by Michael Kelley, Policy Coordinator
Well, it took a three-hour session, two trips to City Hall, and one wooden bow tie, but… KCMO is getting Complete Streets!
Yesterday, the Complete Streets ordinance came up for a vote before the City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and passed, which we were expecting. The ordinance was co-sponsored by 9 council members and the mayor, and had been developed in collaboration with the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and city staff. What we were not expecting was for the committee to vote to advance the measure. What this means is that the committee (of which all five members had signed on as co-sponsors of the ordinance) voted to send the measure immediately to the full council, which happened to be meeting later in the afternoon.
Later that afternoon, most of us who were in attendance that morning went back to City Hall to see the full council approve the measure. When the Complete Streets ordinance came up for a vote, two council members (Taylor and Canady) signed on as co-sponsors from the floor. Then the vote came…and the measure passed! The vote was unanimous, with all 12 council members and the mayor voting for a better street network for Kansas City.
There are so many people that deserve thanks for helping to make this happen. BikeWalkKC wants to thank the Complete KC founding coalition partners, American Heart Association-Kansas City and KC Healthy Kids. We also thank the numerous organizations and individuals that submitted letters of support for the ordinance, including AARP Kansas City, the Black Healthcare Coalition, Bridging the Gap, Children’s Mercy Kansas City – Center for Childhood Safety, Children’s Mercy Kansas City – Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition, LISC of Greater Kansas City, the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, Patricia Mansur, North Kansas City Schools, and Scooter World.
We also thank the numerous citizens who came out to City Hall yesterday to speak up for Complete Streets. Your words showed the committee how Complete Streets are good for health, equity, mobility and the disabled, the environment, and quality of life.
And last but certainly not least, we thank everyone who reached out to the committee and the Council to support Complete Streets. This was a community-driven effort and it simply would not have been possible without all of you. Thank you so much!
Our next steps will be to ensure the smooth and timely implementation of Complete Streets for all. The primary focus for BikeWalkKC, along with our partners at Complete KC, will be community engagement in order to help everyone understand what this legislation means and how it will change our streets for the better. The passage of the ordinance was an important first step, but there is plenty of work that remains. With the support of all of you, however, we can achieve our goal of better streets for everyone.
So, if you’re wondering why today is a particularly special #FeelGoodFriday, it’s because Christmas came early, in the form of Complete Streets for Kansas City!