11 years later, BikeKC finally implemented: Kansas City bicycle map and bike routes unveiled

It's been a long time in coming--but Kansas City, Missouri, finally unveiled its new city bike map and bike route system last week. The city has constructed 24 lane miles of bike lanes, eight lane miles of sharrows (shared-lane marking), 352 lane miles of signed bike routes and 65 miles of trails and released a new map showing the facilties. 

BikeKC logo
BikeKC logo

A long time coming

And it has indeed been a long time in coming.

In 1980, Kansas City adopted a forward-looking Bikeway Plan--a plan that looked great on paper but which was never implemented.

Work on the BikeKC plan had started in the mid 1990s and federal funding to implement the plan was received in the late 1990s.  Despite the federal funding, the City Council balked at implementing the plan.  One of the first stories on MoBikeFed news, in 2002, was about Kansas City Council's adoption of the BikeKC plan after some years of footdragging and a large citizen advocacy effort.

BikeKC has faced many more problems and delays over the past eleven years as the city and other agencies involved figured out how to implement the ambitious plan.  Both the city and agencies like MoDOT have had a long learning curve in figuring out how to deal with bicycle facilities, planning, design, standards, and funding.

Implementation of the BikeKC plan represents a major milestone for the City, the Mid-America Regional Council (which oversees funding awards), and MoDOT (which administers the grant funding). 

About the BikeKC Map and Routes  

Fox4 News covered the map unveiling and reports:

“It’s all an effort to reduce the carbon footprint and make the roads safer and more enjoyable for cyclists on the open road. Hopefully it will help identify routes for cyclists that we know are bike friendly and where we actually have facilities. So there is signage that corresponds to that for motorists as well as cyclists to know that this is a place where you should expect to see cyclists,” said Deb Ridgeway the city’s Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator. 

BikeKC Map detail, 2013
BikeKC Map detail, 2013
Kansas City's planned support for bicycling in 2013 and beyond

The city has ambitious plans to support bicycling this year, including:

  • Host the annual Ride the Fountains Bike Tour, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Friends of the Fountains
  • Launch Ciclovia events 
  • Host Bike Week events 
  • Host National Trails Day events
  • Complete a bike parking audit
  • Install additional bicycle racks
  • Assist with establishing walking school bus programs
  • Complete a comprehensive bike master plan
  • Continue to invest in infrastructure improvements encouraging a more active lifestyle

Sherri McIntyre, Kansas City's Public Works director said,"The City is committed to achieving the goal of becoming a platinum-designated bicycle-friendly community by 2020. Adding bike lanes, trails and sidewalks is a priority for the City. We continue to evaluate the most cost effective means of constructing the facilities and leverage federal funds with local funds whenever possible."