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City earns bronze Walk Friendly award
City earns bronze Walk Friendly award
October 8, 2011
By Melissa Fears
City of Lee’s Summit
The City of Lee’s Summit has been designated a Bronze Level Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
The Walk Friendly Communities designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. “Walk Friendly Communities” is a national recognition program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx.
“This is a great honor for Lee’s Summit to be recognized for what we strive to do daily – enhance the quality of life through programs and services for our more than 91,000 citizens,” said Lee’s Summit City Mayor Randy Rhoads. “Our receipt of this national designation is a good indication that the decisions and policies adopted by the Lee’s Summit City Council and supported by staff and partners are on track to improve pedestrian safety and walkability throughout our community.”
“Lee’s Summit is one of the first communities in the metropolitan area to adopt a Livable Streets Policy – a concept that takes into account our roads belong to everyone – those driving vehicles, using public transportation, riding bicycles and walking, as well as individuals of all ages and abilities.”
Livable Streets is one of three goals in the Transportation Key Performance Area of the “Lee’s Summit 360°: Charting Tomorrow” strategic plan and is endorsed by the City’s Health Education Advisory Board.
The City’s Livable Streets Advisory Board has been actively involved in a Livable Streets education campaign to encourage Lee’s Summit residents to become more active through bicycle riding and walking. These efforts alone have earned the City an “Honorable Mention” from the League of American Bicyclists and have now contributed to this new designation by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
Additionally, the reviewers, who are responsible for awarding the designations, cited the following reasons for Lee’s Summit’s Bronze Level designation:
• Lee’s Summit does an excellent job of supporting walking through the provision of maps, wayfinding signage, and tours; while the mandatory driver education training with regard to pedestrians, ensures that drivers are aware of their role in keeping pedestrians safe.
• The number of community events, including the Summer Concert Series and the Downtown Days, held in Lee’s Summit is indicative of the town’s desire to create walking events in the community and enhance to opportunity to walk.
• The trail system is diverse, provides excellent opportunities for recreation, and is well integrated into new planning efforts in the community, which indicates the willingness of the town government to consider pedestrians in all new development.
• By evaluating each road project in the town before and after the treatment, Lee’s Summit has developed a better understanding of how it has impacted pedestrian safety and walkability and can use positive findings to justify more investment in pedestrian projects.
As a recipient of the Bronze Level Walk Friendly Communities Designation, Lee’s Summit is among ten communities recognized in the latest round of Walk Friendly Communities announced. To date, 21 communities in the U.S. have been designated as Walk Friendly Communities.
For more information, contact the City’s Traffic Engineer Michael Park at 816-969-1820. For more information about Walk Friendly Communities, please visit http://www.walkfriendly.org.