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Kate's Challenge

There's a great discussion going on here.

In the middle of it I challenged Kate to come up with one common sense plan that would make Hutch more green and low and behold, she did.

it's a great plan and I am gonna back her on it and do all I can to help. Which will probably mean if you read this blog, your gonna hear about it alot for a while.

Below is Kate's comment form the YP Blog.

Drum roll please...

In response to the challenge from Cody and the support voiced by Dorothy B. and Jade, I am suggesting we take on an initiative to increase to visibility of and use of green transportation options in Hutchinson. This means 1) bicycle awareness, including a Critical Mass event; 2) improvements - bike racks downtown, bike racks on RCAT buses, bike lanes, and maps of bike routes around town; 3) RCAT awareness (no point in having bike racks on the buses if no one is using RCAT.) If you are interested in this e-mail me and we will begin to work on this effort. Anyone is welcome to work on all or part of this effort. Hopefully this is an achievable goal – I know it has been in other communities. I also know there are some decision makers in the community open to some of these ideas.

. Posted Apr 16, 2008 at 04:28pm by Kate V

So that's it, we are gonna do everything in our power to push a bicycle initiative in Hutchinson.

Here is why I am backing it:
3 reasons.

1. It makes people like Kate happy about the fact we are accomplishing some environmentally conscious. Not my main reason for liking this idea but the compromise part of it is very intriguing.

2. It makes incredible economic sense to me. Very small dollar amount into this project and we give more people opportunities to park in the downtown area (park their bikes), more folks can take advantage of RCAT (they can ride the bus, grab their bike and ride in places they wouldn't want to ride bike to). In the process she also mentions increasing RCAT awareness, I will add image to that, it needs to be done and can be done if we give a different group of people a new reason to check RCAT out.

3. I am always a fan of allowing new physical fitness opportunities, no one is saying you have to, just giving you the chance.

Ok there you go, I challenged Kate, Kate came back strong and we have the beginnings of a plan.

My parting shot is this:

1. If you not a granola, you could still back this idea and bring a few more folks ($$$) downtown and maybe help RCAT pay for it's self a little better.

2. If you a not a stuffy Right-Wing, Business Owning, Al Gore hater, you can still back this idea because it has a true and valid environmental initiative.

3. If you can't decide, your a waffler and if you still don't like this idea, you might be hopeless.


Contact Kate ( ) and tell her you want to join this. Even if you are in Birmingham, Al. or maybe even the Capitol of our great nation. Email Kate and tell her you will help.


  1. called out to respond in the post...

    I see this proposal as worth pursuing, but don’t know how many people will actually take advantage of it. I think those that do use it will be for recreation (not a bad thing), not daily transit (which is where the environmental bang for the buck is). This is simply because Hutchinson and most of the Country outside of a few urban areas is spread out and not conducive to getting around without a car. Of curse, living in dense urban areas is better for the environment because dense apartment housing is more energy efficient and conducive to walking and mass transit. I think in the long term, this is what Hutchinson, and all communities should be doing.

    “What we ought to be shooting for are compact communities, at sufficient densities to support lots of good transit options, composed entirely of high-quality, reasonably-sized green buildings, arranged around streets and public spaces that encourage walking and enjoying one's community, served by green infrastructure.”

    To paraphrase many of Cody’s sentiments in earlier posts, I realize it is not realistic to believe that the Wiley building will be converted into cool, energy efficient apartment lofts where young professionals take the RCAT to work and are entertained in a vibrant downtown arts scene, but it is something to strive for. So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? This bike proposal can’t hurt, and may actually encourage other related proposals to take off (bike racks could lead to more viable downtown retail). At the very least, it may encourage people to get off the couch and get some exercise. There are tons of bicycle advocacy groups that would probably lend some assistance. For what it is worth, here is D.C’s transit/bike website, which may be helpful for at least some ideas and links.

    P.S. I like the idea of “Critical Mass” public/media events, but the monthly events in D.C. often turn into “take back the streets” protests, which suck if you are stuck behind them in a bus or cab, creating negative bike awareness. I am sure yours will be much more civil, responsible and family friendly.

  2. Thanks Dave, We will take you up on it and I will hound your parents but would appreciate help on that front as well. If we can get that generation around here to bite off we will have bike racks everywhere.

    I know you see a big picture that we are aiming towards but I really think if we baby step this we can make progress. Otherwise we just sit around and look at what we should be doing.

  3. Can I just say "ditto" to Dave's comments. I am right there with the high denisty communities. What I have suggested is what I think is doable for Hutchinson. I also believe there is/will be interest from some groups in town that may surprise Cody. I am also familiar with the in-your-face-civil-action forms of Critical Mass and that is not my style. I am much too Southern to be that rude. (For those of you who don't know, I can a recent transplant from central Georgia.) I am ready to take on the RCAT image and bike culture in Hutch. Look for updates, soon!

