Prairie Village City Council candidates on the issues: Trails and bike lanes

Prairie Village has relatively few marked bike routes compared to surrounding communities in Kansas City, Mo., Leawood, and Overland Park.

We continue today with our questions for candidates for public office from shawneemissionpost.com readers. Today we feature the responses to the final question from candidates for Prairie Village City Council. Today’s question is:

This year, the city will build a walking trail along Mission Road from the Village Shops to SM East. Do you support the idea of extending that trail to Corinth and then Meadowbrook Park? Should adding trails and bike lanes be a priority for the city?

Ward 4

Brooke Morehead
Brooke Morehead

Brooke Morehead
I like the idea of developing connectivity and sense of community for our city.  Prairie Village has many points of interest with in walking distance.  Linking the PV Shoppes to Shawnee Mission East,  Municipal Complex, library, and on to Corinth Square with the eight foot trail and some way-finding elements, is being discussed now.  The next phase should be to extend the trail that exists along Somerset past Franklin Park along Roe to the new Meadow Brook Park.  This ribbon of pavement will tie together the amenities of our city for years to come.

Ward 5

Courtney McFadden
Courtney McFadden

Courtney McFadden
As I answered earlier in the week, bike paths are certainly a high priority for me. I would also contend that connectivity of our activity centers such as the Village Shops, SM East, Meadowbrook Park, etc., through walking trails is a must for our city. Prairie Village adopted the Village Vision in 2007. In this document there are several relevant points about the value of connecting activity centers through walking trails or bike lanes. First, in the summary of key findings “Quality of life: In general, residents and business owners value the quality of life offered by the pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods…..(M)aintaining this high quality of life is of primary importance among residents”. In the same section the research found that “Although many of the residential streets have sidewalks, routes for pedestrian travel throughout Prairie Village are limited”. During the development of this document there were several community workshops where the resounding message was that pedestrian travel be updated including the addition of bicycle paths and lanes, possible bus stops and trolley routes. Action policies were given to provide sidewalks and interconnected bike routes, however little to date has been done. I will support action for extending the trail from SM East to Corinth and then to Meadowbrook Park.

David Morrison
David Morrison

David Morrison
First I wish to point out that I was an enthusiastic supporter of the walking trail the city will build this year along Mission Road from the Village Shops to SM East.
I thoroughly support the idea of extending that trail to Corinth and then to Meadowbrook Park.
Transportation is more than just roadways and transit.  Successful communities provide all kinds of mobility, including walking and bicycling.  In recent years, non-motorized transportation and recreation have soared in popularity and these modes are becoming a “must have” for people of all ages and abilities.
Nationwide, 72 per cent of all Americans want a community-based planning structure which makes walking and bicycling an integral part of their area’s transportation system.  Bicycling and walking are healthy, non polluting and add to the quality of life in our city and improve our future sustainability.
My first official act as a city council member was to vote in favor of a resolution in support of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program.  As an avid cyclist, I agree with the PV Parks & Master Plan which strongly encourages the future study of bike lanes throughout the community.
As we replace our streets, where prudent, we should incorporate a wider street that would allow for bike lanes and for greater pedestrian access.
In Wednesday’s PV Post, my opponent went so far as to advocate incorporating bike lanes into ALL of our transportation infrastructure plans citing the lack of bike lanes on Mission Lane and on a portion of Somerset.
I, however, place a much greater importance on building safe places to bike and walk than on expanding bicycle networks and trails to every location.  I have spent considerable time and effort working on new design guidelines that take into account street profiles and condition, traffic patterns and safety, as well as aesthetic, signage, and right-of-way issues.
Because we are, for the most part, a built out city, we must balance the desire for additional amenities without sacrificing our core infrastructure.  In some cases, we may have to look at existing streets as bike routes in order to make trail connections.
As your council member, I do not support 8 – 10 foot wide sidewalks in residential neighborhoods and challenge my opponent to make the same pledge.
My ultimate goal is make PV a more livable community by coordinating our bike and trail system with surrounding communities and to continue to push toward a future connection with the regional trail system.  It is important not only for our future but for our children’s future.

Ward 6

Ted Odell

Ted Odell
Ted Odell

I support walking and biking trails in the City of Prairie Village. I believe we should continue to pursue our goals as outlined in the Prairie Village Parks and Recreation Master Plan. This includes easily-accessed and safe corridors for walking, running, and bicycling. Walking and biking trails will enhance the overall quality of life for our citizens. While I support trails from the Village Shops extending to Meadowbrook Park, I will make sure we review all aspects of the trail system before final approval. This includes reviewing the impact on neighboring properties, traffic studies, safety, lighting, signage, landscaping, trail amenities and estimated cost.

 

