We’re Not the Only Ones Who Think We Should Have Road Diets in 2016

Road diets are vital for the mobility and the health of Kansas Citians. We know, we’ve been the ones telling you about that throughout the year. We wrote about it for the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. We’ve been working with the City Halls around the region to find opportunities for road diets on streets like Grand Boulevard Downtown. Lee’s Summit has already implemented several road diets.

And now our friends at The Pitch Weekly want road diets to be Kansas City’s New Year’s resolution for 2016.

Road diets are pretty simple. They require little more than planning and paint. They target wide streets, where vehicle traffic can be channeled into fewer lanes in order to adapt other parts of the road for parking, bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways. The concept makes streets safer for drivers, bike riders and those on foot.

Grand Boulevard, a perfect candidate for a road diet, is where city planners have intended to realign five lanes to three, for traffic from the River Market to Crown Center. Under this scenario, vehicles would travel each way in one lane, with a center lane reserved for left-turning traffic. The two excess lanes would be used for on-street parking, wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

Change in Kansas City, particularly to the way people drive cars, can be slow.

Buffered bike lane on a re-imagined Broadway Kansas City, MO

Buffered bike lane on a re-imagined Broadway Boulevard

We know. It gets better.

“Usually, at this stage, with our current budget, you’re looking at 30 years for us to resurface a road,” says Kansas City Public Works spokesman Sean Demory.

For supporters of the road-diet plan, three decades is too long.

You know we can DO better.

Donate now and help us continue to press the city on the Armour Boulevard and Grand Boulevard road diets, as well as creating a more timely plan to get the streets repainted and resized for people. Also, we are still very grateful for our major grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to help with our Safe Routes to School initiative and to create a solid biking and walking culture in under-served communities.

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