Author Topic: Just a heads up for those cycling through Kansas on the Trans Am...  (Read 3004 times)

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Offline PeanutButterShammyCream

The section between Leoti and Scott City is extremely dangerous!!!!!! There is no shoulder, and semi trucks are driving on this route constantly. I had to pull over whenever there was a Semi Truck coming because there is no room for cyclists. Several locals told me that there have been a couple of cycling deaths during the last couple of years on that road.

My advice is just pull over whenever you see the trucks coming...... it will slow your pace a little, but it might save your life.

Offline GSullivan

Re: Just a heads up for those cycling through Kansas on the Trans Am...
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 02:26:24 pm »
Hi PeanutButterShammyCream,

Thanks for posting your comment to our forums. We take this information very seriously due to the crashes that have happened in KS (three crashes in three different locations and all involved the TransAmerica Race). The good news is we are actively working and communicating with the KS DOT. In addition, we are sending a route researcher out later this summer to look at options/gather road and traffic conditions. We are presently meeting with the DOT weekly and researching each crash that's happened in KS, including the one that happened by Scott City. In the coming weeks, we'll be sending the KS DOT a report summarizing information about each crash, providing information about what our route researcher found; then we will include recommendations to them for improving conditions and safety. 

In speaking to one of our TransAm tour leaders, harvest time puts more of these semi's on the roads. I'll add working with the trucking community to  the list of recommendations. Have a great time on your trip and stay safe. Thanks again for your comment.

Ginny Sullivan
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 02:32:26 pm by GSullivan »
Ginny Sullivan

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Just a heads up for those cycling through Kansas on the Trans Am...
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 03:15:49 pm »
Good to hear!  Are you also researching the outcome of the accident that killed two Germans cycling BRUS-66 just west of Galena, KS, earlier this summer?
Thanks for all you do!!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Just a heads up for those cycling through Kansas on the Trans Am...
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 08:49:41 pm »
We had no problems on the referenced stretch, but then the wheat harvest hadn't gotten that far west when we rode through.  The road was pretty much straight, if not quite level, with good sight lines.  We hit the bow wave of the frentic week that makes or breaks the Kansas plains -- and rode like the dickens to get out of there!  I suspect the OP (hereinafter PBSC) has been emotionally traumatized on this section, but I don't see his suggestion (get the hell off the road when you see a truck) is constructive.  For one thing, such an action will reinforce the bad driving habit of ignoring cyclists among the bad apples among commercial truckers.  I'd like to toss out a few suggestions that may be more helpful.

First, PBSC may want to take a day off.  Hole up in a motel, stay in one town, hit the swimming p9ool and relax.  Things may not seem so bad after a day's relaxation.

Second, if that doesn't work, PBSC might rent a car or van, or hitch a ride, at least to Hutcheson or Wichita.  Get past the wheat harvest.  There's still going to be narrow roads without a shoulder for most of the rest of the trip, but without the one-week-per-year traffic of the wheat harvest, it may be (or become) tolerable.

If that doesn't work, well, it's time for PBSC to get a directory of rail tralis and start sight-seeing.

On the Adventure Cycling side, there's a couple things that might be useful down the road (so to speak). The first is simply to get the word out.  I suspect most sheriffs and district attorneys are quite satisfied to write off a cyclist being killed by a local motorist as simply an accident.  If you're thinking about re-routing because of traffic and ad accidents, well, let the local newspapers and chambers of commerce know ahead of time, from Tribune through Leoti, Ness City, Larned, to Hutcheson.  It might be a good idea to make sure the on-again, off-again blog is updated with some item about how much bicycle tourism benefits the local economy.  Let the county officials and businessmen know continuing to ignore the problem may cost them real money (and perhaps real votes!).

Second, and closely related to the first, most of the "bike tourism affects local economy" articles I've seen have been centered around Missoula.  You've got one case study waiting to be studies with the rerouting around Williston.  Is it possible to look up sales tax receipts for the towns and counties that the Northern Tier re-route go through, and compare those for the year before and after the change.  I doubt you'll be able to see the effect of bike tourists in comparison to the oil patch, but if it's as great as you suspect, there should be dramatic increases in the small towns that became part of the route.