BikeWalkKC supports the efforts of local leaders to replace the crumbling Broadway/Buck O’Neil Bridge with a new bridge that advances the goals of improving walking and biking, lessening the impact of highways on local neighborhoods and businesses, and supporting future economic development opportunities in the Greater Downtown Area.
Building a new bridge is the best way to achieve these goals and give the region’s transportation system flexibility in the future. Rehabbing the current bridge could lock us into the current situation for another generation, losing the opportunity to significantly improve connectivity, access, economy, and quality of life.
If the current bridge is not replaced, any major investment in repairing it must include adding safe bike/pedestrian access. This is consistent with MARC and Kansas City’s Complete Streets policies, and with MARC’s River Crossing Policy. We know this would be an engineering challenge on the current bridge, but it must be a priority.
BikeWalkKC cannot support significant expenditure of federal, state, or local funds that does not improve safety for people who walk or bike.
This is a regional priority for all users of the metro’s transportation system. We urge local and state leaders to work together quickly to find creative solutions and ensure we make the best decision for future generations.