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November-December 2002 Newsletter

Transportation Cabinet News

by Ron Schneider


PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE TRAVEL POLICY ADOPTED BY KENTUCKY TRANSPORTATION CABINET

For the last three+ years, I have been working in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Multimodal Programs, the first 1½ years as the Division’s planning engineer for the Louisville area. I administered the Cabinet’s first Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) reimbursement contracts for TARC’s very successful Bikes-on-Board program and for the hiring of the Louisville area’s first bicycle/pedestrian program coordinator, Sheila Andersen. This is Federal Highway Administration funding, but is administered through the Cabinet.

In November of 2000, I became Branch Manager for the Modal Programs and Support Branch, which includes the state’s bike/ped program. I was fortunate to take the position just one month after the formation of the state’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force, a group of about 25 Cabinet employees, representatives of other state agencies, bicycle advocates and a Lexington police officer. Paula Nye, the state’s bicycle/pedestrian program coordinator, led the task force, which, over the course of nine months, put together a draft policy for accommodating bicyclists and pedestrian in state highway projects. The policy was then fine-tuned over the ensuing year, and, largely through Paula’s diligence and hard work, the policy was signed by Secretary James Codell in July 2002.

Below is the Cabinet’s press release regarding the policy. There is plenty of other information on cycling in Kentucky on the listed web site, including maps of statewide designated bike routes and links to Louisville’s bike route maps through Jefferson County’s web site. I have been unable to do much club riding recently, but have continued riding for transportation purposes extensively, including riding to local meetings and traveling to meet my Frankfort-bound vanpool. I urge other club members as well to remember that a bicycle can serve a transportational as well as a recreational purpose.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists May Find More Room on Kentucky’s Roadways in the Future

In the future, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will plan and build all new and reconstructed roadways with more than motor vehicles in mind. Secretary of Transportation, James C. Codell, III recently signed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Travel Policy. This new policy will help guide the Cabinet’s evaluation of when, where, and how to include pedestrian and bicycle facilities as part of the overall transportation system. The policy guidelines give roadway planners and designers specific criteria for accommodating pedestrian and bicycle travel. Planners will bear in mind adjacent land use, existing pedestrian traffic, local bike plans, transit stops, and public input to determine the necessity for accommodating non-motorized travel.

In February 2000, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued the Design Guidance, Accommodating Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel: A Recommended Approach. This document paved the way for establishing the Kentucky Pedestrian and Bicycle Task Force, a group whose charge was to draft a set of policies and recommendations to improve facilities, accessibility and safety for non-motorized travel in Kentucky. Secretary of Transportation James Codell says the Cabinet has achieved the goal of the USDOT’s Design Guidance — “Every transportation agency has the responsibility and the opportunity to make a difference to the bicycle and pedestrian friendliness of our communities. The design information to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians is available, as is the funding.” The Cabinet is committed to doing all it can to improve conditions for bicycling and walking and to make them safer ways to travel.

More information and copies of the policy are available at the Division of Multimodal Programs, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 125 Holmes Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40622 or the text of the policy can be found at the Multimodal Programs web site, http://www.kytc.state.ky.us/Multimodal/INDEX.HTM. Click on Bicycle/Pedestrian, then click on the Task Force Policy.


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