We are happy that the City of KCMO has now launched Open Streets KC. This will create a number of ways and places for people to effectively spread out and engage in physical activity for the duration of the stay-at-home order, currently set to expire on May 15.
What does Open Streets KC include?
- Neighborhood Open Streets Permit: Similar to block party permits, but without the party, this permit is streamlined to be easy and accessible for neighborhoods or residents to apply at no cost and without signature requirements. The permit is now available in CompassKC.
- Automatic Walk Signals: This change at over 100 intersections will make pedestrian signals automatically give a walk signal without someone having to press a button. Check out the list of intersections affected here.
- Local Traffic Only Road Closures: Creating additional space for people to effectively spread out and adhere to social distancing guidelines. This effort will start on Thursday, April 23, 2020 and will still allow local traffic and emergency vehicles to operate. These will be set up on parts of Kenwood Avenue near Gillham Park and Brookside Road (Trolley Track Trail area, in a north section and south section).
- Pedestrian-Exclusive Parks: KCMO Parks has already set up barriers to sections of roads in Swope and Blue Valley parks as a means of allowing people to spread out and not clog up the sidewalks and trails those spaces have to offer.
- Additional Temporary Closure: KCMO Public Works and Port KC have joined forces to temporarily close Riverfront Drive near Berkley Riverfront Park.
Our recent blog post outlined the reasons why we should work to create space for people throughout the region during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to the options we mentioned, we also asked our friends and partners to reach out to their elected officials to ask them to make #SpaceForPeopleKC, and dozens of you did.
That push led Mayor Quinton Lucas, 6th District At-Large City Councilwoman Andrea Bough, and former BikeWalkKC Policy Director Eric Bunch to introduce Resolution #200277, directing the city manager to develop an emergency pedestrian plan to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on trails, sidewalks, and parks. The measure was ultimately adopted by the full City Council.
We appreciate the efforts of KCMO elected officials, city staff, and community advocates who came together to make this happen. We especially want to thank the BikeWalkKC members who wrote letters to City Hall for their successful advocacy For more information about KCMO Open Streets, please reach out to Maggie Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support. Similar to many non-profits and small businesses, BikeWalkKC’s financial sustainability has been threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are able to, please consider making a donation or purchasing a membership for yourself, your household, or your organization. Any amount helps, and we appreciate your support at this difficult time.