Proposed Kansas City regional transportation tax must include routine accommodation of bicyclists and pedestrians

An open letter to David Warm, Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council:
Mr. Warm,

It is very exciting to hear recent proposals for a regional transportation tax in the Kansas City area that would include funding for roads, trails, and public transit.

The Missouri Bicycle Federation will strongly support such a proposal if

* the roadway element includes "complete streets" language for routine inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on roads

* the transit element includes language requiring routine accommodation of bicycles on transit

We believe that these requirements should be part of the enabling legislation for such a tax.

We also believe that the language for these two requirements should be modeled on existing federal routine accommodation language. Since most or all of the projects falling under the regional tax will include federal highway aid funding, and therefore already fall under the federal routine accommodation provisions, the inclusion of routine accommodation language should be non-controversial.

Another consideration has to do with planning for this tax.

Part 652.5 of the Federal-Aid Policy Guide states that "Consultation with local groups of organized bicyclists is to be encouraged in the development of bicycle projects." Bicyclists will be primary users of a trails system and are also an important group of users of the road system and transit system that will be funded by this proposed transportation tax.

As such, organized bicycle advocacy groups such as the Greater Kansas City Bicycle Federation and the Missouri Bicycle Federation should be represented in the process for developing the framework for this tax from the earliest possible time.

Sincerely yours,

Brent Hugh
President, Missouri Bicycle Federation