In an earlier blog post this week, we outlined steps we believe KCMO leadership can take to make real progress on installing bikeways in Kansas City. Many of you have asked what BikeWalkKC is doing and how you can help.
What BikeWalkKC is doing
Regular meetings with the City Manager, City Councilmembers, and city staff in the Planning, Public Works, and Parks Departments. We last met with the City Manager in December 2016 as the bike plan audit was coming out, and are working to get another meeting very soon.
BikeWalkKC Policy Director Eric Bunch is Mayor Sly James’ appointee to chair the city’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Under his leadership the committee is ramping up oversight of city bike projects and asking the City Council for dedicated bike/ped funding in the 2018-19 budget.
When City Hall planned to use a federal grant to repaint the sharrows on Armour Boulevard in Midtown, we worked with 4th District Councilmember Jolie Justus and neighborhood leaders to advocate for a road diet and protected bike lanes.
BikeWalkKC’s staff produced a free Bike Network Demand Analysis to help city planners and engineers decide where to prioritize investments. This project was $30,000 worth of work that BikeWalkKC did for City Hall for free.
Most recently we have filed an open records request via the Missouri Sunshine Law, seeking records of the city’s activities and expenditures on five bike lane projects (Downtown/Grand, Charlotte/Holmes, The Paseo, and Lexington/Gladstone).
Here are some things you can do right now:
- Contact your City Council person and ask them directly how they plan to move bicycle infrastructure forward this year.
- Request to meet with your City Council member to discuss this issue in person. Our “In Your Neighborhood” pages have information on regularly scheduled meetings by Council members of which we are aware. In-person meetings are best; phone calls and letters work well, too.
- Join the conversation on our Twitter and/or Facebook pages.
- If you’re not already, become a member of BikeWalkKC and/or make a donation to help us continue to advocate on your behalf.
Your elected officials need to hear from you that bikeways in KCMO are important!
Why Are Bikeways Important?
- Bikeways stimulate the economy.
- Bikeways support and encourage bicycling as a means of transportation, particularly for those who can not afford a car.
- Bikeways are safer for motorists, reducing the number of accidents and traffic incidents.
- Bikeways are safer for pedestrians, providing a buffer between thru-traffic and the sidewalks.
- Bikeways increase the comfort and safety of cyclists, many of whom are using their bikes to get to and from jobs, schools, shopping, and services.
- Bikeways increase the number of individuals riding, thereby decreasing pollution and improving overall public health.
- Bikeways are inexpensive to maintain, particularly since bikes cause significantly less wear-and-tear on roads than cars.
- Painted bike lanes are inexpensive and quick to install, with no major disruption to traffic flow. While we would obviously like to see protected bikeways throughout the city, we can and should start with the paint projects that have already been designed and funded.