Myths about the cost of the KCMO Bike Plan

As many have seen in the media recently, the new KCMO Bike Master Plan has been delayed at City Council because it has become a political fight pitting biking against housing.

This is a false choice based on a great deal of misinformation about the supposed $400 million that could be better spent on something else like affordable housing.

Here are the facts:

There is no choice between biking and housing; we can and should do both. Most of the proposed bike lane funding options (as outlined on pages 96-99 of the plan) would not otherwise go to housing. Killing the bike plan today would not free up a single dollar for housing, policing, or other services.

The $400 million price tag is an extreme estimate based on completely rebuilding streets, which would never happen. There are several ways that the City can and should work to build a more expansive bike network at a lower cost. We know this because we did some research on what other cities are doing. You can see that report on bike lane implementation here.

The plan will not be implemented overnight. Any significant change to an existing roadway would go through some sort of community planning process and be subject to budget appropriations.

This discussion is important, but the plan deserves to be evaluated and critiqued based on its contents, not misinformation that ignores what is actually in the plan.

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