educational efforts.  I consider bicycle safety in the same category.”

 

Dale J. Romme
15405 West 89th Place, Lenexa, KS 66219
(913) 492-3138
(913) 304-1278 (c)

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“First let me say, it’s disappointing our Lenexa municipality hasn’t been more invested and a champion of bicycling infrastructure regarding road build-outs and upgrades while our neighboring communities have been. ​If elected to the Lenexa City Council, please know I’d be an advocate for the study and completion of a comprehensive and master bicycle plan for Lenexa. Furthermore upon completion of this plan, the City Council would have the opportunity to make some decisions based on a cost benefit analysis.  Additionally, I would support education via city-wide signage for motorists to “Be considerate and Share the Road with Bicyclists.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“As a Lenexa City Council member, I would support signed routes and sharrows, but I would have to further understand the cost to create bike lanes and buffered bike lanes.”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“I would absolutely support the allocation of funds to undertake and complete a comprehensive and master bicycle plan for the City of Lenexa. I would see this activity as the onset of possibly re-branding Lenexa as a
bike-friendly municipality​ upon possible completion of some of the plan’s recommendations.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“I would absolutely support the allocation of funds to develop and implement bicycle safety education programs for Lenexa residents and to promote the use of bicycles as an alternative means of transportation.”

Additional Comments:

“By the way, I enjoy taking early morning bike rides west from Lackman Road on 95th Street / Prairie Star Parkway to Clare Road and sometimes further.”

 

Council Member – Ward 4 (4 Year Term) *** PRIMARY ***

Samuel Phillip Davis
10863 Richards Court, Lenexa, KS 66210
(913) 210-0775

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“I have a particular fascination with the bicycling element of cities since it promotes such great exercise and is family friendly (the whole family can participate). I used to live in Lawrence KS and they had an incredible bicycle infrastructure and would have no problem supporting developing something like that. I could see this also being actively used by our law enforcement “bike cops”.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“Yes”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“Yes – rolled out over time through a multi year phase (such as maybe a 5-10 yr rollout) if we are to do something as comprehensive as the program in Lawrence.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“Yes – especially since eventually bicyclists will be in closer proximity to traffic.”

Additional Comments:

“As for me, while my biking abilities are questionable at best, I did live in Lawrence, KS a few years ago and was thoroughly impressed with their bicycling infrastructure that spanned the whole city. My family and I enjoyed watching a major racing event that went through Mass Street and it was obvious that biking was a very big deal throughout Lawrence.”

“With that said, I could support setting up an infrastructure similar to Lawrence.”

Michael Elliott
8943 Widmer Road, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 490-0091

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“If elected I plan to work with the city Parks and Rec department and public works/Streets department to development a comprehensive bicycle plan for Lenexa. This plan will ensure, as a point of city policy, that all future road projects take biking improvements into consideration. Lenexa has been actively reworking many streets in older (eastern) Lenexa in recent years with no apparent consideration of biking needs. For example, when 87th Street was redone from Pflumm to I-435 several years ago much attention was paid to center landscaping medians without consideration of whether this extra lane space could be used to add bike lanes. This would not have been a major financial strain for this project since curbs and lanes were being moved and adjusted anyway. A comprehensive bike plan would have forced biking considerations into this street project.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“Yes. While designated lanes are preferable, having at least a marked route adds a comfort level for less experienced riders and encourages more people to bike (and can be implemented at minimal cost). As a candidate in Ward 4 (older/eastern Lenexa) this is a quality of life issue for residents in my area are missing out on compared to newer areas of the city.”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“While I oppose unnecessary government spending and wastefulness, if Lenexa spent less money running its own restaurants (Public Market) and bribing companies (tax abatements) it would have plenty of budget room for items that directly affect quality of life for many more residents- such as biking improvements. Yes, I support this allocation of funds for a bicycle plan as part of an overall budget shift to fund items that government SHOULD be doing rather than things they should not. If companies moving to Lenexa ARE granted tax abatements for any reason I would like to see a stipulation added that, where possible, any new construction be done with bicycle commuting taken into consideration (i.e. buildings and grounds made bike friendly and company has a plan to encourage bicycle commuting). The status quo city budget (supported by my opponent) leaves no room for this.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“I believe innovative bicycle education programs could be implemented at minimal cost via the excellent Parks and Rec Department that Lenexa already has- it simply takes a will and desire among the leadership to do so. The Lenexa PD could also be involved in safety education.”

Mandy Stuke (Incumbent)
13301 West 91st Street, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 492-9519

1. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life. Many of our peer communities have achieved Bicycle Friendly designations from the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Program. Specifically, Shawnee, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan have all achieved Bronze level designations. Overland Park has recently approved a bicycle Master plan which designates significant dollars to improving bicycle infrastructure. Many other cities in the area are actively developing designated bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure. However, Lenexa does not have a bicycle plan, has almost no on-street bicycle infrastructure, and is falling behind cities across the state. What will you do to support making Lenexa a bicycle friendly city that encourages the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation?

“In order to make Lenexa a bicycle friendly city, I will continue to support the study of “Complete Streets.” The city currently utilizes principles of “Complete Streets” in the design of public infrastructure without having a formal “Complete Streets” resolution in place. City staff provided a presentation at the June Committee of the Whole meeting that detailed the current standards that are utilized as we began our study of the complete streets concept. In addition, those in attendance at that meeting were asked to provide their valuable insight and guidance for future reference. Further study has been agreed upon, with questions to be included in our next Citizen Survey that will help to determine the support of residents versus the financial impact of additional amenities. This information will allow for us to make educated decisions on working towards next steps and the potential adoption of a “Complete Street” resolution.”

2. Will you support the designation and development of on-street bike routes across Lenexa to support bicycle commuting and to connect key destinations like Old Town Lenexa and Lenexa City Center? These may include signed routes, sharrows, bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.

“I am open and receptive to the concept of on-street bike routes across Lenexa that support bicycle commuting and the connections of key community destinations. Multiple factors must be studied, addressed and brought into consideration, as this will be imperative as the city considers a“Complete Streets” resolution.”

3. Will you support the allocation of funds for the development and implementation of a comprehensive bicycle plan?

“I cannot appropriately answer this question in regards to the specific allocation of funds without further study and discussion. The financial and logistical constraints in creating such a plan must be carefully studied and understood prior to any implementation of such a resolution.”

4. Will you support the allocation of funds to support programs to educate Lenexa residents on bicycle safety and to promote bicycles as a transportation option?

“I support the education of the residents of Lenexa on bicycle safety and the ways in which bicycles are utilized in our community. Bringing awareness, understanding, along with the explanation of rights and responsibilities of all parties involved on the road (i.e. bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, etc.) will be of great benefit to bicyclists and citizens alike.”

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