KANSAS CITY, Mo — As part of the city’s mission to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, Kansas City, Missouri, will be building additional protected bike lanes near Hickman Mills Drive between Paseo and 85th on Wednesday morning.
The lanes will add 2.4 more miles of protected bike lanes to the city and will look similar to the bike lanes installed on Gillham Plaza from Armour Boulevard to 31st Street.
“Every life is important on Kansas City streets and we’re doing everything we can to keep people safe when they’re on their bike,” said Sherae Honeycutt, public works communications for KCMO.
These lanes are part of Vision Zero, which is a safety improvement plan put together by the city to make KC streets and roads safer for people. KC adopted Vision Zero in May of 2020, due to a 20% rise in traffic crash fatalities and serious injuries in KCMO throughout the previous 10 years. There are several layers to Vision Zero, including a five-year plan that would create a connected network for bike riders throughout the city.
“Some people don’t have access to a car or may not have access to public transportation, and a bicycle may be their main mode of transportation,” Honeycutt said. “[The city is] making protected bike areas where we’re essentially giving people an option that they didn’t have before.”
Honeycutt says areas where bike lanes are installed have resulted in a 25% reduction in injury crashes. BikeWalkKC is applauding the addition of the bikes lanes, saying it also helps keep riders safe and gets more people to ride their bikes as a mode of transportation.
“I am a bike commuter; I bike about seven miles to work when I bike and there’s a very clear difference between not having any infrastructure and having something that’s protected and separated from drivers, so I definitely think this makes my commute safer, and it makes me want to go to more places on my bike,” said Michael Kelley, policy director for BikeWalkKC.
The city will be hosting a virtual informational meeting tonight to learn more about Vision Zero. It’s open to the public and will start at 5 p.m.