Kansas City installs 200 miles of bike route signs

Kansas City has been working to create a bicycle route network since the mid 1970s.  Grant funding was received in the late 1990s.  Why didn't things happen faster?  Well, over the years there were far too many bumps and potholes in the road to even start naming them all.  But city staff and advocates made it past all of them, and the city's bicycle routes are finally coming together! 

I first saw the signs appearing around town earlier this spring.  I was so astonished when I saw the first sign I had to immediately stop and a take a photo--even though (as you can see in the photo to the right) it was a little too dark for a good photo.

I've personally been working to help move Kansas City's bicycle route plan from plan to reality for 11 years--check out the very first story ever posted to MoBikeFed News, in August 2002, about a call to action for a city council vote on the BikeKC plan, as well as 11 years of news and every-hopeful updates about progress and implementation of the BikeKC plan on MoBikeFed News.

But I'm only one of many who have worked in many different ways over the years to make Kansas City's bicycle route plan become a reality.  And others have been working on it for far, far longer--we have a copy of the city's 1980 bicycle plan, never implemented.

But--now it is.  Congratulations, Kansas City!

You can see Kansas City's bike map online--or request a printed copy--here.  The map shows all the planned routes.  Route signage and other markings are now installed on most all streets planned for the first phase of the plan.  Other work in support of the bike route system--including hazard mitigation, such as changing out hundreds of unsafe drain grates, has been done quietly over the past 10 years or so.

BikeWalkKC has an excellent rundown of the entire BikeKC and what is being implemented this spring. By the end of this year, Kansas City will have:

  • Bike lanes: 26 miles
  • Sharrows: 8 miles
  • Signed Bike routes: 292 miles
  • Share the Road signs: 60 miles
  • Multi-use trails: 65 miles

In addition, the city is currently working on a project to update the BikeKC plan--for instance, determining specifically what type of facility will go on each road and route in the plan