As 2022 comes to a close, the policy team wanted to give one more update on the priorities of our policy platform. It has been a busy fourth quarter, and we’re already working to finalize our policy platform for 2023!
So, where do we stand on the policy front?
- Improving Walkability – BikeWalkKC has been working to understand what aspects of walkability in the city need to be improved. This is meant to inform our advocacy efforts at city hall, especially as the implementation of some key planning documents begin in earnest. You can also help to inform the city’s priorities until the end of 2022 by taking this survey!
- Vision Zero Action Plan – The city’s Vision Zero task force has continued to meet to understand and coordinate efforts to implement the action plan you helped to pass in August. City staff are expecting news on a federal application for numerous projects related to Vision Zero in January 2023, and there will be ample opportunity to speak up for safer streets through the budget process as well.
- Scooters & Public Space – We have been working with KCMO city staff and community partners to advance stronger regulations for scooters in public space. These efforts are helping to inform a broader conversation with MARC and other municipalities around such regulations.
- KC Spirit Playbook & KC Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan – While these two plans are at different stages in the planning process, both hold big opportunities for pedestrian and bike advocates to speak up for important issues in the years to come. The KC Spirit Playbook is still being finalized. It will inform how Kansas City grows and develops for the next 20 years. With the Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan, city leaders will have a clear roadmap to help the city become carbon neutral by the year 2040.
- Trail Funding – City staff have begun taking steps to update the Trails KC plan, a process which will begin in earnest in 2023. As noted by the legislation which got this process underway, key areas of emphasis will include aligning a new map with efforts like the 5-year plan for protected bike lanes, and giving an update on the trail nexus study.
- Midtown Complete Streets – BikeWalkKC organized a meeting with Midtown residents to discuss the Midtown Complete Streets Plan and how it aligns with efforts related to Vision Zero, and to understand where we go from here. In speaking with residents, a common area for concern is 39th Street. We will use this feedback to begin building a coalition of residents, neighborhood leaders, business owners, and others to advocate for improvements along this key corridor.
- Implement Complete Streets – With the goDotte Strategic Mobility Plan finalized and a Bicycle Friendly Community workshop completed, KCK has some of the key parts necessary to begin implementing Complete Streets. BikeWalkKC’s policy and planning department will be working with community stakeholders to identify more ways to advance these elements in 2023.
- Build Community Advocacy Capacity – We conducted the last of our advocacy training for the year. Advocacy Training 104 was all about how to work with elected officials and staff. Stay tuned for more training opportunities in the new year!
- Future Investments – With the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) finalizing project selections through the Planning Sustainable Places grant, a number of communities will have big opportunities to develop strategies to prioritize active transportation. BikeWalkKC’s policy and planning teams will be working together on these elements in 2023.
- Close the Gap Campaigns – Thanks to your advocacy, we secured the closing of a major gap between the Gillham Cycletrack, the Brush Creek Trail, and the Trolley Track Trail. We will continue to use your input to help us identify and advocate for closing the gaps in our active transportation system. Use this link to let us know about a gap in your area!
- Complete Streets Policies – Riverside, Missouri was the newest community in the region to see the adoption of a Complete Streets policy this year, but we also saw communities work to implement their existing policies. In Independence, advocates successfully spoke up for the Noland Road Complete Streets project, which will bring multimodal improvements to a key segment of the city’s transportation system.
- Pedestrian Improvements in Leawood – We have continued to work with local advocates in Leawood, Kansas to build upon the successful push to install crosswalks as a way of keeping children safe. We’re also keeping an eye on work related to the updates to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan that will likely take place over much of 2023.
Statewide – Kansas
- Statewide Active Transportation Plan – The newly updated document from KDOT includes a number of strategies and actions for state officials to take from the paper to the pavement. While the plan’s implementation will come after the departure of Secretary Julie Lorenz (a champion for active transportation in the state), there is much to look forward to on this front in 2023.
Statewide – Missouri
- Distracted Driving Legislation – Several bills related to this issue were put forth in the 2022 session, only to languish and fail to advance. While this was a frustrating development, we anticipate bills like it to be introduced in the 2023 session as well.
- Statewide Active Transportation Plan – BikeWalkKC and our partners with Missourians for Responsible Transportation recently met with MoDOT staff to discuss active transportation priorities in the state. Through those discussions, we learned that they are developing a scope for an active transportation plan! We will work to inform that scope as it takes shape, and this represents a big win and an even bigger opportunity for active transportation in the Show-Me State! We also want to thank our partners at The Whole Person, The National Federation for the Blind – Missouri Chapter, AARP Missouri, and American Heart Association Missouri for their help with this as well.
- Active Transportation Funding – The Carbon Reduction Program is a major program developed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It supports efforts to lower transportation emissions, and MARC has been working with BikeWalkKC and others to figure out new ways to spend those funds and maximize their impact. We should be able to share more information about this in spring 2023.
- Decriminalization & Complete Streets – On the decriminalization side, BikeWalkKC’s work was published as part of a working paper from NACTO entitled “Breaking the Cycle”. On the Complete Streets side, our work with MRT in rural communities continues to draw interest and praise from the National Complete Streets Coalition. The biggest benefit from this work is that the national conversation on active transportation is growing to understand and include the needs of rural communities that we’ve identified here in Missouri.
2022 has been another eventful year for active transportation policy. But this didn’t happen because of any one person. As we like to say, advocacy is a team sport. Thanks to the efforts of everyday advocates like you, BikeWalkKC was able to count considerable advocacy wins in KCMO, throughout the region, and across the country.
If you have any questions about our 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!