What’s in the KCMO Bike Plan? Part Three: From Paper to the Pavement

This is the last Feel Good Friday where we’ll be discussing the KCMO Bike Plan. Read on to learn more!

The City of KCMO is considering adoption of an update to the Ride KC Bike Master Plan. There’s a lot of information in this new plan, but what does it all mean?

Before we jump in, we want to give you an update of where the plan is in the legislative process:

  • The plan was brought before the KCMO Parks Board on February 26. It was adopted unanimously.
  • Next, the plan went before the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) on March 4. It was also adopted unanimously.
  • On March 19, the plan went before the City Plan Commission. Once again, it was adopted unanimously.
  • The plan is now scheduled to go to a joint City Council committee between the Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. That committee will meet to conisder the plan on Thursday, April 11.
  • If it is adopted there, it will then go to the full City Council for consideration.

In the second installment of the series, we explored the state of bicycling in KCMO and some of the future aspects of the network. You can also read the first installment of the series, which discusses the circumstances that necessitated the update.

In the final part of the series (don’t worry; we won’t split it in two), we’ll examine the final three chapters of the bike plan (there are seven in all).

Chapter Five discusses how the network outlined in the plan will be implemented. Because full implementation will take years to complete, the Bike Plan identifies strategies and action steps for proactive implementation over the next five years.

The plan envisions accomplishing this task with a number of tactics, including:

  • Employing a “quick build” methodology in line with efforts undertaken in places such as Seville, Spain and Calgary, Alberta;
  • Following the 5-Year Priority Network to shrink the cost range from $387-418 million to $22-98 million; and
  • Maintenance and operations conducted by interdepartmental collaboration, annual project prioritization, and additional staff.

Chapter Six goes further, exploring potential end-of-trip facilities, programs, and policies. Beyond the individual projects, the City must create a supportive atmosphere of active transportation through policies which prioritize active transportation, protect vulnerable road users, and provide opportunities to educate, engage, and excite citizens about bicycling.

Some elements of this system, as identified by the bike plan, include:

  • Creating a citywide “request a rack” program and additional multimodal parking initiatives;
  • Educational programming that supports safe riding (such as Safe Routes to School) and temporary street demonstrations to develop community understanding around bicycling; and
  • Citywide policies that cover topics such as comprehensive transportation and mobility, Vision Zero, and innovative technology applications.

Chapter Seven finishes the plan by identifying measures of success. The network and the supporting apparatus are important, but is also imperative that we have some way of determining whether we’re really making progress. To that end, the final chapter notes that the City must ensure the bicycle program is managed and modified with the insight of performance targets and trends over time.

To that end, the chapter lays out what some of these indicators for progress should be, such as:

  • Becoming a League of American Bicyclists Friendly Community at the Silver Level by 2024;
  • Increasing annual citizen satisfaction of ongoing bicycle infrastructure; and
  • Annually tracking centerline miles of implemented infrastructure and expenditures on Bike KC programs.

The bike plan is an ambitious attempt to dramatically shift how people in Kansas City move from one place to another. While the plan is specifically geared towards bikes (no pun intended), the implications reach far beyond the transportation realm, touching everything from health to safety, to economic development, equity, and the environment.

If you haven’t already, please sign the petition in support of the bike plan! You can also learn more about the bike plan by visiting the page on the City of KCMO’s website.

Did you know? BikeWalkKC’s advocacy efforts are member-supported! You can lend your voice to our work by becoming a member today. And get the latest on bicycle- and pedestrian-related happenings when you subscribe to our newsletter!

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