Mayor Mark Holland recently provided this update on progress in Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte. Several exciting things are happening in the community that support Mayor Holland’s goal improving the health of KCK by getting people moving.
- More on-street bike lanes coming to 10th and 12th Streets
- Celebration of the first segment of levee trail and a new dialogue with levee districts about future trails
- Completion of the bi-state Riverfront Heritage Trail
- $131,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to support KCK’s 20/20/20 Movement – building 20 new miles of sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails by 2020.
BikeWalkKC is excited for the momentum building in KCK and grateful for the Mayor’s leadership as one of the biggest bike/ped champions in the metro area. This progress is happening because of a strong collaboration between the community’s government, residents, businesses, and neighborhoods.
In addition this great list of accomplishments, BikeWalkKC is proud to be partnering with the Unified Government on a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program at ten schools in the KCK and Turner School Districts. Many of the 20 miles of new sidewalks coming by 2020 will connect schools with neighborhoods. Over the last two years our Wyandotte County Safe Routes to School has more than doubled the number of kids walking and biking to school!
As you move about KCK this summer looking for places to stretch your legs and take in some natural beauty, consider a walk along the Kaw River. Earlier this month, I attended our community’s first-ever “Levee Fest,” an event designed to draw attention to the Armourdale Levee Trail west of 18th Street Expressway. That leg is just 1.3 miles, a mere fraction of the 10 miles we want to see opened along the Kaw and Missouri rivers. But it’s a start, and it signals my commitment to creating an infrastructure throughout Wyandotte County that promotes healthy activity.
To do that, we must continue our efforts to work with the Kaw Valley and Fairfax Drainage Districts to open the levees for hiking and biking. There’s no question in my mind that we can balance recreation and healthy living with protecting our city and its industries from floods. I’m pleased to say the Unified Government and the Drainage Districts have opened up a dialogue and are now working together constructively to make sure both interests are represented.
The Kansas City area’s Heritage Trail is a great example of what happens when various sectors work together to build a common community asset. On Wednesday, I joined other leaders from across the region to celebrate the trail’s completion – a 15-mile bi-state pedestrian and bicycle pathway – that winds from the Missouri River through numerous historic neighborhoods and sites. It involved contributions from hundreds of people working across jurisdictions. Governments, businesses, and nonprofits came together to build something that, frankly, is long overdue in the Kansas City metro area.
The UG is part of that regional effort. In addition to creating a trail along the levees, we have also begun construction of a bridge that will connect Kaw Point Park to the Heritage Trail. We recently received a $131,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to support efforts to build 20 miles of new sidewalks, bicycle pathways and trails by the year 2020. And we are nearing completion of bicycle lanes on 10th and 12th streets that will stretch from the Kaw to the Quindaro neighborhood.
Advancing the health of our community is one of my administration’s signature priorities. This involves promoting access to quality health care as much as giving people opportunities to engage in healthy behaviors. We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and a robust trail system is an essential part of that effort.