New bike plan will save lives and boost the local economy

Economic Impact Analysis shows new bike master plan will save 36 lives every year, add $500 million to the regional economy, and create 12,000 jobs.

BikeWalkKC is working with researchers at UMKC to conduct an Economic Impact Assessment and a Health Impact Assessment of the new Bicycle Master Plan. Early results show some very tangible benefits to Kansas City’s economy and health.



Support the bike plan!

The new bike master plan gets a hearing at City Hall on April 11th 18th at 9:30 am! Let’s show our elected officials that there is strong support for approving the new bike plan.

KCMO residents, click here to contact Mayor James and your City Council members
Help us show our elected leaders there is strong support for the health, safety, sustainability, and economic returns that will come from investing in bikes.


UMKC Economic Impact Analysis of the Kansas City, MO Bicycle Master Plan: Summary of Findings

We can save 36 lives every year

A complete, connected bike network will calm streets and reduce all traffic crashes, not just bikes. Making it easier for people to drive less will improve air quality. Getting people more active will make people healthier. We estimate it will save 36 lives per year:

  • 15 lives saved by a 47% reduction in fatal crashes
  • 15 lives saved by getting Kansas Citians more active and healthier
  • 6 lives saved by improving air quality

Add $500 million to the KC economy

20-year increase in regional economic activity due to lives saved, lower health care costs, increased productivity, and a shift of spending from cars to local businesses and services. The total return on the city’s investment in new bike infrastructure far exceeds the estimated cost of tax dollars needed to build the bike network.

Create 12,600 new jobs

Generated by the increased economic activity. Not counting jobs created in construction of new bike infrastructure.

$400 increase in household incomes

The economic boost for Kansas City results in a $400 increase to the average household income.

37% of all KC car trips are under 3 miles

This is a very bikeable distance. Most of these trips are currently in cars, but are also the greatest opportunity to convert to bikes.

Bikes are about equity

  • Owning a car costs $9,000 a year. For a someone on Missouri’s minimum wage, that’s half of their income.
  • For many neighborhoods in KC, more than half of households do not have access to a car and need other options

Fight climate change

Transportation is the top source of greenhouse gas emissions in Kansas City. A fully-implemented bike network will reduce KC’s carbon footprint by up to 200,000 tons of CO2 per year.

There is latent demand for bike infrastructure

Kansas Citians are already biking more than would be expected by the existing built environment. This is a sign of high interest and latent demand. The lack of infrastructure is the major barrier to more biking.

About these estimates

Information shared above are preliminary results from UMKC researchers’ extensive assessment of the economic and health impacts of building the full bike network as proposed in the city’s draft bike master plan. A full policy brief with explanation of the methodology is available for download:

Michael Frisch, PhD, AICP
Joshua Boehm, AICP
Urban Planning + Design, University of Missouri Kansas City


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