BikeKC to be brought to a vote

Are drivers willing to share the road with bicyclists? Riders have a plan they say will make cycling safer. It is called Bike KC, and supporters are gearing up to put it before a City Council committee this week.

KMBC had a good report on the issues involved in the BikeKC plan, summarized on their web site:

KC To Consider Bike Routes On Streets

Backer Of Plan Says It Would Make KC More Livable

POSTED: 4:41 p.m. CDT August 5, 2002
UPDATED: 4:55 p.m. CDT August 5, 2002

Are drivers willing to share the road with bicyclists? Riders have a plan they say will make cycling safer. It is called Bike KC, and supporters are gearing up to put it before a City Council committee this week.

KMBC's Bev Chapman reported that Meyer Boulevard and Valley are two roads that one day could contain a painted bike lane.

Brent Hugh and his son, Jonathon, 6, believe the metropolitan area would be a better place if there was more bicycling instead of driving.

"It could really make our city a more livable place," Hugh said.

Hugh and other riders are supporting a plan to integrate a network of bike routes on Kansas City streets, like the one he rides in Raytown.

"It just made a tremendous difference," Hugh said. "Now you see families walking, people bicycling, kids bicycling."

Heather Jordan, a Northland bike store owner, said more people are hopping on their bikes for many reasons.

"I have several customers saying they would actually commute to work if they felt safe doing it," Jordan said.

Chapman reported that bicyclists would need between 4 and 5 feet -- a bicyclist hugging the side of the road could easily wedge a tire in a storm grate.

But those in favor of the plan said that federal funds are available to correct curbs, smooth the streets and pave the way for biking if they can overcome political obstacles.

Councilman Ed Ford, who opposes the plan, said that he prefers an off-road trail system. He does not believe the majority of drivers want to share the road, and he said that he is concerned about safety.

Ford chairs the planning, zoning and economic development committee that will consider the plan Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Backers of the plan are urging people to show up. If approved, roadwork on the routes would begin next summer.

More Information: 

To see a complete summary of the plan, visit  www.kcmo.org/pubworks.nsf/web/kcbike1
Visit www.bikekc.org