MoDOT announces (partial) support for bicycle/pedestrian accommodations on Paseo Bridge

Today MoDOT issued the statement below.
Paseo Bridge, by gwENvision,

MoBikeFed applauds MoDOT for listening to the feedback of many hundreds and thousands of citizens--and gradually adapting their position on the Paseo Bridge design to be more accommodating of the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.

A final public comment period is now open for 30 days only--it would really help if you could spend 2 minutes registering your support for bicycle/pedestrian accommodations as part of this new quarter billion dollar bridge project.

Downtown Bicycle/Pedestrian River Crossing
December 6, 2006

Based on the analysis done in the Feasibility Study for Downtown Bicycle/Pedestrian River Crossing and the recommendations from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), MoDOT is committed to the following:

Heart of America Crossing
MoDOT is committed to letting for construction a reasonable and safe bicycle/pedestrian facility crossing the Missouri River along Missouri Route 9 between 10th Avenue in North Kansas City and 3rd Street in Kansas City via the Heart of America Bridge by 2012.

MoDOT will continue to work with MARC and the community on an appropriate design for the improvements to the Heart of America corridor.

We have received requests to accelerate this project so that it can be completed as soon as possible. However, with our existing project commitments in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), funding is not available to accelerate the Heart of America bicycle/pedestrian crossing project before state fiscal year 2012.

Paseo Crossing
MoDOT is committed to achieving the goals of the kcICON (design-build) project:
  • Deliver the I-29/I-35 corridor improvements within the total program budget of $245 million.
  • Construct a landmark Missouri River bridge(s) that can be reasonably maintained to provide more than a century of useful service.
  • Maximize safety, mobility, aesthetics and capacity improvements in the corridor.
  • Engage stakeholders and the community to successfully develop and deliver the project.
  • Meetor beat the project completion date of October 31, 2011.
MoDOT will continue to work with the community to prioritize the needs for this project within the allocated budget.

MoDOT will include a provision in the RFP that enough design work be completed to allow for the addition of a bicycle/pedestrian facility to be designed and built, if desired and funded, on the structure in the future.

MoDOT will continue to raise concerns about the safety and connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians at this crossing due to the industrial land use north of the river and the high truck volume.

Other River Crossings
MoDOT will continue to work with MARC and the region to further explore other crossing opportunities to increase bicycle/pedestrian travel across the Missouri River.

For your information, the MARC Board approved on October 31, 2006 the bicycle and pedestrian recommendations for Missouri River Crossing Feasibility study as submitted by the Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC) and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC).

1. "TTPC and BPAC recommend that high quality, safe, practical and appropriate bicycle pedestrian accommodations be provided on or adjacent to the Paseo from Front Street to 16th Street, and that this be explicitly included in the RFP/RFQ for design.”

2. "TTPC and BPAC recognize that the Heart of America Bridge is currently an option for bicycle/pedestrian access across the Missouri River and needs significant improvements to increase the safety of all users; and therefore, TTPC and BPAC recommend the necessary improvements be made as soon as practicable by MoDOT.”

3. MARC and MoDOT will work cooperatively with other appropriate stakeholders to further explore some of the crossings evaluated in this [River Crossing Feasibility] study as well as others.
This will create the first, and potentially the second, safe accessible bicycle/pedestrian crossings of the Missouri River near downtown Kansas City.

Both crossings are necessary because each connects large, dense residential and commercial areas that the other does not. The area that is potentially served by the Paseo bike/ped connection is now almost completely inaccessible for pedestrians and bicyclists, but potential connections include the Paseo Industrial District, Harrah's Casino, the North Kansas City Hospital and the Avondale neighborhood.

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