UPDATE: When this ordinance was debated at City Council on December 8, 2021, 1st District Councilmember Heather Hall proposed making it apply to the entire city. This means that existing and future bike facilities are at risk. Here’s how you can take action to save Complete Streets and Vision Zero in KC:
- Call your councilmembers and express your firm opposition.
- Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Oppose 210966”.
- Attend the next transportation committee meeting in person or virtually on Wednesday, December 15 at 9am (KCMO City Hall, 26th Floor). Check the City calendar for an updated Zoom link.
BikeWalkKC has been working to find an alternative to the proposed ordinance which would remove bike lanes from streets in the 3rd District. We recently met with Councilwoman Robinson to learn more, share our concerns about how the measure would impact the safety of 3rd District residents, and explore ways to find common ground on improving community engagement. While we appreciate the councilwoman moving away from the most extreme portions of the legislation, we still have serious concerns.
Despite three public meetings in which a majority of attendees expressed clear opposition for the legislation, there are still fundamental flaws with this measure which we can’t support, including:
- The removal of existing bike infrastructure
- Exclusion of those not represented by neighborhood associations but most impacted by limited options for transportation and physical activity (unhoused, immigrants, youth, etc.)
- Does not address City Hall’s lack of capacity and expertise to do the type of engagement and inclusion that we all agree is greatly needed
As BikeWalkKC has stated previously, there are better ways to engage residents and build safer streets. There are two steps in particular:
- Update the Complete Streets policy. In the years since KCMO adopted its policy, national best practices have been updated. BikeWalkKC has helped other communities develop policies with better community engagement, including consideration of unintended consequences like gentrification.
- Adopt the bike plan and its community engagement elements. The bike plan includes language and guidance on how City Hall can engage residents on bike lanes and bike-related issues. The plan also calls for adequately staffing and resourcing the departments tasked with that important engagement.
We don’t have to choose between safety and community engagement, but we do have to decide whether excluding those most impacted is the best policy for a place like Kansas City.
Call to Action!
Everyone can submit written testimony at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or testify in person when the proposal is debated at the City Council’s transportation committee on Wednesday, December 15 at 9 am. Use this link to find more information on the meeting.
3rd District residents
- Contact both Councilmembers Robinson and Ellington and let them know you support making it safer and more comfortable to bike in the community.
- Contact your neighborhood association and let them know you are a resident who supports safer bicycling in the neighborhood (Use the “resource lookup” tool on the home page of kcmo.gov). Better still, join your neighborhood association, start attending meetings, and get involved!
3rd District employees
- If you work in the 3rd District, talk to your employer and ask them to tell the council members that bike safety is important for their workforce.