By Eric Vaughan, Director of Bike Share and Business Services
Up until now, installing a bike rack in Kansas City’s public right of way was a time consuming and costly undertaking. BikeWalkKC has been working with the City of Kansas City, MO on reforming the bike rack permitting process since 2012. We have always believed that bike racks are a public amenity and local governments should make it easy for local businesses and residents to install these for the public. On Feb. 12, the KCMO City Council voted to approve a new process for bike racks to help incentivize more private participation in procuring these public amenities. Small businesses and residents are now empowered to make small changes such as bike racks, that can have a big impact.This new bike rack permitting ordinance brings Kansas City one step closer to being up to speed with many other peer communities from across the country by making the process for bike rack installations more convenient and less costly. The ordinance goes into effect on February 20, 2018.
The previous process put property owners through a cumbersome encroachment permit process. The encroachment process simply was not designed for bike racks, and projects were either delayed by many months or often abandoned altogether due to the extreme burden of the encroachment process. It was not uncommon for a single bike rack to take more than six months for approval. It was also more costly than most property owners were willing to undertake: each permit required an up-front $196 processing fee followed by more annually occurring fees based on number of racks and square footage. This cost was high enough to easily double the price of a small community bike rack project.
The new bike rack permit process will allow for anyone to fill out a streamlined application for just $25 with no additional annually occurring fees. The city will then work with applicants to ensure that racks and rack placement are properly designed and adhere to local standards.
Need help getting a bike rack? BikeWalkKC’s FREE Bike Parking Consulting helps businesses and residents navigate Kansas City’s bike parking standards and permits, recommend quality bike racks to best meet their needs, as well as site-visits and design layouts.