Like many of you, we were alarmed to read the comments attributed to Councilwoman Teresa Loar, chair of the KCMO Transportation, Infrastructure, and Operations committee in The Kansas City Star over the weekend. Vulnerable road users deserve and desire the same priority as motorists on our streets. We have requested a meeting with Councilwoman Loar to better understand her perspective and share the stories of the people we hear from every day who are negatively impacted by the dangers posed by our city’s built environment.
2019 was one of the deadliest years on record for vulnerable road users in KCMO, with at least 36 crashes (that we’re aware of) and 14 cyclist/pedestrian deaths.
Beyond what we’ve already said and done, other advocates in the community are working to make their voices heard as well. This includes the petition to adopt both the bike plan and Vision Zero. We also encourage people to continue to contribute to the GoFundMe set up to support the family of Pablo Sanders, Jr.
The news over the weekend highlights issues we have already addressed with the bike plan in particular. As we have said in the past, the bike plan is not a zero-sum game, and has been mischaracterized because of the amount. We have not stopped setting the record straight and pushing City Council to take action to make our streets safer for everyone.
BikeWalkKC is taking action now to make sure the voices of vulnerable road users are heard.
2020 Advocacy Agenda
1. Getting the Bike Plan Adopted – The City has drafted a new bike master plan that still awaits approval from the new council. BikeWalkKC is committed to seeing the plan adopted by the full City Council.
2. Pushing for Vision Zero – A Vision Zero resolution will open the door to a systemic evaluation of the ways we can make our streets safe for everyone.
3. Getting our Priorities Funded – BikeWalkKC will advocate for funding to begin implementing the bike plan and staffing the bike/ped program in the fiscal year beginning May 1.
4. Replenishing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee – More than six months into the new City Council term, this important citizens committee is still waiting for a new chair appointed by the Mayor and members nominated by each City Councilmember.
What you can do
We’ve also heard from a number of folks in the community who are all asking the same question: “What can I do?”
Advocacy can be daunting, even for an issue you care deeply about. That is why BikeWalkKC is here to help!
We’ll be hosting an “Organizing for Advocacy” Meeting on Monday, January 13th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm for those who want to learn how to be better advocates. Click on the link here to learn more and register for the event.
BikeWalkKC remains committed to making our streets safe for everyone, regardless of their preferred mode of transportation. We look forward to working with you to make that vision a reality.