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Leawood preparing a second bike loop south of I-435

How to drive safely around pedestrians and bicyclists

By law, people on bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as people behind the wheel of a vehicle. Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to drive safely around pedestrians and bicyclists.
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By law, people on bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as people behind the wheel of a vehicle. Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to drive safely around pedestrians and bicyclists.

Leawood’s new trail open in fall

Bicyclists may be familiar with Leawood’s North Loop, an 11-mile route designated by green wayfinding signs that guide cyclists along residential streets in the older part of the city while largely avoiding busy thoroughfares like 95th and 103rd streets.

Now Leawood is creating a similar-sized loop that will go south to 133rd Street, and it should be ready this fall. Part of the route follows the Tomahawk Creek Streamway Trail.

“To my knowledge, these recommended recreational riding loops are kind of unique in our metro,” said Brian Anderson, the city’s superintendent of parks. “(There are) lots of trails and bicycle lanes intended for commuting, but these loops — intended for recreational exercise — are a bit different.”

When the city conducted research for its bicycle and pedestrian master plan, Anderson said, it found that many residents use bicycles for recreation and fitness.

“The main purpose of these loops is just that,” he said.

The city spent about $33,000 to purchase and install signs for the North Loop, but doesn’t have a final cost yet for the South Loop.

In addition to the signage, the new project includes a crossing beacon at College Boulevard and Brookwood Avenue, as well as a trailhead for both loops near the aquatic center in Leawood City Park, which is just south of Interstate 435 at Lee Boulevard.

Eventually, city officials would like to expand the South Loop beyond 133rd, as recommended in the master plan, to provide a 30-mile ride to cyclists who use both loops.

“We are deferring on the full South Loop until Mission Road can be widened south of 143rd Street because of a long, tough hill and current narrow street width,” Anderson said. “We don’t want to recommend that area until we can make it more bike friendly.”

KU Med honors Olathe educator

L.B. Fogt, science teacher and facilitator of the Medical Professions Academy at Olathe North High School, is the recipient of the Tom Steadman 2019 Teacher-Research Opportunity Award.

The award, given by the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, recognizes high school teachers who teach hands-on research techniques by providing the opportunity to contribute to original research.

According to news release from medical center, Fogt earned a journalism degree from KU in 2001, but began a career in secondary education in 2006 after studying at DePaul University in Chicago. She taught in Chicago for two years before returning to the Kansas City area.

In 2014, Fogt assumed leadership of what is now called the Medical Professions Academy, which has doubled in size during her tenure. The academy maintains a partnership with Olathe Health that provides internships at hospitals, and Fogt travels with teams of students each year so they can present at the National Experimental Biology Conference.

Get rid of paint and chemicals

Residents from across Johnson County can dispose of old paint cans, gas and oil, chemicals, pesticides and other household hazardous waste at Olathe’s drop-off location, which is open the second Saturday of each month.

The next free event will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 at 1420 S. Robinson Drive. No appointment is necessary, but people should bring a photo ID and label items not in their original containers.

For a full list of acceptable items, go to olatheks.org.

Overland Park’s fall ritual: bulky trash pickup

It’s time for Overland Park residents — if they live east of Antioch Road — to start identifying unwanted stuff suitable for the city’s bulky item pickup this fall.

Residents can place as many as five large items at the curb for disposal on the following Saturdays:

83rd Street to north city limit: Sept. 14.

83rd Street to 99th Street: Sept. 21.

99th Street to 143rd Street: Oct. 5.

143rd Street to south city limit: Oct. 12

For details on what’s allowed, go to opkansas.org/bulky.

‘Music Man’ comes to Theatre in the Park

“The Music Man” is being presented this month at Johnson County’s Theatre in the Park, with remaining performances at 8:30 p.m. July 10-13 in Shawnee Mission Park.

The show, with famous tunes like “Seventy-Six Trombones,” features traveling salesman Harold Hill who intends to abscond with the money after talking the people of River City into buying instruments and uniforms for a band he promises to organize. But then he meets Marian the librarian.

The theater entrance is at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. Gates to the seating area open at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $6 for youth ages 4 to 10. Children 3 and under are admitted free, but need a ticket. Buy tickets online at www.theatreinthepark.org or after 6:30 p.m. at the site before each performance.

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