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Lawrence public schools will soon become the only public school district in Kansas that allows parents to bring in bicycles for use on school property, but they’re not the only ones.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is set to begin permitting the use of public bikes for school purposes in September, and parents can begin bringing their own bikes into Lawrence Public Schools.
The bike policy will allow students to ride on the school’s public bike lanes and park in designated bike parking areas.
The department is also working to get bikes on school buses and in the classrooms, where students can lock their bikes inside their classrooms and carry them to and from school.
The bike policy is a response to concerns raised by some parents about the potential for crashes.
The state is working with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Kansas State Board of Education, and the Kansas School Boards Association to craft a plan to reduce the number of crashes, said Bill Bixler, director of Kansans for Bike and Pedestrian Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group that represents school districts and local government.
Bixler said the state is considering allowing school boards to opt out of having a policy on the bikes, which would allow students who ride in their own spaces to ride in designated spaces on school grounds, where they would have to get a waiver from school officials.
Bixer said that the policy could help schools improve safety.
The new bike policy comes as the Kansas Supreme Court has heard arguments in a case that would allow parents to take their kids to school on public bikes.
The school board will hear arguments on the merits of that case next week.