Last week City Hall released a proposed budget that includes some promising progress on walking and biking. In addition to the annual budget for the fiscal year starting May 1st, there is a five year capital improvement plan (CIP) that schedules infrastructure projects into the future.
Check out some highlights below, and then please help us speak up at the upcoming budget hearings.
Zero Fare Transit
The big news: a significant boost in transit funding to make KCMO the largest city in the US to eliminate fares for bus riders.
Complete Streets Fund
A dedicated fund for bikeway and pedestrian projects. $500,000 was allocated in the current budget, and the new budget continues this fund for the next five years. It’s a good start, and the money could go even further if we moved from a top-heavy capital projects approach to a nimble quick-build strategy.
$32 million for sidewalks
Five more years of the GO KC repair program, which was approved by voters in 2017. Thanks to the support of our dues-paying members, BikeWalkKC was able to successfully advocate for $150 million for sidewalks.
ADA compliance for curb cuts and traffic signals
The budget includes $10 million over five years to continue replacing curb cuts with accessible ramps and adding audible pedestrian signals. 2,000 curbs and 400 traffic signals still need to be made accessible.
Street sweeping for bike lanes
Keeping the growing network of bike lanes clear of glass, debris, and other hazards has been a challenge in recent years. Dedicated funding for this maintenance should be a big help.
Adding bikeways when a street is repaved is the most cost-effective strategy, but the city has historically underfunded street repairs. The new budget starts to address the underfunding, but there is still a long way to go.
Riverfront Bike/Ped Bridge (2022)
The city is providing some funds for adding a dedicated bike/ped bridge between the River Market and Berkley Riverfront Park, next to the Grand Blvd viaduct. This is part of the future extension of the KC Streetcar to the riverfront.
Design for future sidewalk improvements at schools: Hale Cook in KCPS and Gracemore, Davidson, and Maplewood elementary schools in the North KC district.
A few other projects’ funding in the coming years:
- Northland Trail projects, including KCI Corridor, Route 152, and Second Creek
- Raytown Road Complete Streets project from 87th to I-470 (2025)
- 22nd/23rd Street reconstruction with bikeways from Benton to I-70 (2023)
- Gregory Boulevard reconstruction with sidewalks and bikeway from I-435 to Blue Ridge Road (2023)
Speak up for active transportation in the city budget
The draft budget is a good start, but the City Council must see there is strong public support if we want to ensure these things make it into the final budget. Please visit our advocacy alerts page to contact your City Councilmember and then speak up at a city budget hearing.