2022 was an exciting year on the policy front. Advocacy is a team sport, and working with our neighbors like yourself enabled BikeWalkKC to accomplish big things at the local, state, and national levels. 2023 creates new opportunities and ways for us to build upon the work we’ve done.
2023 is also an election year in KCMO. All 12 council seats and the mayor’s office are on the ballot. We’ll have additional materials with those which we’ll release soon, so stay tuned!
Build Community Advocacy Capacity - BikeWalkKC continues to see success in helping individuals and groups advocate for improvements in their communities. Especially as communities begin to identify and pursue projects across multiple jurisdictions, it will be more important than ever to support people on the ground as they speak up for active transportation.
E-Bike Rebate Program - Following the success of the e-bike incentive and rebate programs in many cities and states around the US, we want to bring something similar to the Kansas City area. We will work with local government agencies and other stakeholders to identify a program and funding source that will work for our bi-state metro area.
Transit Sales Tax Renewal - One of the key funding sources for transit in KCMO will be up for renewal with a public vote in 2023, and BikeWalkKC wants to see that preserved. We’ll be partnering with the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance and others to campaign for renewal of this important transit funding source.
Kansas City, MO
Walkability Plan Update - The current walkability plan is old! It dates from 2003 and is long overdue for an update. In 2022, BikeWalkKC conducted outreach to stakeholders and partners to get input on what is needed in a new plan. In 2023, we will advocate for the City Council to prioritize and fund a new, updated walkability plan.
Vision Zero Funding - KCMO’s initial budget of $500,000/year for Vision Zero safety improvements is a great start, but falls far short of the need to make all of our streets as safe as they can be. BikeWalkKC will advocate for a significant increase in funding to accelerate Vision Zero implementation.
Neighborhood Capacity Building - Neighborhoods across the city report ongoing challenges navigating City Hall bureaucracy to advocate projects that improve safety and accessibility. We will partner with communities to help grow their capacity to advocate for themselves at City Hall.
KC Spirit Playbook & KC Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan - Both of these plans provide strong support for walking, biking, and transit - thanks to the voices of advocates like you. Now it is time to start implementing both plans. BikeWalkKC will identify and begin to push for the adoption and implementation of policies, plans, and projects identified in each of these documents.
Midtown Complete Streets (39th Street) - At Midtown Complete Streets community meeting in 2022, residents and community leaders identified key portions of the plan they want to see implemented. Their first priority is traffic safety improvements along 39th Street. BikeWalkKC will work with neighborhood leaders and other stakeholders to identify and push for those improvements.
Trails KC Plan Update - Thanks to a resolution adopted by the City Council in September, staff will begin work on updating the Trails KC Plan to identify new connections in our system, new funding opportunities, and more. We will work to make sure residents and key stakeholders are involved in the process.
Kansas City, KS
Implementing goDotte Strategic Mobility Plan - Last summer the UG finalized the goDotte Strategic Mobility Plan, the first comprehensive transportation planning document of its kind in Wyandotte County. BikeWalkKC was involved in shaping portions of the document, and we will spend much of 2023 helping residents and staff implement some of the initial portions of the plan.
Community Connections and Trails Coalition - In 2023, KCK residents and regional partners organized a workshop with the League of American Bicyclists. The purpose of this event was to determine how to make Wyandotte County a Bike Friendly Community. A big part of that effort will involve changing the culture around biking and walking, and BikeWalkKC will assist our partners in making that change possible.
Leawood - In 2022 we worked with Leawood advocates to successfully lobby for a crosswalk policy and construction of new crosswalks. Now, with growing interest in multimodal safety and a potential update to the city’s Pedestrian and Bike Master Plan forthcoming, there is an additional opportunity to help advocates make Leawood safer for people who walk and bike.
Riverside - BikeWalkKC worked with community leaders and staff in Riverside to help them develop and adopt a Complete Streets policy. Along with planning staff, the policy team will help the community take steps to begin implementing this policy as part of its broader work on updating its comprehensive plan.
Independence - With a new federal grant to improve Noland Road, a newly-elected City Council champion, a growing interest in walking and biking, and expansion of our Safe Routes to School program, there is momentum building for Independence to become more bike/ped friendly.
Statewide - Kansas
Support Implementation of Statewide Active Transportation Plan - Last year KDOT updated their statewide active transportation plan for the first time in 20 years. With help from partner organizations and everyday advocates like you, we helped to create an updated plan which positions the state well to better support walking, rolling, and biking. This year, BikeWalkKC will again collaborate with orgs and individuals to support the implementation of this plan.
Collaborate with KDOT on federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill - In 2022 we convened a meeting with KDOT and Kansas bike/ped organizations to strategize how to leverage several new federal funding sources to improve walking and biking. In 2023 we will support projects that access these funds for communities in Kansas..
Statewide - Missouri
Development of Statewide Active Transportation Plan - BikeWalkKC and our partners with Missourians for Responsible Transportation met with MoDOT leaders late last year to discuss this and other issues with active transportation in the Show-Me State. We will be working with MoDOT to create a scope for a forthcoming plan, and identifying additional opportunities for people to get involved.
Distracted Driving Legislation - Missouri remains one of only two states without comprehensive distracted driving legislation on the books. BikeWalkKC has been part of a statewide coalition working to address this for the last couple of years. We’re hopeful we can make more progress in Jefferson City this year.
In Missouri we work closely with other local advocacy groups through Missourians for Responsible Transportation (MRT), a collaboration of BikeWalkKC, Trailnet in St. Louis, Ozark Greenways in Springfield, and Local Motion in Columbia. MRT leads our efforts on statewide advocacy in Jefferson City and provides a suite of urban planning and public policy services to rural communities across the state.
Aligning Climate and Transportation - Transportation is our nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and the largest source of emissions in our region. Yet there remains a gap between transportation advocacy and broader sustainability advocacy. Over the course of 2023, BikeWalkKC will look for more ways to align our efforts with broader sustainability policy at the local, regional, and federal levels.
Decriminalizing Mobility - Building off of the How-To Guide and the working paper “Breaking the Cycle”, BikeWalkKC will continue working with national partners and active transportation organizations in communities across the country to support efforts to repeal and modify laws which disproportionately harm Black and Brown road users while failing to contribute to their safety.
As the year progresses, we will post quarterly updates on these efforts. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to get involved!
If you have any questions about our 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!