Supporting active living through walking and bicycling can create vibrant communities in Kansas. A walking and bicycling system in a local community can:
- Improve health and reduce chronic diseases associated with lack of physical activity;
- Support economic development by attracting residents, new businesses, and tourists;
- Increase accessibility to a community for persons of all ages and abilities;
- Conserve natural resources and the environment by improving air quality and reducing air pollution from motor vehicle use;
- Create connections both within and beyond a community; and
- Enhance and promote community vitality.
To accomplish these goals, Kansas communities are looking for ways to make the built environment of roads, sidewalks, trails, paths, and other facilities safer and more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists. These resources support these efforts by providing a comprehensive overview of laws and policies that may impact community initiatives to increase and enhance bicycling and walking. These resources can be used by local law-making and planning boards, councils, committees, and departments; walking and bicycling advocates; neighborhood groups; and other groups and individuals interested in creating a more active community. In addition, these resources may be used by other state or county level authorities to advise communities that need guidance implementing plans of their own.
Local governments play a pivotal role in ensuring that communities have a viable transportation and recreation system that supports walking and bicycling through local policy initiatives. Under Kansas law, local governments have the authority to implement a variety of policy levers to increase opportunities for bicycling and walking and to improve health within their communities. This resource describes different types of policies that local governments can use to increase bicycling and walking within their communities.
Sidewalks are designed to support the health of pedestrians by promoting physical activity through active transportation and recreation. Therefore, it is important to construct and maintain sidewalks in a way that supports accessible, safe, and efficient travel for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. This resource provides an overview of Kansas laws impacting the responsibilities of both property owners and local city and county governments in Kansas pertaining to local sidewalks so that pedestrians, particularly pedestrians with disabilities, can safely travel throughout their community and access community resources.
Converting railroad property to non-motorized trails provides opportunities to encourage and expand walking, bicycling, and other forms of physical activity.
Bicyclists and pedestrians use many different facilities for transportation and recreation in Kansas. Understanding the difference between recreation and transportation can help bicyclists and pedestrians access available resources to promote walking and bicycling.
Bicyclists and pedestrians use roads and sidewalks for active transportation. Understanding how Kansas laws and traffic regulations impact bicyclists and pedestrians on roads and sidewalks is critical to ensure the safety of these users.
Bicyclists and pedestrians use trails and shared-use paths for both recreation and active transportation in Kansas. Understanding how Kansas laws impact bicyclists and pedestrians on trails and paths can support the use of these facilities and promote healthy, active lifestyles.