Today Kansas City, MO Mayor Mark Funkhouser held a press conference to outline the city’s new push to become a truly bike-friendly city, including an action plan to become a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community by 2020. To help League of American Bicyclists’ highest designation, Councilmember Russ Johnson is sponsoring the formation of a citizens task force to advise the city and help shape future bike policy.
Councilmember Johnson rode to City Hall today from his home in the Northland and noted that while it was a nice ride, getting across the Missouri River continues to be a problem that the city and state need to fix. He also stressed the need for the city to do a better job of including bicycle and pedestrian facilities as it builds and renovates infrastructure. Mayor Funkhouser mentioned the opportunity to integrate bicycling with light rail, including things like bike parking at train stations and a bike/ped lane on any future light rail bridge across the Missouri River. Finally, KC Bike/Ped Coordinator Deb Ridgway outlined the action plan to get KC from where are today to the platinum level that Portland, OR just achieved this spring.
The Kansas City officials were joined by Mayor Jeff Meyers of Shawnee, KS. That suburb is a Bronze Level Bike Friendly Community, the first and only city in the KC metro area to achieve a BFC designation. Along with Roeland Park Mayor (and cyclist) Steve Petrehn, the three mayors are challenging other metro area cities to go for a Bicycle Friendly designation and create a fully bike-friendly region.
- WDAF-TV Fox 4: Give your car a rest for Bike Week
- KC Star Video of the press conference
- KSHB-TV 41 has helicopter video of Russ Johnson’s bike commute
- Bicycle Friendly Communities program
- More photos from the press conference and a slide show