BikeWalkKC has sought to raise awareness around the shortcomings and opportunities the KC metro faces with regards to climate change. In addition to the release of our second policy brief on the intersection of the environment and transportation, we also participated in the climate strike organized by Sunrise Movement KC. We took both steps in the hope that our leaders will begin to realize the gravity of the situation and what they need to do about it.
Earlier this week, Climate Action KC rolled out their Climate Action Playbook. The playbook takes some major cues from Paul Hawken’s Drawdown, which posits that “available technologies and processes, when fully developed, can reverse current climate trends, while creating more prosperous, healthy and resilient communities.” The playbook works to break those elements down in a way that is more fitting for a region like Kansas City.
BikeWalkKC was invited to be a part of this effort, particularly for contributions to the transportation section. The final version of the document identifies several strategies that we believe all communities should implement to create a safer, more sustainable place for people to walk, bike, and use transit, including:
- Complete Streets
- Reducing Minimum On-Site Parking
- Transit-Oriented Development
- Safe Routes to School
- Creating Cycling Networks
It’s great to see more people actively looking for ways to decrease our region’s carbon footprint, but unfortunately the playbook and its rollout seriously lacks diversity, equity, and inclusion. Communities of color and low-income communities deserve to have active leadership roles in these conversations because they represent the people and places that suffer the greatest and most immediate harm with a changing climate. It is our sincere hope that the leaders of this group will make stronger efforts to collaborate with the most vulnerable among us and add equity as a foundational component of KC’s climate action plan
Ultimately, we want to make sure that the region as a whole takes full advantage of the guidance from this playbook as well as the expertise from our ranks. To that end, we intend to remain involved with the process, through participation with some of the advisory committees, outreach to individual communities, and connecting our partners with this process as well.
The climate crisis requires all of us to pitch in and do more now. BikeWalkKC is ready to work.
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!