The City of North Kansas City has a virtual town hall on Tuesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. Read on to learn more and how you can share your thoughts on the improvements.
The purpose of the meeting will be to once again discuss the future of the Armour Road Complete Street improvements, which were implemented last fall. Since then, the city has conducted studies of safety (including crash data), traffic activity, and travel times before, during, and after construction. You can view all of that data here.
BikeWalkKC finds several items of particular interest:
- Even though the pandemic has led to a drop in people driving and walking (especially in retail/shopping areas), biking is way up. While more people are biking everywhere, the increase in biking on Armour outpaces other streets.
- If we look at bike share data for North Kansas City, we can see that what was essentially a highway environment a few years ago is now one of the most biked corridors in the City.
What raw numbers don’t tell us, however, is how people are using the new infrastructure. The traffic observation cameras used to count traffic in NKC gave us some insight into how people are moving around the community.
Sometimes people think of cyclists as a small demographic of sport riders, but the NKC’s Bicycle Master Plan focuses on riders of all ages and abilities. The mix of people we see walking, biking, and rolling in North Kansas City shows how diverse the community of riders is today:
NKC’s Bike Master Plan focuses on creating a “low-stress” network that is comfortable for people who are interested in biking, but concerned about safety. Camera footage shows how riders with different levels of experience and comfort make different decisions about how and where to ride. For example, in the video below a rider is comfortable in mixed traffic next to riders who choose the protection of the crosswalk:
On fully separated facilities like Diamond Parkway, parents and children feel safe and comfortable enough to ride together:
Camera footage also captures interactions between people walking, biking, and driving, and highlights how important improvements on Armour Road are to improve safety and comfort. For example, the cyclist in the video below is in mixed traffic and must swerve to avoid a turning car. Most casual cyclists will say "no thanks" to these potential risks:
People are using the new infrastructure in unexpected ways. Some bikers are using the crosswalk barriers as a makeshift “protected intersection,” choosing to turn left in two protected stages rather than merging across traffic. This encourages more cautious riders to ride.
Most sidewalks in the region are too narrow for effective social distancing, but with North Kansas City’s cycle track and protected bike lanes, footage shows there is plenty of room for cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians to safely pass one another:
At Armour and Swift, we can see some of the dangers of cars turning right on red. With the new crosswalk improvements at Armour and Iron, visibility of pedestrians is improved, and a tighter corner ensures that cars are making turns at safer speeds.
We believe the Armour Road Complete Street improvements have demonstrated safe and appealing features that make it more comfortable for all road users.
The public is invited to submit comments about the improvements; there are three ways to do so:
- Online — Submit a comment using the form on the City’s website
- Email — Send a comment via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include "Armour Road Complete Street" in the subject line
- Mail — Send a letter to City Hall, 2010 Howell St., North Kansas City, MO 64116
Please share your support for Armour Road's Complete Street improvements, making North Kansas City a safer, more inviting place to live, work, and play.