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County to install bike-awareness signs
new deh county commission bike sign pic
This is an example of the bike awareness sign from Harvey County. Similar signs will be installed in Barton County. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved a second $1,995 bid from Suchy Construction for an extended cement slab at Golden Belt Veterans’ Park for the planned veterans’ memorial. On Feb. 10, the Commission approved a $1,995 bid to Suchy to build a slab, but it has since been suggested that the size be doubled to allow for additional work, said Mick Lang of the Memorial Parks Advisory Committee.
The reason to do the expanded slab now, Lang said, is so the color will be consistent and the site will be ready for more future development.
The county is picking up the tab for the work since the veterans memorial donation fund has a balance of only $1,350.
• Approved a Kansas Department of Transportation supplemental agreement that allows Barton County to be reimbursed for the actual final project cost of the High Risk Rural Roads Signage Project. After the claims submitted on the payment voucher have been audited, the KDOT secretary will issue the county a warrant for the remaining amount of the voucher up to the Federal-aid  share of the Project estimate, that being $138,000, Boeckman said.
• Heard and update on county departmental activities from Boeckman.

 Through a partnership with the healthy community initiative Be Well Barton County and the Golden Belt Community Foundation, Barton County will install bicycle awareness signs on rural blacktops, the County Commission decided Monday morning.
Under the joint venture, 32 signs will be included on roadways to call motorists’ attention to the fact they may be sharing the route with cyclists, said County Administrator Richard Boeckman. The Kansas Legislature two years ago passed a law requiring drivers to give cyclists three feet when passing, and this is what the signs will indicate.
The cost for the signs is $85 each, including materials and labor, bringing the total cost to $2,720. However, Be Well Barton County is kicking in $600, bringing the county’s share to $2,120.
Other counties, including Harvey, have already puts such signs in place, Boeckman said. The design for Harvey County’s yellow, diamond-shaped signs has already been approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation, and it is this design that will also be used locally.
The roads included are:
• NE 30 Road (College Road)
• West 10th Street near the bike path entrance (West Barton County Road)
• SW 40 Avenue (Airport Road)
• SW 110 Avenue (Dundee-Pawnee Rock Road)
• NE 40 Road (Heizer Road)
• NW 40 Avenue (Boyd Road)
• NW 100 Road (Keystone Road)
• NW 50 Road (Memorial Cemetery Road)
This is not intended to be an official bike route and is by no means a complete list of roads used by cyclists. But, Boeckman said these blacktops are commonly ridden.
The Road and Bridge Department will install the signs, Boeckman said. And, the project has the blessing of Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips.
“This is not just a fad,” said Sue Cooper, representing both the GBCF and Be Well Barton County. The number of cyclists is growing.
The signage is part of an on-going safety effort undertaken by BWBC, Cooper said. Funded by a Kansas Health Foundation grant, the group is a leadership team under the Central Kansas Partnership umbrella and is working for improved active transportation throughout the county.
“I think this is a great idea,” Commissioner Don Cates said. “Any safety issue is important to everybody.”
He added, however, that those on bikes need to be cautious as well.
The sign locations approved Monday intentionally excluded the Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway, Cooper said. There is grant money to mark that route and BWBC didn’t want to duplicate that effort.