May 12, 2021

Lee’s Summit is full of trails, paths, parks, and on-road cycling accommodations.

The month of May is a great opportunity to be a part of National Bike Month. According to bikeleague.org, “May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.” While many celebrate National Bike Month, it is unofficially Walk and Bike Month.

Biking is not just for kids, there are many bikers or cyclist in our community. If you bike around town for fun, train for a cycling event, or bike for exercise, you can do so in our city. Here is a listing of some popular bike paths:

Longview Lake – Over six miles of trails go around Longview Lake. This trail has great scenery and can be used by all skill levels. Visit jacksongov.org for trail details.

Lee’s Summit Parks-Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation has a list of each city park and the amenities. Most of our parks have paved trails that are great for walking and biking. Visit cityofls.net for a park map.

Lee’s Summit Greenway Trail – A proposed plan for 38 miles of trails and paths linked throughout Lee’s Summit. This is an ongoing project and updates can be found at cityofls.net.

Lee’s Summit Bikeways – A proposed plan with over 100 miles of on-road bikeways or bike routes networked throughout Lee’s Summit in coordination with the Greenway system. This too is an ongoing project (Bicycle Transportation Plan) with more information and maps found at cityofls.net.

Rock Island Trail – A flat 7-mile trail maintained by Jackson County Parks and Recreation. The trail runs from SW Jefferson Street in Lee’s Summit to Brickyard Road in Kansas City, but soon to be connected to the Truman Sports Complex. This new extension should open around June 2021. You can access the trail from the official trailheads: 98th Street Trailhead (12600 E 98th Street KCMO 64138) and Hartman Park (700 SW Pryor Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081).

May is a great time to get out and enjoy the town on your feet or bike. It is important to take safety precautions when crossing the street. Walking and biking is the safest on sidewalks, trails, or paved bike paths.

Below are some Safety Tips for Pedestrians from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center:

Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers.
• Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
• Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
• Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
• Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors.
• Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
• Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
• Do not assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, he or she may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
• Do not rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look before you cross the road.
• Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.

Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step.
• Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
• Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
• Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
• Watch for turning vehicles. Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
• Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
• Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

This is the time of year when more walkers, runners, and bikers are taking to the streets. To ensure the best pedestrian safety, it is also driver’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to these individuals or families. Walking and biking can be a fun activity or mode of transportation. No matter your reason, just remember safety first!

This is a great time of year to pull out your bike and go for a ride. Remember to take advantage of our Lee’s Summit trails and parks. For more information on biking or a link to local trails, visit www.cityofls.net

This article was submitted by Molly Wichman, a Lee’s Summit Resident and member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board. The Livable Streets Advisory Board is a Mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable”, safe and accessible for all of our citizens.