KANSAS CITY, Ks. – The Unified Government of Wyandotte County has committed to designing new roads with walkers and bike riders in mind. Mayor Joe Reardon says adopting this 'complete streets' philosophy changes the way city planners approach transit projects, and he hopes that will lead to some concrete improvements down the road.
"This resolution says city staff, when you're out there doing those things you do every year, you have to account for health in it, and you have to show us what the options are to make it a complete street. And then bring that to the governing body because it's the elected officials that make the decision about where you spend money and how you invest," Reardon says. "Well, we're not going to be able to make those good decisions and have a healthy dialogue if we don't have that menu of options."
Joe Connor, director of Wyandotte's health department, says the issue first caught the county's attention during a series of public forums last year.
"A common theme throughout all of our meetings was lack of a pedestrian friendly infrastructure," Connor says.
He and other staff then drafted a so-called "complete streets" resolution, which commissioners unanimously adopted at last week's board meeting.
Kansas City, Missouri and Lee's Summit have similar policies.
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