|
|
|
The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
Walking and bicycling for transportation, fitness, and fun
City candidates of Mexico, Marceline, and Brookfield
email print
About this blog
By Rachel Ruhlen

My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the ...

X
Bicycling and Walking Around

My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the joys, the freedom, the benefits, and, yes, the challenges of bicycling and walking for transportation.

Recent Posts
July 12, 2014 2:11 p.m.
July 9, 2014 12:25 p.m.
July 6, 2014 6:21 p.m.
July 2, 2014 12:37 p.m.
June 28, 2014 5:50 p.m.
By Rachel Ruhlen
March 28, 2013 8:47 p.m.



I recently interviewed the Kirksville city council candidates about their views on biking and walking. Several other newspapers carry my blog, and I thought it would be nice to do a similar service for those communities. This took a fair bit of time and I was only able to get about half the communities. In this article, I summarize my interviews of candidates for Mexico, Marceline, and Brookfield city elections.

Mexico: I interviewed former council member Mike Myers, but I was unable to reach incumbent Chris Williams.

Mike Myers has been an avid cyclist for years. When he moved to Mexico, he was “floored by how friendly and nonaggressive drivers are compared in Kansas City.” Every day that is warmer than 18F he bikes 10 miles around the perimeter of Mexico, and sometimes longer rides outside of town, including the St. Louis MS150 which starts in Columbia and some years goes through Mexico. Over the past 10 years, Mexico has been proactive about its parks, sidewalks, and bike lanes, resulting in a community that is user friendly for bikers and walkers with ADA-accessible sidewalk intersections and federal Safe Routes to School grants. He believes Mexico will continue this trend even more aggressively in the future.

Marceline: I interviewed Josh Shoemaker and Jeri Holt. I was unable to reach Natalie Wellman, Michael Moudy, Jacob Gordon, or Derick Moudy.

Josh Shoemaker walks with his family on nice evenings. Marceline has worked at getting grants, and there are very few places left without good sidewalks. He estimates the last 5 years have seen perhaps 15 miles of new sidewalk. It’s easy to walk anywhere in town—from the school to the pool or downtown. Calm traffic facilitates bicycling but the infrastructure is not ideal. The city council and the Parks & Rec Dept. together have applied for and received grants to develop paths and activities around the Country Club Lake and the baseball complex. However, there are “bigger fish to fry than our sidewalks.” He thought sidewalks won’t inspire non-walkers to walk, but was interested when I told him about studies that show that sidewalks and the number of walkers go hand in hand—that sidewalks do inspire non-walkers to walk.

Jeri Holt sees people walking and running at the track at the High School. He sees bicyclists but is concerned they should not be in the streets unless there is a bike lane, but also believes that small towns can’t afford bike lanes. A few years ago, Marceline got grants for new sidewalks which was “a nice change to our community”. They are now seeking funds from local clubs for a walking trail around the Country Club Lake.

Brookfield: I interviewed Todd Bourcard, Richard Techau, and Martha Beach. I was unable to reach Ed Heckman and Lonnie Trentham.

Todd Bourcard says that Brookfield is easy to get around on foot because it is small and doesn’t have much traffic. However the sidewalks are not in good shape and the disabled would have a hard time using them. Neither the city nor the homeowners are in a good position to do anything about it, as Brookfield is not on an upswing, but he thinks that good sidewalks and attractions like a skate park could attract businesses to Brookfield, which would improve the economic outlook. A community “needs pride in itself, we have to have a community to develop jobs,” he adds.

Richard Techau walks on his treadmill and walks to lunch. He cites Brookfield’s walking path in the baseball park and the South City Park as good places to walk. Residential areas have poor sidewalks or no sidewalks. The city has not put much emphasis on walking and biking conditions.

Incumbent Martha Beach walks every morning with her friends for fun and fitness on Main Street when it’s nice and at the YMCA when it’s not. She realizes that Brookfield is not easy to get around without a car, with poor sidewalks, the Wal-Mart on the other side of an overpass, and the school inaccessible by foot, but she is optimistic that things are changing. With many runners who get up early to run before traffic picks up, the community is ready for better facilities. The city’s revitalization program, a DREAM initiative, will put a new playground and a walking trail around Twin Parks, with a long term goal that includes connecting South City Park, the YMCA and public school, and the rest of Brookfield with walking paths.

Mexico: I interviewed former council member Mike Myers, but I was unable to reach incumbent Chris Williams.

Mike Myers has been an avid cyclist for years. When he moved to Mexico, he was “floored by how friendly and nonaggressive drivers are compared in Kansas City.” Every day that is warmer than 18F he bikes 10 miles around the perimeter of Mexico, and sometimes longer rides outside of town, including the St. Louis MS150 which starts in Columbia and some years goes through Mexico. Over the past 10 years, Mexico has been proactive about its parks, sidewalks, and bike lanes, resulting in a community that is user friendly for bikers and walkers with ADA-accessible sidewalk intersections and federal Safe Routes to School grants. He believes Mexico will continue this trend even more aggressively in the future.

Marceline: I interviewed Josh Shoemaker and Jeri Holt. I was unable to reach Natalie Wellman, Michael Moudy, Jacob Gordon, or Derick Moudy.

Josh Shoemaker walks with his family on nice evenings. Marceline has worked at getting grants, and there are very few places left without good sidewalks. He estimates the last 5 years have seen perhaps 15 miles of new sidewalk. It’s easy to walk anywhere in town—from the school to the pool or downtown. Calm traffic facilitates bicycling but the infrastructure is not ideal. The city council and the Parks & Rec Dept. together have applied for and received grants to develop paths and activities around the Country Club Lake and the baseball complex. However, there are “bigger fish to fry than our sidewalks.” He thought sidewalks won’t inspire non-walkers to walk, but was interested when I told him about studies that show that sidewalks and the number of walkers go hand in hand—that sidewalks do inspire non-walkers to walk.

Jeri Holt sees people walking and running at the track at the High School. He sees bicyclists but is concerned they should not be in the streets unless there is a bike lane, but also believes that small towns can’t afford bike lanes. A few years ago, Marceline got grants for new sidewalks which was “a nice change to our community”. They are now seeking funds from local clubs for a walking trail around the Country Club Lake.

Brookfield: I interviewed Todd Bourcard, Richard Techau, and Martha Beach. I was unable to reach Ed Heckman and Lonnie Trentham.

Todd Bourcard says that Brookfield is easy to get around on foot because it is small and doesn’t have much traffic. However the sidewalks are not in good shape and the disabled would have a hard time using them. Neither the city nor the homeowners are in a good position to do anything about it, as Brookfield is not on an upswing, but he thinks that good sidewalks and attractions like a skate park could attract businesses to Brookfield, which would improve the economic outlook. A community “needs pride in itself, we have to have a community to develop jobs,” he adds.

Richard Techau walks on his treadmill and walks to lunch. He cites Brookfield’s walking path in the baseball park and the South City Park as good places to walk. Residential areas have poor sidewalks or no sidewalks. The city has not put much emphasis on walking and biking conditions.

Incumbent Martha Beach walks every morning with her friends for fun and fitness on Main Street when it’s nice and at the YMCA when it’s not. She realizes that Brookfield is not easy to get around without a car, with poor sidewalks, the Wal-Mart on the other side of an overpass, and the school inaccessible by foot, but she is optimistic that things are changing. With many runners who get up early to run before traffic picks up, the community is ready for better facilities. The city’s revitalization program, a DREAM initiative, will put a new playground and a walking trail around Twin Parks, with a long term goal that includes connecting South City Park, the YMCA and public school, and the rest of Brookfield with walking paths.

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National