Last Thursday, the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County took an important step towards building safer streets for everyone in their community. Following a presentation by the UG Planning Department, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance!
We wish to extend our gratitude to the members of the Board of Commissioners for supporting this measure and making a commitment to build a safer, more reliable transportation system in the midst of a global pandemic.
We’d also like to thank UG staff, with particular attention to our partners in the planning department as well as the public health department.
Most importantly, we are sincerely thankful to our partners who provided input on the legislation, spoke in favor of the measure at the standing committee, offered letters of support, and more. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- AARP, Kansas Chapter
- American Heart Association
- Armourdale Renewal Association
- Central Avenue Betterment Association
- Dotte Agency
- El Centro, Inc.
- Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition
- Groundwork NRG
- Health Forward Foundation
- KC Healthy Kids
- KC Physical Activity Plan Work Group
- NBC CDC
- Rosedale Development Association
- The Whole Person
- Wyandot Behavioral Health Network
While we are happy to celebrate this successful advocacy campaign, we know that more lies ahead. There are two key issues that will need to be addressed.
Reforming the Infrastructure Action Team (IAT): The IAT currently functions as a subgroup of the Healthy Communities Wyandotte Policy Committee, specifically working to guide the committee’s efforts on improving transportation and infrastructure in KCK. The ordinance designates the IAT as the permanent advisory committee for the implementation of Complete Streets, but some changes must be made to both the makeup and approach of the IAT to enable the team to take on this new responsibility.
Aligning the Ordinance with Ongoing Planning Efforts: A longer term strategy will be ensuring the new legislation helps to guide plans being developed. The policy, combined with these plans, creates the environment that allows good multimodal projects to advance. The biggest example of this will be the forthcoming work on the countywide mobility plan, which should get started in the near future.
BikeWalkKC has been working with our partners to get a Complete Streets ordinance adopted in Kansas City, Kansas for some time, so this is a welcome development. We are eager to work with UG residents and leaders to build a safer, stronger, and more reliable transportation system for everyone.