Mile 2: BikeWalkKC rolls into 2012 with Kansas City BCycle and Safe Routes to School

Mile 10 Campaign - BikeWalkKC Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary! BikeWalkKC was officially launched in April 2011 as a nonprofit organization with a mission and purpose to serve the bi-state Kansas City metro area. We were Kansas City’s first professional advocacy and education organization dedicated to bicycling and walking.

We plan to spend the next 12 months celebrating accomplishments and, most importantly, focusing on a vision for Mile 20 and beyond. Through blog posts, e-news articles, and social media stories, you will learn more about BikeWalkKC and how your support was - and is - vital to our work.

Mile 2: BikeWalkKC rolls into 2012 with Kansas City BCycle and Safe Routes to School

In its second year, BikeWalkKC’s programs began to pick up speed. With experience in the technology and start-up worlds, our co-founders used a social entrepreneurship approach to building the new organization. They fueled progress initiated by individual advocates and leveraged partnerships to accelerate the movement already happening in the Kansas City region.

Bringing Bike Share to Kansas City

One of the first opportunities for our new organization was bringing a bike share system to KC. At the time there were barely a dozen bike share systems in the US, and only one owned and operated by another advocacy organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provided important seed money for business planning and technical analysis, and then further invested as the program’s first title sponsor. We also worked with local entrepreneur Jay Matlack, then owner of the Tricycle Transit pedicab company. Kansas City BCycle Powered by Blue KC launched in July, just in time for KC to host the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Now known as RideKC Bike, the program has grown into a bi-state regional system with increasingly deep integration with the rest of the RideKC transit system.

Building a Safe Routes to School Program

What eventually became one of the country’s largest Safe Routes to School programs started with just one school in Kansas City, MO’s Historic Northeast. Thanks to our first grant from the Health Forward Foundation, we partnered with Kansas City Public Schools’ James Elementary. Our experiences and lessons at James helped us develop a Safe Routes program template that has been replicated and expanded at dozens of schools across the bi-state metro area. 

The region’s first comprehensive Complete Streets

The City of Lee’s Summit adopted the region’s first Complete Streets policy, and it was one of the strongest and most comprehensive in the country at the time. It was the result of a years-long community planning process that started before BikeWalkKC, and was led by local family physician Dr. Ed Kraemer. The Lee’s Summit Livable Streets Advisory Board continues to be a citizen-led initiative, and was under the leadership of Eric Vaughan, BikeWalkKC’s Director of Bike Share, for several years.

Early recognition

The work of planning and starting up BikeWalkKC was recognized early on when Executive Director and Co-Founder Eric Rogers received a Regional Leadership award from the Mid-America Regional Council. It was the first time an active transportation advocate received the award. The recognition helped elevate walking and biking as essential aspects of a livable and connected region.

Port KC Offers $500 Challenge Gift to Fund LCI Scholarships! 

Mile 10 Gift Opportunity

June’s Mile 10 fundraising goal is to raise $1,000 for League Cycling Instructor (LCI) scholarships. Thanks to Port KC, we are halfway there! 

When Port KC heard about our efforts to encourage individuals from under-represented communities to become LCIs, they responded with a $500 challenge gift.

Your gift of $10 or more will make a difference. Answer Port KC’s challenge and help us meet our goal!

Your gift helps create a more inclusive cycling community. LCI ambassadors are role models who teach riding skills, safety, and confidence to new generations of cyclists. To ensure equity, access, and diverse representation, BikeWalkKC will provide scholarships to Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Your gift will help fund these scholarships (up to $500 each) and will help cover the costs of onsite childcare for LCI trainees. 

Make a gift today for a more inclusive cycling community!


Posted in BikeWalkKC News, Metro-wide, News.