Thursday, May 11, 2006

###### URGENT ######

The following URGENT message affects the future of all retail bicycle businesses in Kansas. If action is not taken by all trail supporters, including the bicycle retailers from across the state, future sales growth generated by access to convenient, safe rail-trails in Kansas will be lost.

HB 2432 will allow individuals to bring frivolous lawsuits against trail organizations in KS without having incurred any harm or damage. The hidden goal of the bill is to "bleed" the non-profit, volunteer organizations who are finally achieving some success in building rail-trails by fighting frivolous lawsuits brought about by adamant trail opponents.

Rail trails have generated a new source of sales for bicycle retail, restaurant and lodging businesses in the states where they have been built, even in rural states such as Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota.


Jeremy Anderson in Governor Sebelius's office has heard from more people who support the bill (oppose trails and rural economic growth) than oppose the bill (support trails and new business opportunities in rural Kansas). We need to send as many emails, faxes and/or phone calls to the governor by May 15 as possible. Also contact your local legislators asking them to encourage Governor Sebelius to veto HB 2432. Jeremy said that no legislator has asked the governor to veto the bill. Its up to us to change this situation.

WE NEED YOU TO contact the Governor's Office and your State Representative and Senator ASAP to save the future of rail-trails in KS. Below are a few talking points to include in your phone call, fax, or email to your Governor, State Representative, and Senator. HB 2432 will be on the Governors desk the week of May 15 for her action. We need her to veto this horrible bill for Kansas trails.

This is not hard and only requires a few minutes. They will not expect you to be fully knowledgeable, they just need to know your opinion. Its your government - only you can make it work for you or others will make it work against you!

WE NEED YOU TO forward this to as many trail supporters and customers as possible to spread the word of the need to KILL this BILL.

Governor Sebelius Contact Info

Phone number: 1-877-KSWORKS (1-877-579-6757)
Local Topeka phone: 785-296-3232
Fax number:: 785-368-8788
Email Link to Governor's office is:

KS Legislator Contact Info

Click link or paste address into your browser. I suggest using the Address method to find your representative and senator. Email links are provided for your particular legislator:

We have until about May 15 to convince the Governor to veto this bill.

Talking Points

  1. Federal legislation encourages development of recreational trails. Kansas Law discourages development of recreational trails.

  2. Current law recognizes the role of the federal government in regulating trails.

  3. Language in HB 2432 ignores the federal government's regulatory role.

  4. HB 2432 will encourage frivolous lawsuits designed to stop trail development.

  5. Trails are built and maintained by volunteers who raise money from non-governmental sources.

  6. Trails are a recreational resource all Kansans can enjoy.

  7. While proponents of HB 2432 cite the need to clarify adjacent property owner liability issues in the first section of the bill, they cannot identify a single case where this has been a problem.

  8. Trail proponents have no problems with the first part of the bill (is similar to adjacent property owner liability definitions in MO) and we believe the language does not harm trails. The real damage to trails in Kansas is the penalty provision, which encourages frivolous lawsuits against trail organizations.

  9. Foundations and other private donors would be reluctant to contribute funds to an organization involved in numerous lawsuits- regardless of the outcome of those suits. Trail funding would dry up. Trail building would stop and valuable resources would be diverted from building and maintaining trails to defending trail organizations in court.

  10. Allowing cities and counties to determine statutory violations has worked in the past. There is no need to give trail opponents another mechanism for stopping trail development.

  11. The general public overwhelmingly supports recreational trails.

  12. Trails provide positive economic impact to areas they pass through.

  13. Studies have shown property values actually increase where trails are accessible.

  14. Crime and vandalism are reduced when rail corridors are developed as opposed being left abandoned.

  15. Trails are available for hiking, biking and equestrian use. Thousands of people benefit from having access to quality recreational trails.

  16. Kansas ranks nearly last in public access recreation opportunities, which negatively affects the health and economy of Kansans and their communities. Trails offer opportunity for exercise local and tourism regionally.

Please take action immediately for the future of trails and bicycling in Kansas.

Dale Crawford
KanBike (Kansas Bicycle Federation)


Ben Wilson, Newsletter Editor
Chainchatter - JCBC Newsletter

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