17 NOV 2006: Let MoDOT and Senator Bond know there is widespread support for better bike/ped in Missouri

We asked MoDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations as part of the plan for the new Paseo Bridge. But they don't want to do it.

Shouldn't this be routine in every major bridge project--especially right in the middle of a major city?

Especially when there is no other safe bicycle/pedestrian river crossing!
Paseo Bridge


Senator Bond has arranged $50 million of the project's funding. So his opinion carries a lot of weight. But Bond single-handedly defeated the "Complete Streets" proposal in 2005.

We have been waiting for a chance to show Mr. Bond there is HUGE support for better, safer bicycling and walking here in Missouri.

Show Mr. Bond and MoDOT your support in two minutes here:

http://MoBikeFed.org/KCRiverCrossing


Background
MoDOT is currently finishing its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Paseo corridor in Kansas City. The project includes the river bridge and the freeway corridor from the downtown loop to Hwy 210.

There is no safe bicycle/pedestrian crossing of the Missouri River anywhere near downtown Kansas City.

Citizens wrote hundreds--thousands--of comments in support of creating a bike/ped river crossing in conjunction with the Paseo Bridge. MoDOT did not include a bike/ped crossing in the first draft of the EIS.

The Federal Highway Administration sent back the the draft EIS with the recommendation to include a bicycle/pedestrian crossing.

MoDOT studied the matter Fall 2006 in cooperation with community leaders and bicycle/pedestrian advocates.

There are two good, viable options for bicycle/pedestrian river crossing in this area: On the new Paseo Bridge itself and on the nearby Heart of America Bridge. MoDOT's recommendation is to put a bicycle/pedestrian crossing on the Heart of America bridge only.

In defense of MoDOT, adding bicycle/pedestrian accommodation to the Heart of America Bridge is a very good option. No one opposes it and the only question is--why wasn't it done 20 years ago?

But in a densely populated urban area, putting accommodations on one bridge does not replace the need for accommodations on another bridge, nearly a mile away, that serves different origins and destinations.

The Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee's Recommendation
The area's Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, made up of representatives of bicycling and walking groups as well as government and agency staff, recommended that MoDOT put their bicycle/pedestrian path on the Paseo Bridge and also build the path so as to also cross the nearby railroad tracks--a second difficult barrier.

This will allow bicyclists and pedestrians access to several important destinations north of the river not reachable by Heart of America, including the Paseo Industrial District and potentially North Kansas City Hospital and the nearby casino.

In addition, the committee recommended that MoDOT, MARC, and the cities work together to develop a safe bike/ped crossing on the Heart of America bridge.

This recommendation, in just a slightly weakened form, was finally adopted (unanimously!) by the Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC) of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and finally by the MARC Board of Directors (again unanimously).

In addition the Kansas City Council has voted unanimously in favor of accommodating bicycle and pedestrian travel on the new Paseo Bridge and numerous other civic and community groups have supported it as well.

The Kansas City Star has taken a position in favor of bicycle/pedestrian accommodations on Paseo.

How does Senator Kit Bond fit in?
Senator Bond has arranged $50 million of the project's funding. So his opinion carries a lot of weight. But Bond single-handedly defeated the "Complete Streets" proposal in 2005.

We have been waiting for a chance to show Mr. Bond there is HUGE support for better, safer bicycling and walking here in Missouri.

Having Bond's support for bike/ped on this project would make the difference.

A map of the area is here.

If you would rather not use the 2-minute advocacy action form you can simply send email to:

Paseo Bicycle/Pedestrian Comments
I29I35EIS@hntb.com

Senator Kit Bond
kit_bond@bond.senate.gov