Ward 1

Lee Duong
Lee Duong

Lee Duong
I support infrastructure that will continue to enhance and improve our city on multiple levels. I believe that as a City we should continue to be progressive and invest in today and the future.  Trails, bike lanes and greenways are important public facilities because they can bring many benefits to communities – recreational, community development, public health and wellness, transportation, and environmental.
Trails, bike lanes, and other greenways provide more than recreational amenities for biking, jogging, walking, skating, and hiking.  They promote a healthful and active life style, and sense of community by providing safe and accessible places for physical activities and creating opportunities for people of all ages to interact and get to know their neighbors. It also offers the City a multi modal transportation system. In addition, trails and bike lanes that link neighborhoods and shops can increase business development for local businesses and attract tourism.
While there are many positive benefits to trails, bike lanes and greenways, it is important to give thoughtful and thorough consideration on where they are placed. There are many important factors to consider.   There should be some analysis on potential traffic flow and impacts on the communities along the proposed extension for the trails and bike lanes.  Mission road is a major thorough fare. If traffic becomes congested and citizens use alternative routes, this could potentially divert people and business away from our city. This would have serious economic  impact on our businesses and community.   Would three lanes on Mission road cause more of a safety concern, with more people speeding and being distracted?  Could we promote walking and safety on Mission road by enhancing our current infrastructure, through the use of pylons at pedestrian crossing and also having more police presence and continuing to enforcing speed limits?  Are we sacrificing potential core infrastructure?   Has there been a discussion with the residents in which this would directly affect, where they would potentially lose many feet of their own property and green space?  How many citizens would actually benefit from these amenities as well? There have been a lot of Citizens who have been advocating for an off leash dog park versus trails and bike lanes, as there are already trails and walking paths. There should also be an evaluation of the funding options that make it cost effective. Are there grants available and other funding options or would this be a City priority to fund?  If it is to be funded by the City, is this a need or a want at this current time?  As a community we should further discuss all of these implications before we make infrastructure changes of such magnitude. There needs to be more community education and input before further extension is completed.
I have lived in  Prairie Village for 6 years and I have truly grown to love our city.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve our area Veterans currently and for the past several years. Now I would like to have the similar opportunity to do even more public service,  by serving you, the constituents of Prairie Village.  I bring a fresh and enthusiastic voice to Ward 1 that will truly represent our increasingly more diverse demographics.
Thank you to the Prairie Village Post for this opportunity to address the question and those who are taking the time to read my response. I ask for your support, but above all I ask that you VOTE on April 5th and have a voice. Duongforpv.com

Ashley Weaver
Ashley Weaver

Ashley Weaver
I am very supportive of trails and bike lanes where appropriate.
We are a very diverse community. We have residents and families of all ages and ability. I believe we need to appropriately add amenities to cater to as many individuals as possible. Whether it is bike lanes, trails, frisbee golf, or new aquatic features – we must always be looking for ways to enhance the  livability of Prairie Village.
As a landlocked city – our space is limited. This means that new amenities must be added/built within a fixed space. To be clear – bike lanes and trails may not work in different parts of city due to set backs and size constraints. Where appropriate – we must continue to invest to make Prairie Village more walkable, bikeable, and safe.
As the only candidate in this Ward 1 race to have ever voted in a Prairie Village city election – I am asking for the opportunity to continue to represent you on the Council. It has been a genuine honor to represent you and your family at city hall. I am asking for your continued support and vote on April 5th.  Please email me at AWeaver@pvkansas.com or visit my website at www.AshleyforPV.com

Ward 2

Ruth Hopkins
Ruth Hopkins

Ruth Hopkins
I do support the continuation of the walking trail to Corinth and Meadowbrook Park. I believe that it would be a great addition to our system of sidewalks and existing trails.
Adding trails and bike lanes should be a high priority in our city. That being said, it is easier said than done in a built-out city like Prairie Village. These sidewalks and bike trails are inevitably going to end up in some resident’s front, side or back yards. We are going to have to work together as a city to make this happen. It needs to be a priority for all concerned.
And we need to bear in mind the preservation of our tree canopy. Our city has long been known for  its extensive tree inventory and we need to work to keep it that way. It is going to take some long term planning to put these trails and bike paths in the least intrusive places.
I look forward to the challenge of figuring out how to accomplish this task. Please support my re-election on April 5

Serena Schermoly
Serena Schermoly

Serena Schermoly
I support community improvements which will better connect all of Prairie Village.  Extending the trail will offer increased opportunities for connections with each other throughout our neighborhoods and the Village.  This will build a stronger foundation for our community and will give our residents reasons for additional community involvement.
While any additions and improvements will have costs associated with them, a planned development that leads to staged implementation would be much less expensive than a reactionary, poorly constructed response. Careful planning will result in a system of which we can be proud.   In order to accomplish this effectively, much time and reflection should be put into each stage of development.
Creating a unique corridor in Prairie Village that extends from the Village to the Corinth Shops, and eventually to Meadowbrook Park, will allow us to create a safer environment for alternative travel to and from different areas of our village.   Families, seniors, singles, and children will be able to more easily access events, businesses, community buildings, and each other as they benefit from the outdoors.  Increased fitness through walking, jogging and bicycling will be another advantage for all of us. A well planned network would allow for residents to move throughout the city without fear and without negotiating the space with vehicles. This could be accessed as a part of regular commutes, for shopping and recreation, and to bring others through our community to experience what we have to offer.
As I end this final question of the week, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the PV Post for allowing me this opportunity to provide more information to the constituents.
As your representative I want to know what is important to you and your neighborhoods.
What’s important is what matters to you.  I am ready to represent you.  Please vote for Serena Schermoly on April 5TH. Please visit https://www.serenaschermoly.org for more information.

Ward 3

Andrew Wang
Andrew Wang

Andrew Wang
Trails are an attractive amenity.  Especially where new construction is planned, ultrawide sidewalks and possibly bicycle lanes should be considered.  I would like to see usage data and other objective measurements of the value of these investments before making them a “priority” per se.  Ultimately, trails and bike lanes involve additional design expense and possibly the consumption of right of way that might otherwise have trees, grass or other traffic (bicycle, pedestrian or auto). The resources devoted to any amenity should be devoted to that which brings the most residents the broadest and most beneficial use.

Monday’s question: Regulating new construction
Tuesday’s question: Compensation for mayor and council
Wednesday’s question: Your top priority
Thursday’s question: Spending priorities