Major bicycle plan proposed for Kansas City

KCUR is covering efforts to implement a major bicycling plan in Kansas City.
"This is the least bike friendly place I've ever been to or even seen. I'm flabbergasted about how behind the times Kansas City is with being non-automobile transportation friendly," says Ben Clayman, who bikes about five miles to work nearly every day. . . .

"I've probably gone four or five different routes and I haven't found a safe one yet, or one with a bike lane. I'm not even sure if I've seen a bike lane in Kansas City."

Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser agrees with Clayman's analysis.

"We haven't made an effort to be bike friendly, and we're not," says Funkhouser, who calls Kansas City one of the least bike-friendly cities in the country. . . .

But Mayor Funkhouser insists that bikes are one of his top priorities, "For short trips of two or three miles to the grocery store, we ought not be firing up the SUV." . . .

The person in charge of moving Kansas City from worst to first is Deb Ridgway. She's the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

"We just have never installed things like bike lanes and bike route signs and all the things that help to encourage people to show that this is a good place to bike and walk," says Ridgway.

She recently submitted a fairly ambitious new bike plan to City Council. It calls for 200 miles of bike lanes and 50 miles of bike trails to be installed by February of 2012.
MoBikeFed, working together with local citizens' groups like Let's Go KC has been working to help focus citizen support for this important initiative.

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