FAQ: WALKING AND BIKING DURING REGIONAL STAY AT HOME ORDER
Last updated Tuesday, May 29
On March 24th the Greater Kansas City region came under a “Stay at Home” Order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 crisis and slow the spread of the virus before local hospitals are overwhelmed as they have been in hard-hit cities.
Walking and biking are more important than ever for exercise, recreation, mental health, and affordable transportation. BikeWalkKC wants to make sure you have accurate, up-to-date information about local emergency orders. We will keep these Frequently Asked Questions updated as needed.
Am I allowed to walk and bike outside my home right now?
Yes, but only for essential travel (e.g. buying groceries or picking up prescription medicine) and for recreation as long as you practice proper physical distancing. This means staying at least six feet away from anyone who is not living with you in your household. The City of KCMO’s Stay at Home FAQ encourages people to use parks and exercise outdoors.
Most of the weekly group rides hosted by the Cycling KC club and local bike shops are suspended for now. Check ahead of time before showing up.
Are the trails and parks open?
Yes. Local parks and multi-use trails remain open (Watkins Mill and Weston Bend MO State Parks are now closed). Playgrounds, community centers, shelter houses, and other park facilities may be closed.
NEW: KC Parks & Rec has closed roads to cars in Swope Park (East Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway) and Blue Valley Park (2301 Topping Avenue) to provide extra opportunities for people to get out and exercise, while still social distancing. Barricades have gone up to close roads in both parks, creating great, wide open spaces to enjoy the outdoors. Thank you to the Parks Department!
How can we make more space to physically distant?
As our community is faced with weeks of staying at home, it is becoming increasingly important for residents’ physical and mental health to get outside for exercise and fresh air. And as our economy takes a hit, more affordable transportation choices like walking and biking are becoming increasingly important.
With traffic on our streets at a dramatic low, we have an opportunity to create new, temporary space for people to have more room to be active outside while still keeping appropriate physical distance. We are calling for more Space For People and have published a resource for local cities to use in their own communities.
NEW: The City of KCMO has launched Open Streets KC to help create more space for people to safely share our streets. This includes neighborhood Open Streets permits, automatic pedestrian crossings, and three road closings along sections of Kenwood, Brookside Road, and River Front Drive. BikeWalkKC is making bollards from its Traffic Calming Library available for this effort. Visit the City's Open Streets KC page to learn more.
Are local bike shops open for repair and maintenance?
Yes. Bike shops are considered “essential businesses” in KCMO and by the state of Kansas, which means they are allowed to remain open for repair and maintenance. Some shops are altering their hours, limiting the number of customers inside, or are only open by appointment. Call ahead to check if your shop is open, what restrictions they have for servicing, and what physical distancing measures they are using.
Shops we know of that are open as of today are listed below. If you are a local bike shop owner or manager, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to list your opening details here in this FAQ.
Are bike share and scooters still operating?
Our own RideKC Bike & Scooter program is still operating normally, but with enhanced sanitation procedures and free rides for health care workers and small businesses.
What about public transit?
RideKC Bus, MAX, and Streetcar continue to operate for people traveling for essential businesses and services. Bus fares have been suspended and able-bodied passengers should board through the rear door of buses. Many routes are operating with reduced services, reduced hours, or experiencing delays due to a shortage of drivers. RideKC Freedom para-transit is only operating for essential trips. Check this page for the latest updates on public transit services.
What about bike events like the Tour de Bier?
The region's Stay at Home KC order currently applies now through May 15. Therefore, we will postpone the 2020 Tour de Bier to Sunday, August 9. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take the health and wellness of our participants, employees, and the public very seriously. Please follow this page, our social media (@bikewalkkc) and subscribe to our e-newsletter for the most up-to-date information.
Are there online resources my kids and I can access from home?
We are working on just that! Building off of the BLAST program we typically bring to schools throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, we are working with our school partners and PE teachers to roll out a live online series about personal bike safety, helmet safety, the rules of the road. We'll also share some fun ideas about ways to test and develop students' bike and pedestrian skills and knowledge. Stay tuned.
As the lead facilitator for the Move Your Way campaign in Wyandotte County, BikeWalkKC is producing online education videos with great tips and tricks for attaining the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day with your family. Click here to learn more.
Finally, check out our Ride Smart videos and try these out at home with your family:
What is the OurStreets Supplies app?
BikeWalkKC is a partner with OurStreets, a community-sourced app that allows users to report and track information for better community planning and health. They've just launched a new service, OurStreets Supplies, where you can locate and report essential items like toilet paper, food, sanitizer, etc. at your local stores. The app is free to download and use. Learn more on our blog: https://bikewalkkc.org/blog/2020/04/ourstreets-app-now-tracks-basic-supplies-during-coronavirus-crisis/
Thank you for your support. Similar to many non-profits and small businesses, BikeWalkKC’s financial sustainability has been threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are able to, please consider making a donation or purchasing a membership for yourself, your household, or your organization. Any amount helps, and we appreciate your support at this difficult time.