Teamwork and perseverance pays off for safer streets in KCMO

Big Wins for #ConnectOurTrails! KCMO City Council approves three key pieces of legislation 

Thanks to a coalition of city leaders, community partners, and everyday people like you, Kansas City took a key step towards building a better, more connected mobility network.

The KCMO City Council approved three pieces of legislation that will help to make walking, accessibility, biking, and transit easier. One measure advances a traffic safety plan that will close the gap between Gillham, Brush Creek, and the Trolley Track Trail. Another item will begin a citywide road diet analysis. The last piece of legislation starts conversations around prioritizing transit on Main Street.

The BikeWalkKC policy team has been hard at work mobilizing support for legislative items with the new City Council. The origin of this legislation goes back several years, and is a great example of how the patience and perseverance of advocates can move important legislation from the paper to the pavement.

Back in 2020, you told us you wanted to #CloseTheGap between the Gillham lanes, the Brush Creek Trail, and the Trolley Track Trail. BikeWalkKC brought your comments to City Hall, and they informed the initial five-year protected bike lane plan. 

When that plan was stalled in committee earlier this year, we again organized with you to #ConnectOurTrails. We gathered signatures and comments, and we heard your testimony: Kansas Citians support safe, connected streets and trails.   

Because we worked together to keep up the pressure, Mayor Quinton Lucas and Councilman Eric Bunch recently introduced three pieces of legislation on the topic of multimodal transportation, including:

  • Ordinance 230613 - This legislation advances a pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular traffic safety plan for the city. It identifies key corridors for multimodal projects. Important among these is the proposal to close the gap between the Gillham cycle track, the Brush Creek trail, and the Trolley Track Trail. It also includes putting protected facilities along the segment of Independence Avenue where cyclist Anthony Saluto was killed several years ago.
  • Resolution 230618 - This measure would initiate a citywide road diet analysis. A road diet is when a road is intentionally narrowed to calm traffic and make the segment safer for everyone. Research from the Federal Highway Administration shows that such measures can lower crashes by as much as 47%.
  • Resolution 230625 - This resolution directs city staff to begin working with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the KC Streetcar to draft plans for transit-only configurations along the portion of Main Street where the streetcar extension will take place (Pershing Road to 51st Street). Once plans and engagement are done, staff will present that information to the City Council for further consideration.

These three measures came up fast, and when BikeWalkKC asked the community to spring into action on short notice, you all delivered! More than 75 people submitted public testimony. Additionally, community partners submitted letters of support including:

  • American Institute of Architects, KC Chapter
  • Hope Faith Ministries
  • Jerusalem Farm
  • KC Family Bike Ride
  • KC Regional Transit Alliance
  • LISC Greater Kansas City
  • Major Taylor Cycling Club of Kansas City
  • Midtown KC Now
  • National Federation of the Blind, KC Chapter
  • Sierra Club, Thomas Hart Benton Chapter
  • Sunrise Movement KC

On Wednesday, August 2, the city’s transportation committee considered all three measures. There were some changes made on the first two measures regarding community engagement, but all three were passed unanimously. On Thursday, the full Council unanimously adopted the first two measures and adopted the streetcar resolution by a final vote of 12-0!

THANK YOU! Results like this demonstrate that advocacy is a team sport and a contact sport. When we show up, we can win important policy changes to make it safer and easier for people to walk, roll, bike, or use public transit. Thank you for delivering these #ConnectOurTrails victories. Let’s continue the momentum!

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!

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