Bike lanes lack in Kansas City, but improvements are coming

Picture of bikers downtown by @kcescapades
Bikers cruise down Grand Boulevard in Kansas City. Photo by @kcescapades.

Answered 

A few weeks ago, we asked you what pedestrian-friendly infrastructure you wanted to see more in Kansas City. Survey says: 66% of respondents chose bike lanes. This option was chosen over path lights (~19%), parking garages (~15%), and scooter parking (0%). 

The problem 🚲

Kansas City ranked No. 137 out of 150 cities in “2021’s Best Cities for Living Without a Car” survey by LawnStarterand Overland Park was even lower at No. 144. KC scored below 100 in all categories:

  • Access: No. 129 — The number of routes + rental availability.
  • Commuting: No. 124 — The share of residents who bike, walk, or use public transit.
  • Safety: No. 114 — Crime rates + pedestrian fatalities per capita.
  • Climate: No. 133 — Pedestrian-limiting factors, like extreme temperatures + air quality.

The solutions 🚲

Kansas City launched the KCMO Vision Zero Initiative in 2021. The goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030 and increase mobility and safety for everyone

You can participate in Vision Zero. This survey asks for safety ideas, feedback, and suggestions for focusing resources — including bicycle infrastructure. You can also make suggestions on this interactive map.

The KC Downtown Neighborhood Association is also advocating for better infrastructure. Planning and Development Committee Chair Derek Hoetmer said they want to make Grand Avenue “the premier urban boulevard” of Kansas City by building a 2-way cycle track from I-670 to the River Market-Berkley Riverfront viaduct. That’s in addition to wider sidewalks, more trees, and bike racks

Zooming out, The Mid-America Regional Council  — which serves the 9-county metro area — has a Bike-Ped Advisory Committee. The group seeks to increase bicycle + pedestrian transportation. They meet in the MARC offices — 600 Broadway, Suite 200, KCMO — and are open to the public. See their calendar, here.

Pro Tip: Wed., Sept. 22 is World Car Free Day. Use this metro bike route map to plan your 2-wheeled commute.