  4. i am a local downtown business owner and would get on this bike thing with my time, capital, and i have some space available for whatever purposes. check out the "community bicycle program" on wikipedia and think if something like this would work here in hutch.

  5. To let everyone know, we are moving forward with this project. Cody has made some great contacts and we are meeting with some city officals next week. I will keep everyone posted.

  6. Kate rules, but I'll ask this for all the Mommies out can I partake in the Green transportation initiative in Hutch and deal with shuttling my kiddos from home to daycare to preschool and back to daycare? How is that even an option for me?

  7. I haven't looked into the RCAT routes well enough to give you any facts there, but I am willing to suggest that you can't currently take care of all those needs in Hutch yet. (Just imagine if you didn't have a car and were trying to do all these things and get to state agencies as well? But, that is another topic.)

    As Dave stated in his first comment, daily tranist is where the big environmental impact is. In larger cities, it is quite possible to do our mommy tasks using public transportation. Maybe the best option for you all is carpooling to daycare, preschool and then using an afternoon or weekend to use RCAT and teach your girls why using it is a good idea.

    As Cody stated when we first started this conversation, it's baby steps. We just need to pick something and get started. The fact that you are even asking such a question is great!

  8. Sometimes I think, "Kate's political views are so different than mine, I really need to attack her and destroy her credibility so everyone will think I am right and she is wrong."

    Oh wait no I don't cause Kate has great points even though she is a tree-hugging hippie!!!!


    Kate answered your question perfectly. I want to type the same answer cause maybe people will read the comments in reverse and think Kate is just copying my great idea.

    My answer is: Don't worry about that for right now... There is no great solution that makes sense, so go buy another red cloth bag from Dillons and call the day a success. Or switch a lightbulb, or ride your bike to work tomorrow, start easy and then the hard stuff will seem like less of a jump.

    Oh yeah and only do it for $$$ reasons, none of this hippie environmentalist stuff. :)

  9. I've done the small stuff and now Kate has me thinking about composting and all that other fun, hippee stuff. I'll be Debbie Downer on this one--carpooling is too much of a hassle with car seats. If I was in Chicago and could use the L--that's a different story, but I like cruisin' in my minivan and not feeling a bit guilty about it.

  10. I'm all about doing the things that fit into my life to be green. We are recyclers, we composts, I'm cutting out the bills, catalogs, etc that I don't need. But carpooling or biking or public transportation...I have to cross my arms, let my body go limp and throw myself on the floor in rejection of that one (just like my 2 1/2 year old little guy would do!)

    I have yet to be stuck in a downtown traffic jam letting my engine idle and slowly kill the environment. I've gotten the most efficient path to and from work down to avoid the "long" delays at lights. Honestly, the only thing that I think can slow my commute down is waiting for the bikers to walk accross the street or the red-flashing lights to stop flashing from the RCAT buses!

    Is there an offical designation for those of use that are just kind-of green!?!?

  11. Nate Dogg,

    Kinda green is where I am at as well.

    Not into riding a bike at all, I am into helping someone achieve something if it is for the good of all and not just for the person's selfish desires.

    Just wait we are gonna draw Kate and her Greenies in with this Green stuff and then pow, we will use jedi mind tricks to get her to support some of the other initiatives out there.

  12. The update on the Challenge is that we are begining to hit the buracracy of the local government. I feel good about getting the bike racks downtown - we have a meeting with Jim S. and are arranging one with John D. I am moving forward with a discussion with Lynn Kiker with the Dept. of Aging and Transportation - the folks in charge of RCAT. So, sorry this isn't a band up job of an update - but we're in that stage of the process.

  13. If you get to the point of needing a couple of folks who might be willing to write letters of support, or just be vocal supporters, drop me an email or give me a call - I've got a couple of ideas of folks. I just don't want to call them out by name.

  14. Ok, here is an update on the green transportation/bike challenge.

    I had a meeting with Jim Seitnater last week. It looks like we will be moving forward with the bike racks downtown – this process is going to be a little slow because we have entered the world of City bureaucracy. The downtown design committee is meeting tomorrow night and this is on the agenda. At some point in time we will need to make a recommendation of how many racks we might need and where they should be placed. So, think about that as you walk or drive around downtown. Jim is moving forward with the departments he needs to work with and will be updating me.

  15. Cody and I made it to another City meeting to discuss the downtown bike racks. We are certainly moving forward. We are opening a Fund at teh Hutchinson Community Foundation to beging the purchase of and provide for the maintenance of the downtown bike racks. We are working with the City for a "master plan" for the location of bike racks - we will work with getting them up in two phases. The Dowtown Revitalization Design Committee has been informed of our progress and are on board.

    We also have seen a good bit of media coverage in the Hutch News. We were on the front page, above the fold on June 14th. Then the bike racks were mentioned in the paper's editoral a few days later and then mentioned in a great letter to the editor by local citizen Ryan Diehl.

    I will continue to up date everyone.

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I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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