Dear BikeWalkKC members,
Many of you have expressed concerns about recent developments related to the Truman Road protected bike lane project. We want to provide you with the information we have at hand, and to offer some additional resources and recommendations for next steps.
On January 6, 2023, a meeting was held at Gregg/Klice Community Center organized by several Truman Road business owners and facilitated by Councilmember Melissa Robinson (3rd District). Several BikeWalkKC staff and supporters were in attendance. The meeting was characterized as an opportunity for those who are not in favor of the protected bike lanes to voice their concerns.
Many of the business owners complained that they were not informed about the project, that there was little to no community engagement, and that their voices were not being heard. Instead of debate and discussion, the tone of the meeting devolved into name calling, verbal threats, and harassment directed at supporters of the protected bike lanes, BikeWalkKC representatives, and city staff.
Before the meeting, several individuals experienced verbal harassment as they entered the community center. Meeting organizers repeatedly stated that people who ride bikes are not welcome on Truman Road and should stay away. Immediately following the meeting, some of the organizers turned to social media to target, bully, and intimidate supporters of the protected bike lanes who had been in attendance.
BikeWalkKC has received messages from people who ride on Truman Road that they have been verbally harassed and intimidated. One person shared that when he stopped his bike to file a 311 report of a parked car blocking the bike lane, an employee of one of the businesses grabbed the person’s bike and said that cyclists were not welcome on Truman Road. This campaign of intimidation and bullying will not, and should not, be tolerated. We implore city leaders and councilmembers to denounce this behavior.
It is helpful to review the timeline of events leading up to the implementation of the Truman Road protected bike lanes. There are documented engagement and information sharing activities for Truman Road dating back to June 2018. A timeline overview is below, and we have provided links to publicly available resources that provide more detailed information:
- Truman Road Complete Streets Plan (June 2018)
- Protected Bike Lane Plan, Ordinance #210966 approved by Council (December 2021)
- 2022 Protected Bike Lane Plan Routes, Ordinance #220318 (including Truman) approved by Council (April 2022)
- 2023 Protected Bike Lane Plan Public Meetings (Spring 2022 & Recording of Fall 2022 meeting)
- Truman Road repaved and protected bike lanes installed (October/November 2022)
Under current policy, the City appears to have done its due diligence pertaining to community engagement obligations for this project. We agree with Councilmember Robinson’s recommendation for a more robust community engagement approach to neighborhood improvement projects. We agree that engagement should be better, and we hope that the city council will prioritize community engagement in the upcoming city budget.
As of January 13, construction on the bike lanes is paused while City Hall refines the design to address Truman Road business owners’ concerns.
Threats and intimidation must stop. Anyone who experiences threats, intimidation, or harassment (online or in person), please file a police report, and please share your experiences with BikeWalkKC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact your councilmember to voice your support for Truman Road protected bike lanes, and ask them to denounce the climate of intimidation created by opponents of the bike lanes.
- KCMO residents: contact your City Councilmembers here
- Residents of other cities can sign a petition here and we will share your comments with KCMO City Hall
We will share information and details as they become available. Thank you for your support and for your dedication to making our streets places for people.
BikeWalkKC supports protected bike lanes as tools to improve safety for everyone. There is clear evidence that they have the greatest safety benefits for everyone and get more people on bikes. Read our resource page on protected bike lanes.