It’s hard to believe we’re already a quarter of the way through 2022. When we started the new year, we shared our policy platform to outline the goals we had to advocate for better walking, biking, and transit in KCMO and beyond.
Now that we’re through the first three months of 2022, we wanted to give folks an update on where things stand with the priorities we identified:
Improving Walkability – We have been monitoring the work around the sidewalk repairs, including the recent meetings about the program. We also provided letters of support for applications from several neighborhoods and other organizations applying for sidewalk and walkability improvements under the ReBuild KC grant program.
Vision Zero Action Plan – BikeWalkKC has been working with city staff on researching potential policy recommendations along with other community stakeholders. The goal remains to finalize a draft to give to council by late summer or early fall.
Scooters and Public Space – We have had some initial conversations with groups supporting people with disabilities, local businesses, and others concerned about the safety and accessibility issues with how scooters are currently deployed and used locally.
KC Spirit Playbook + KC Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan – With the KC Spirit Playbook, BikeWalkKC has been working to keep folks informed about survey opportunities to continue providing feedback. For the CPRP, BikeWalkKC recently published a blog to discuss the multimodal aspects of the plan and how folks can provide feedback.
Trail Funding – We are still evaluating how best to move forward on this large, complex issue.
NEW: Midtown Complete Streets – Despite being completed in 2018, the Midtown Complete Streets Plan has sat on the shelf at City Hall waiting for funding and the political will to move it forward. Residents and other stakeholders remain frustrated with the lack of progress, so we’re helping folks to organize and advocate for the City to implement the plan. Click here to learn more!
Implement Complete Streets – Our main focus here has been supporting the Unified Government of KCK/Wyandotte County as it finalizes the goDotte Strategic Mobility Plan, and ensuring KCK residents know about the plan and the opportunities to give their input. We also recently participated in KCK’s first-ever mobility summit. The goDotte plan is the key for implementing the Complete Streets ordinance.
Build Community Advocacy Capacity – In addition to helping people speak up in places like North Kansas City and Shawnee, we also hosted our first Advocacy 101 training. In May, we’ll host our next training, which covers meetings and public speaking.
Future Investments – In addition to federal advocacy, we continue to work with partners at MARC to identify programs and projects which can provide greater funding and benefit for walking, biking, and transit.
Close the Gap Campaigns – With the work being done on 30 new miles of protected bike lanes, it appears that we’ll have the connection between Gillham and the Trolley Track Trail. Let’s not stop there, use this link to help us identify more gaps to close!
Complete Streets Policies – We have had some brief initial conversations with elected officials, but nothing concrete has emerged at this point. We hope to have more to share at the end of the second quarter.
Statewide – Kansas
Statewide Active Transportation Plan – KDOT is very close to finalizing the plan, at which point we will work to help to inform communities and the public about aspects to consider, whether it be related to policies or planning.
Statewide – Missouri
Distracted Driving Legislation – Despite some strong efforts by the statewide coalition, it appears unlikely that distracted driving legislation will be adopted this year. It does appear like more legislators understand the importance of the legislation, which should increase its chances for passage in 2023.
Statewide Active Transportation Plan – The path forward on this was thrown into uncertainty by the removal of the head of DHSS earlier this year. We are working with our partners across the state to determine next steps.
Active Transportation Funding – During the National Bike Summit, we met with members of the Kansas and Missouri congressional delegations to discuss funding opportunities related to active transportation which could impact the region. The push now will be to get funding for those programs via the appropriations process.
Decriminalization + Complete Streets – Also during the National Bike Summit, we spoke with advocates across the country about our work on these issues. Beyond the webinar we hosted this month with the Safe Routes partnership and publishing the how-to guide on decriminalizing mobility, we hope to have more news to share on the decriminalization front in the coming months.
* * *
We are off to a good start, but there is still lots to do in 2022. Advocacy is a team sport, and that means working with partners to build a culture of active living throughout the region. If you have any questions about this or our other advocacy efforts, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know? BikeWalkKC’s advocacy efforts are member-supported! You can lend your voice to our work by becoming a member today. And get the latest on bicycle- and pedestrian-related happenings when you subscribe to our newsletter!