Friday, October 18, 2013

Urban Green Space?

I grew up on bike trails, first around my neighborhood, then from Shawnee Mission Park to the Kaw River and back again probably hundreds of times. I didn't worry about traffic, no one leaned on the horn behind me, and I didn't have to learn how to ride like a vehicle (and like it's a chore) until I was an adult. 

Where FreeWheels works, we face busy "arterial connectors" and KDOT designated highways everywhere we turn, kids regularly live 5 or more miles from their school, and the little green space we have is typically off-limits to kids and families. Some parks or green spaces are only accessible via highway, some are given over to illegal uses and (often rightly) considered too dangerous by parents, some are intentionally isolated by authorities, and some are just plain marked "no trespassing".  The kind of mobility I enjoyed is simply impossible, because the built environment of KCK doesn't allow it. But a built environment can be rebuilt. 

Every single Bike Club has identified great green spaces that they love, green spaces that they can't or won't use, and ideas to make it better. To keep up with their ideas, learn how you can help and donate to their projects, check out the individual club pages for Rosedale, Central, the Bethel Center, and the Boys and Girls Club and more to come. 

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