sunnyFair, 72.0°

Chris Tilden

Comment history

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Calvin, completion of the loop is predicated on funding. I am not aware that any current funding is allocated to its completion, although there are some funds in the long-term Capital Improvement Plan. The CIP also includes other "discretionary" funding for bike/ped improvements, and I believe the Transportation Commission is expected to make recommendations on the use of those funds. I hope at least some local funding is allocated to the Loop. There is also a new non-profit organization seeking to raise private funds to help build sections of the trail. Learn more about Friends of Lawrence Area Trails at www.flatks.org. They have set up a fund at the Douglas County Community Foundation for donations. I also agree with you that a loop is valuable only insofar as it creates better linkages to priority destinations like downtown. Completing just a small segment of the loop northward from the current end of the Burroughs Creek Trail at 11th, along with reconstruction of better sidewalks on 9th Street (a planned 2018 Public Works project), could create a far better route into downtown than exists previously for people on foot and riding bikes.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Bonnie, I think that is one inaccuracy in the report. The report does not prioritize one section of the loop over another. I agree with all other comments about the value of this amenity. And to Deborah's point, most runners do prefer alternative surfaces, and there are lots and lots of alternatives in Lawrence for those who want to avoid running on concrete. But the goal of the Loop is to create a trail that connects many destination points around the city that can be used for recreational and more functional purposes. This alignment study is an important step in the process toward creating a better connected "active transportation network" for our community.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Nationally, 75% of people support this policy change. In a 2016 Lawrence Journal World poll of 1,000 readers, 51% said they supported such a policy change; only 31% opposed it.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Some readers are also concerned about how increasing the sales age would harm tobacco revenues (and tax revenues): nationally tobacco sales to 18-20 year olds are 2% of tobacco sales. The first city to enact this policy did it in 2005. Not a single convenience store that sold cigarettes went out of business following the policy change.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Until you are 21 you cannot buy alcohol, gamble in a casino, get a "license to carry" gun permit, rent a car (that's age 25), and in some states rent a hotel room. More people likely die of tobacco-related illnesses in Douglas County than any other cause. I don't believe leaving the age at 18 is okay just because you can vote or join the military at that age. Changing the alcohol sales age resulted in dramatically reduced rates of teen drinking and even greater decreases in alcohol-related auto crashes. This is good public health policy.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

Use of tobacco products among youth is rising. Traditional cigarette use is decreasing, but use of hookah, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes is on the rise among youth. That is how they get hooked by big tobacco, by being duped to use "safer" products with nicotine (more addictive than heroin).

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

The point Dan Partridge is making is that lifespan is something that can be impacted by public health policy if we understand what contributes to poor health. The average lifespan in Douglas County (like the U.S.) has increased substantially in recent times, due in large part to public health interventions (in fact, we live a little longer, on average). We KNOW there are effective policy strategies (and not just individual choices) that we CAN implement to prevent and reduce the chronic diseases and injury that are the leading causes of death in our community.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

I want to respond to Chad Lawhorn'/ comment that a spokesperson from KDWPT indicated that LiveWell Lawrence requested this meeting, That is not the case. LiveWell was contacted by KDWPT through Lawrence Parks and Recreation to invite members to attend an informational meeting. The coalition is not formally involved in this meeting and has not taken a formal position in relation to the proposed project.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

I have spent little time looking at the proposal, so I'll avoid commentary at this point, except it's not yet clear to me why a man-made structure of this kind needs to be superimposed on what is already a recreational gem in our region and state. However, I would like to point out that the study Gene Bradley is referencing appears to be based on analysis of communities that already had natural whitewater amenities and where limited infrastructure and service development was needed. That does not appear to be the case here, where multi-million dollar investment would be needed. That study was about river stewardship as well, and that is also not a factor in this discussion.

Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden) says...

I want also to recognize the role of the leadership of the LiveWell Lawrence coalition, and in particular, the "Healthy Built Environment" work group, in this work. Discussions among coalition leaders and other partners have been critical to ongoing development of the loop trail, including work that led to the funding decision by the Sunflower Foundation and the city for this particular segment of the trail.

Full LJWorld.com site