Last night, the North Kansas City City Council held a special public meeting to discuss the recent “complete street” improvements to Armour Road, to decide then and there whether to rip out the changes less than a month after they were completed.
The meeting, and its outcome, came down to numbers:
- Grassroots organizers in support (thanks to a combination of resident-led door knocking and online outreach) were able to get 672 petition signatures by Tuesday afternoon.
- By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, public testimony supported keeping the Complete Streets project in place.
- After nearly three hours of testimony and debate, the City Council voted unanimously to keep the changes in place for the next six months, pending an evaluation in late Spring 2020.
Last night’s outcome showed the power of individuals coming together and speaking up for the things they want to see in their community. We want to give a huge thanks to every individual who wrote a letter, sent an email, went door-to-door, and sat through a marathon City Council meeting. Because of your actions, the Armour Road project will have time to prove itself as a vital part of North Kansas City’s vision for a livable, sustainable, and prosperous city. In particular, there are several people and organizations we want to thank:
- First and foremost, thank you to the NKC City Council and Mayor for giving the project time and a chance to prove itself.
- Second, thank you to NKC resident Kathy West and the group of organizers in North Kansas City who got the word out to the community, by grassroots organizing and encouraging people to show up to the meeting.
- Third, thank you so much to our partners who stepped up to share why these improvements are important, not just for the City of North Kansas City, but for their respective missions as well: AARP, American Heart Association, Bridging the Gap, Children’s Mercy – Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition, Health Forward Foundation, KC Healthy Kids, MOCSA, and the Rabbit hOle.
- Thanks to NKC city staff, first responders, residents, and business owners who guided the planning and implementation of the improvements to Armour Road
- Finally, thank you again to all of you! Every email, every signature, and every voice at the meeting on Tuesday night was crucial to convincing the City Council that this project matters and that it deserves a real chance to prove itself. We wouldn’t be writing these words without all of your support. Thank you!
So, now that the project is in place for the next six months, what are the next steps?
- The City Council voted to hold off on any major changes to the project for the next six months. Our understanding is that the official date for reassessment is early June 2020.
- The City will work to address handicapped parking issues that were brought up during the meeting, specifically the spot in front of the post office. City staff will give the Council regular updates as they collect data on traffic, safety, speeds, etc. We will monitor those changes and send out additional information if necessary.
This is a big win for Complete Streets in the metro, but the work is just beginning. Everything that people did, be it organizing, using the facilities, or praising the project on social media, has to continue in earnest to ensure this project remains in place. BikeWalkKC will continue to advocate for cyclists, pedestrians, and projects like this, but we will need your help to continue to have success like this.
BikeWalkKC’s advocacy work is made possible with the generous support of our members. Join the growing coalition of individuals, businesses, and partners fighting for better biking, walking. and transit in the Kansas City region.