Last night the Lee’s Summit City Council approved by 6-1 the Kansas City metro area’s first-ever Complete Streets policy. The new Livable Streets policy makes it the goal of the City to include all roadway users when planning new transportation projects and to document when and why any particular project is exempted from the policy.
Ed Kraemer, Livable Streets Lee’s Summit Chair, and Michael Park, City Traffic Engineer, made a great presentation of the plan and did a great job answering some very tough questions from City Councilmembers. The only dissenting vote was that of Councilman Bob Johnson, a real estate developer who repeatedly raised the red herring of being forced to build “expensive” bike lanes on small residential streets. Most Councilmembers were supportive and recognized the importance of a more bike/ped-friendly city for quality of life, sustainability, and economic competitiveness.
Kudos to Lee’s Summit for having the vision and courage to make a bold public statement about a better future for their community. Who will follow Lee’s Summit’s lead? KCMO and Leawood are currently considering Complete Streets policies, and you can ask your own city to do the same. The Mid-America Regional Council has been feeling some pressure to adopt a regional policy, and the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation will be introducing a state-wide version when the General Assembly convenes in January.