Kansas City participates in national bicycle & pedestrian counts

Kansas City, Missouri, is participating in a national effort to get standardized annual bicycle and pedestrian counts.

The city of Columbia has also been participating in the counting effort as part of its federal Nonmotorized Pilot Program, GetAbout Columbia. (Results from some of Columbia's earlier counts showed marked increases in bicycling and walking.)

These counts are part of the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project.

Better statistics on the amount of bicycling and walking are sorely needed in Missouri and gathering better statistics is one of the main goals in MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.

We urge communities around Missouri to learn more about the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project and start participating in the bicycle and pedestrian counts.

The next designated count dates are in January 2010--and there is still ample time to organize your community to do a count at that time or at the next count date in Spring 2010.

More about Kansas City's counting effort from the Kansas City Star:
If you’ve ever biked to work, or even just thought about biking to work someday, Thursday is your day.

That’s because on Thursday, it counts. Or, at least, may count. Kansas City is taking part in The National Documentation Project.

On Thursday and next Saturday, city workers and volunteers will be out on the streets, trying to figure out exactly how many people in this city use their feet for more than pushing the gas and brake pedals on their cars.

Thursday will be focused on biking and walking for work transportation. Saturday is more about biking for recreation. They’re both vitally important to the short- and long-term health of this community.

The point of this effort nationwide is to simply get baseline numbers. The counters want a normal number of bike riders.

But as Kansas City lacks any real biking infrastructure, more is needed here.

A decent number of bikers can help Kansas City join the rest of the world by adding more bike lanes and hiking/biking trails.

At the very least, higher numbers tell city officials there is a reason to stop ignoring this issue.