Ink Kansas City profiles five bicyclists; KCMO bike route signs finally installed!

Ink Kansas City this week profiled five Kansas City area bicyclists talking about why they ride.

Kansas City ranked 41 out of 51 for bicycling according to the most recent Alliance for Biking and Walking Benchmarking Report. As low as it is--that's moving up a lot for Kansas City.  As recently as 2007 the city ranked 50th--dead last--for bicycling out of the top 50 U.S. cities by population. 

Eric & Caitlyn Bunch
Eric & Caitlyn Bunch

Bike local: Eric and Kaitlyn Bunch

For Eric and Kaitlyn Bunch, choosing a home within walking and biking distance of their jobs wasn’t an accident. They own a car, but they bike and walk for most of their transportation to and from work, the grocery store and — starting soon — child care.

The couple live in midtown, and they both work well within biking distance: Eric downtown at BikeWalkKC, and Kaitlyn at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

When choosing a home in KC after a move from Denver, they sought a neighborhood where daily needs would be within biking or walking distance. “We’ve actually taken great care and made a lot of specific choices so that we do have all of those things,” said Kaitlyn, who is 6 months pregnant. “We’ve made biking easier for ourselves by placing that type of lifestyle as a priority for our family.”

“Honestly, though, it started out with money,” Eric said. “The average American spends something like $10,000 a year on a car. … Riding a bike works for me because I wasn’t stuck with a bus route; it’s a lot faster than walking. It’s easy to park and find parking most of the time.”

On a related note, Kansas City, MO, installed signs over the past few weeks designating 352 lane-miles of bicycle routes around the city, part of a plan to create a 600 mile bikeway system. 

Kansas City bicycle route signs
Kansas City bicycle route signs
The bicycle route signage installed over the past several weeks has been the most visible step in implementing a citywide bike plan that was first envisioned in the 1970s, received funding in the 1990s, was approved by the city council in 2002 (one of the first news stories posted to MoBikeFed's web site, which was created that year), and has seen an astonishing number of bureaucratic and technical hurdles before an announcement party in January 2013 and installation of the bike route signs over the past month or so.

Congratulations to Kansas City, MO, for finally getting it done!