East Kansas City needs bicycle & pedestrian improvements more than the rest of the city, not less, says Bike Walk KC | MSN

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

A local pedestrian-focused transportation organization is hitting back at critics of improvements to bike paths and sidewalks on Kansas City's east side.
a person riding a bicycle on a city street© Provided by Entercom Radio, LLC

Michael Kelley, Policy Director for Bike Walk KC, said in order for Kansas City to create opportunities in the areas that need them most, investing in the most basic infrastructure is vital.

"Having transportation options beyond a car that include not just bike paths, but also additional sidewalks and bus routes are things we need to be considering to give these people access to various opportunities," Kelley told KMBZ.

MoBikeFed comment: In St Louis, for many years north STL residents complained that their neighborhoods were overlooked in the regional bike plans--despite the fact that many local citizens depend on walking and bicycling for basic transportation.

These neighborhoods have considerably more no-car households than Missouri's average.

So it is interesting to see the dynamics play out in similar neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Here, local advocates and leaders have tried to bring better, safer bicycling and walking access to these neighborhoods as a priority--and they're getting pushback from certain groups.

Would it be better to bypass these neighborhoods for now and come back to them in a few years after they have seen how much changing the streets and neighborhoods to be more bicycle and walk friendly helps transform entire neighborhoods for the better?

Part of the problem in Kansas City is that this sort of transformative biking and pedestrian planning is still very new. So citizens' defensive reactions and fear of the unknown play a large role.