2021 was a year full of surprises on the policy front, many of which resulted in major advocacy wins for multimodal transportation. The infrastructure bill in Washington, D.C. and the decriminalization of mobility locally were testaments to the efforts of advocates speaking up for better walking, accessibility, biking, and transit.
The themes guiding our policy work for 2022, collaboration, engagement, data collection and analysis, are an acknowledgement of some of the challenges we faced last year. These are the areas where we have to work hardest to become better advocates as an organization and as part of the broader community.
Much of our focus this year will be on walking and mobility justice. We will advocate for plans, policies, and actions that improve conditions for pedestrians and people with disabilities, and that better include people and communities often left out of the planning and decision-making process.
Below is an overview of our top priorities for 2022 by region:
Kansas City, MO
Improving Walkability - With a number of policy and planning efforts underway that impact pedestrians, including the GO Bonds, Complete Streets, and Vision Zero, it’s long past time for the city to think more holistically about how to improve and support the pedestrian experience in Kansas City. One possibility is to revisit the city’s walkability plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2003.
Vision Zero Action Plan - Back in 2020, the City Council adopted a Vision Zero resolution and set a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities by the year 2030. As part of that effort, a task force has been developing an action plan to make that goal a reality. BikeWalkKC will work to help finalize that plan, and get it adopted by the full Council.
KC Spirit Playbook + KC Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan - As the city continues to work on developing and refining these key documents, BikeWalkKC will remain involved with elements related to transportation. We will also support efforts to enable the public to be involved in shaping the final product.
Trail Funding - In 2018, KCMO studied funding sources for off-street trail construction, but hasn’t done much with it since. We will advocate for the city to take it off the shelf and use the study to create new funding and support for trails where more people can walk, roll, and bike.
Kansas City, KS
Implement Complete Streets - BikeWalkKC spent much of 2021 working with Healthy Communities Wyandotte to figure out how to implement the Complete Streets policy adopted in late 2020. In 2022, we’ll work to support those implementation efforts further, as well as support work being done around the goDotte Strategic Mobility Plan.
Build Community Advocacy Capacity - Advocacy is a team sport; when we show up, we win! In 2022, we want to find more ways to elevate the voices of advocates and help people who are new to the space gain the skills and knowledge needed to speak up effectively.
Future Investments - The Kansas City region will need to decide how to spend infrastructure funds for 2024 and 2025 as well as figure out how to use increased funding from the new infrastructure bill. We will advocate for greater investments in projects which support regional goals of equity, climate protection, health and mobility -- something more than simply building and expanding highways.
Close the Gap Campaigns - In 2021, we pushed for KCMO to close the gap between the Gillham Cycle Track, Brush Creek, and the Trolley Track Trail. In 2022, we want to identify and advocate for closing gaps between other important walking and biking facilities in our region.
Scooters and Public Space - We have continued to receive inquiries from partners and the public about how to effectively organize scooters so they don’t block sidewalks and become a safety hazard. We want to explore this issue further, and consider what other cities are doing to address this challenge.
Complete Streets Policies - In both Kansas and Missouri, BikeWalkKC has helped communities develop or update their legislation. Especially with new requirements on Complete Streets standards and designs coming via the federal infrastructure bill, that work will continue in 2022.
Statewide - Kansas
Statewide Active Transportation Plan - KDOT has been updating the state’s active transportation plan since last year, a process which is nearing completion. BikeWalkKC will support the rollout of the final version by helping to keep people informed of the latest developments.
Statewide - Missouri
Distracted Driving Legislation - As part of Missourians for Responsible Transportation, we have supported efforts to get stronger distracted driving legislation adopted in Jefferson City. Those efforts will continue during this legislative session.
Statewide Active Transportation Plan - Inspired by recent developments in Kansas, advocates in Missouri want leaders to begin developing a statewide active transportation plan as well. BikeWalkKC will support these efforts.
Active Transportation Funding - The infrastructure legislation adopted in DC last year included increases in funding and improvements in policy for active transportation. In 2022, we want to preserve those milestones and build upon them if possible. This could potentially include informing new rules around multimodal space on bridges, or different design guidelines communities can use.
Repealing Jaywalking + Complete Streets - Working with partners in KCMO and across Missouri, we have helped to make our region a leader on these issues. This year, we want to use our lessons learned on both of these fronts to help other communities take similar steps.
We are excited to continue working to make the Kansas City region a better place to walk, roll, and bike in 2021. Advocacy is a team sport, and that means working with new and existing partners to build a culture of active living throughout the region. If you have any questions about this or our other advocacy efforts, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Did you know? BikeWalkKC’s advocacy efforts are member-supported! You can lend your voice to our work by becoming a member today. And get the latest on bicycle- and pedestrian-related happenings when you subscribe to our newsletter!