Update on Truman Road Protected Bike Lanes (February 1st City Council Hearing)

Proposed compromise would convert one-way protected bike lanes to a two-way cycletrack with more permanent car parking. Final decision delayed at least two weeks to work out the details.

On Wednesday, February 1, the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Operations (TIO) Committee of KCMO City Council considered Ordinance 230092, which would remove the recently-installed protected bike lanes on Truman Road.

At the beginning of the discussion, Mayor Quinton Lucas shared that an amendment was introduced in committee that offers a compromise to the original proposal. In the amendment, Councilmember Robinson proposes a change to the configuration of the protected bike lanes on Truman Road. Changes would remove the bike lane on the north side of the street and convert it to permanent parking, while the bike lane on the south side would be changed to a two-way cycletrack. This would make the configuration similar to the one found on Gillham Road.

Ultimately, the committee voted to hold the amended ordinance for two weeks (and possibly three depending on what happens in the Super Bowl). This is meant to allow staff time to develop plans for the new configuration. BikeWalkKC also hopes to use this pause as an opportunity to meet with Councilmember Robinson and discuss how to improve public engagement so that situations like this can be avoided in the future.

Thank you to everyone who attended public meetings and got involved in the advocacy efforts to preserve safe infrastructure. More than one hundred residents emailed councilmembers and city leaders with a clear message: Find a better solution that preserves the protected bike lanes. We are eager to see the proposed changes for Truman Road and to explore ways to improve public engagement. While this is not the end of the debate, it is an encouraging step in the right direction.

To recap some of the public testimony provided at the TIO committee meeting, people opposed to removing the bike lanes spoke about a number of important issues:

  • One person spoke about seeing friends die while riding bikes on streets that didn’t have safe infrastructure and the need for solutions which make everyone safer.
  • Another person spoke about how protected bike infrastructure, coupled with public transit, saves them money and enables them to get around the city effectively. 
  • A resident spoke about how they’ve been able to bike more for health because of the safer infrastructure.
  • An individual spoke about the challenges with implementation, but also reminded the Council of the enormous cost to fully remove the facilities we currently have.
  • mobility and access to healthy alternatives, which protected bike lanes contribute to.
  • One person spoke not only about the need for better public engagement, but also the need to specifically identify and include young people (who rely on biking and transit) in these conversations.

Call to Action

Advocacy is a contact sport. When we show up, we win. It is because of advocates like you that we have an opportunity to preserve safe streets for everyone and work to improve public engagement for future projects.

Posted in Advocacy, KCMO Central-South, Local and tagged , , , , .