Last week, 3rd District Councilmember Melissa Robinson introduced legislation (KCMO Ordinance 210966) that would remove bike lanes from the 3rd District, prioritize neighborhood associations over other community stakeholders when making decisions about future bikeway projects, and exempt the 3rd District from the city’s Complete Streets ordinance.
We agree with the Councilmember that City Hall persistently fails to engage residents about new projects, failures that go far beyond bike lanes. We’ve been telling City Hall it’s a problem for years. We believe there are better solutions than the drastic actions proposed in the legislation.
- Update the Complete Streets policy, don’t gut it.
National best practices have evolved since City Hall adopted its current policy in 2017. BikeWalkKC has worked with several communities around the region and the state to craft modern Complete Streets policies that include better community engagement - including analysis of unintended consequences like gentrification.
- Adopt the bike plan and its community engagement elements
The long-delayed plan includes several improvements in how City Hall educates and engages residents on bike lanes and bike-related issues. The plan also calls for adequately staffing and resourcing the parts of City Hall tasked with engaging the community.
We don’t have to choose between creating safe streets or prioritizing community engagement. We can and should do both.
Email your City Councilmember, attend a public meeting, and make sure your friends and colleagues in the 3rd District know about this important issue. Find you City Councilmemeber here.
Councilmember Robinson has scheduled public meetings to gather community feedback about Ordinance 210966.
- An in-person meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 1, at 6:00 p.m. at the Robert Mohart Multipurpose Center, 3200 Wayne.
- Virtual opportunities are scheduled for Wednesday, November 3, at 6:00 p.m. and Thursday, November 18, 10 a.m. Join the Zoom meetings here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83227877600