Earlier this month Troy Schulte, the KCMO city manager, officially proposed an $800m general obligation bond to the city council. As proposed the city will use bond proceeds over the course of 20 years to repair and upgrade the city’s infrastructure.
Over a series of several blog posts we will outline our plan for how this bond funding could be used to make Kansas City a better place to walk and bike. In this post we will focus on our third recommendation.
G.O. Bond Recommendation 3: Update and Implement BikeKC
KCMO adopted the BikeKC Plan over a decade ago. In the ensuing years the state of the practice has changed dramatically. The methods by which planners select routes for improvements is now far more precise and sophisticated. Bikeway design too has become more progressive thanks to a growing library of national guidelines and manuals. And there is a litany of data illustrating the many benefits of bikeway networks.
So, in line with our first recommendation, BikeWalkKC urges city council to update the BikeKC Plan and create a comprehensive bicycle master plan. This will establish a strategic decision-making framework to ensure that investments in the bikeway network will have the most impact on ridership, safety, and livability.
In the meantime, G.O. Bond proceeds should be set aside to implement top priority bikeway projects. There is enough in the pipeline to guide a 5-year plan for how the bond should support biking:
- Support any shortfalls in budget or scope of the federally funded
bikeway projects (Grand, Armour, Lexington, Paseo, 11th/12th, etc.)
- Design and build all bikeways recommended by the city’s Planning Sustainable Places grants (Gillham, Broadway, 43rd, etc.)
- Identify and close any key gaps in the growing network of bikeways.
The proposed G.O. Bond is a once in a generation opportunity to make a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community. Let’s work to make sure we seize it.