Observations from the Meyer Boulevard Walk Audit

In the fall of 2023, BikeWalkKC worked with residents and organizations along Meyer Boulevard to identify challenges with the built environment and recommend changes. The resulting report is already beginning to spur safety improvements.

It has long been known that Meyer Boulevard is a dangerous corridor. Anecdotes from people who live and work along the corridor were validated by the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan. That plan includes the High Injury Network, which uses data from crashes, injuries, and fatalities to indicate Kansas City, Missouri's most dangerous streets. 

Working and walking with Meyer Boulevard neighbors

BikeWalkKC worked with area resident Denesha Snell to broaden our engagement efforts. Over the course of several months, Denesha met with more than 20 individuals, organizations, and neighborhood groups to better understand the issues they dealt with along Meyer and what they would like to see change. Those efforts ultimately led us to work with The Kauffman School to organize a walk audit of the corridor from Wornall Road to Swope Parkway. 

What is a walk audit? A walk audit is an assessment of safety, comfort, and accessibility of a particular area. In a walk audit, a group of people go out and look at aspects of the built environment from the pedestrian’s perspective and gather data and insights about aspects such as sidewalks, intersections, lighting, and more.

Based on the observations from the walk audit and insights gathered from area stakeholders, we developed several key recommendations for city leaders. They include:

  • More safe crossings - The biggest issue cited by walk audit participants was the lack of safe crossings. Beyond installing more along Meyer, the City of KCMO has to develop a program that makes it easier to bring requests from the paper to the pavement.
  • Work to stop speeding - Speeding and other forms of reckless driving were cited as concerns from walk audit participants and area residents. Working to institute road diets and other forms of traffic calming are needed, as a result.
  • Address street harassment - This includes (but isn’t limited to): catcalling, shouting, unwanted advances, and threats. BikeWalkKC worked with city leaders on an anti-street harassment ordinance in the past, but further action is needed.
  • Expand small-scale amenities - Finally, it was frequently noted that more elements were needed to encourage walking, rolling, and biking on a regular basis. Such amenities could include more trash cans and benches in particular.

You can check out the full Meyer Boulevard walk audit report by clicking here.

Next Steps

When BikeWalkKC finalized the report, our first step was to share the findings. We published the report for walk audit participants and key stakeholders along the corridor. We also sent digital copies to area councilmembers, city manager Brian Platt, and staff from the Public Works Department.

The city is beginning to take steps to develop safe crossings and traffic calming. In addition to traffic calming measures on the western portion near Wornall, staff have also begun working with area stakeholders to develop a plan for a new crosswalk in front of the Kauffman School. While more work needs to be done, this is a good step in the right direction for much-needed safety improvements along the Meyer corridor.

Thanks to the Menorah Heritage Foundation for supporting the Meyer Boulevard Walk Audits.

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