Sidewalks KC was a year-long project to engage residents and community leaders in a conversation about our sidewalk network, its challenges, and the inequalities in its funding mechanism. Project partners included BikeWalkKC, The Whole Person, NEAT Northeast Alliance Together, and the Midtown KC Post.
We produced this final report with five policy recommendations. Sidewalks KC then transitioned into a City Hall task force, led by Councilman Scott Wagner, which included $150 million for sidewalks in the 2017 GO KC infrastructure bond.
1. Develop a Sidewalk Action Plan in order to systematically address the highest priority walkability needs
The Sidewalks KC partnership worked with a City Hall task force led by Councilman Scott Wagner to create a prioritization system. Sidewalk improvement decision now take into consideration income inequality, Safe Routes to School, and access to transit, libraries, groceries, and other services.
2. Reduce the financial burden on property owners for maintaining adjacent sidewalks
In 2017 the City Council made a significant policy change that transferred the financial responsibility for sidewalks from property owners to City Hall. All existing sidewalk assessments were cancelled.
3. Explore all potential funding mechanisms for sidewalks and adopt priorities into the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan
The 2017 GO KC Infrastructure bond included $150 million for sidewalks over the next 20 years, a small but important first step to meeting the $1 billion need to bring good sidewalks to all Kansas City residents.
4. Update the Walkability Plan
The 2003 Walkability Plan is due for an update, and we continue advocating for this at City Hall.
5. Develop street design standards that represent best practice for walkability.
This task is also required by the City's 2018 Complete Streets policy, and continue to advocate for City Hall to do this.