Is Kansas City Bike Friendly?
For most of us getting around Kansas City is a matter of finding the road with the least traffic and no construction. But for some of us, the problems are more elemental than that: Is there a bike lane or will I have to dodge traffic? Can I walk to get my groceries or go to the doctor? What do I do if I don’t have a car?
Eric Bunch, Educational Director for BikeWalk KC affirms that bikes have a legal right to the road, and just because the majority of individuals choose to drive from point A to point B, doesn't mean everyone must. Bunch also explains that there is a distinct difference between a road and a street. While most of us would consider them synonyms, Bunch clarifies that a road simply connects two places, while a street is a public place to circulate people. While roads and streets have essentially become combined in Kansas City, this makes transportation harder on bikers.
Nonetheless, with more people returning to the urban core or go green and give up driving, bicyclists in Kansas City are seeking more infrastructure to support their growing numbers. Bunch claims that Kansas City is doing a great job of accommodating for cars and adding capacity for drivers, but not so much for those who choose to take two wheels to work instead of four.
It may be time to diversify Kansas City's transportation portfolio. With a growing movement of individuals taking their bike to work, or even using their bicycle as their main mode of transportation, Kansas City must find a way to accommodate them. Our city has made some progress with new bike paths and rentable bikes, but the biking community feels that we're a long way from being considered a "bike-friendly" city.
- Eric Bunch, Director of Education at BikeWalk KC