Last week, North Kansas City began construction on the first phase of its Armour Road Complete Streets Plan.
This first phase of work extends from Ozark to Fayette Streets and includes a road diet (reducing the number of travel lanes), decorative crosswalks, new bump outs and medians, and new protected bike lanes.
Armour Road is the most important east-west connector in North Kansas City, linking the downtown area, major employers, and numerous destinations. The improvements under construction now will have a big impact on the safety and comfort for those who walk and bike on the street and extend the inviting atmosphere of Downtown North Kansas City further east.
Armour Road improvements come quickly on the heels of the Diamond Parkway cycle track. A wide, two-way protected bike lane running through North Kansas City’s One North redevelopment area, the cycle track provides riders tall and small a safe and convenient connection from 16th Avenue to Armour Road east of I-29/35.
There are more projects in the pipeline. North Kansas City has secured federal grant funding and engineering is underway to improve Burlington Street, including a two-way protected cycle track on the east side of the street.
As these major projects move forward, North Kansas City is working to ensure that street improvements coordinate as part of a comprehensive network that connects and serves all parts of the community. To that end, North Kansas City is working with BikeWalkKC and other partners to develop a Bike Master Plan. This effort will support safer streets, more inviting public spaces, and better access to North Kansas City destinations for everyone to enjoy.
City leaders know that safer streets are a means to achieve their larger goals: a healthy, happy, and growing community. “One of our biggest priorities was to create a plan that would provide guidance for a connected bike network. We have new apartments under construction on Diamond Parkway, and we want the residents to be able to bike all the way to downtown North Kansas City where they can find services, restaurants, and shopping,” says Sara Copeland, Community Development Director for North Kansas City.
North Kansas City is incorporating community feedback and education into every step of the process. At their first public meeting in June, consultants created a temporary bike lane along Clark Ferguson Drive, demonstrated e-bikes and scooters, and offered attendees a chance to create their own ideal streets with engagement boards. “We asked people where they bike now, and where would they like to bike if they felt safer doing so,” reports Christina Hoxie, Community Planner and Founder of Hoxie Collective, a consultant on the project. “We want to connect people to services, opportunities, and recreation.” Attendees also offered important reminders about balancing bicycle and pedestrian safety with industrial operations and prioritizing bike lane maintenance.
The eventual Bike Master Plan will be customized for North Kansas City, with performance metrics to help the City measure its progress, a cost estimate, and an implementation plan.
There are still great opportunities to participate in the process over the summer and fall. Sara Copeland invites you to step right up: “We are having a lot of fun doing this project, because riding bikes is fun! Our recent community workshop was one of the most fun we’ve had in my career. The second one, coming up September 7th, is going to be even more fun. We’re injecting the fun quotient into community planning.” Whether you live, work, eat, study, shop, play, or just ride in North Kansas City, your voice is important in creating a bike plan for everyone. See you on September 7th!
NKC Bike Master Plan Community Workshop
Saturday, Sept. 7th 9:30-11:30 AM
North Kansas City Parks and Rec Department
Note: BikeWalkKC is a consultant partner working with the City of North Kansas City to create a Bike Master Plan