Mayor Sly James and the City of Kansas City are joining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, a call to action by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to improve safety for bicycle riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year.
“Walkability and bikeability are essential ingredients to livability and making Kansas City more livable is an important objective,” James said. “Secretary Foxx’s initiative provides an effective framework to ensure Kansas City is a more attractive community for all citizens and visitors.”
The DOT strategy calls for seven key strategies:
Adopt a “complete streets” transportation planning approach so that walking and bicycling are considered equal to other transportation modes.
Identify and address mobility barriers, especially to people of all ages and abilities, including those using assistive devices.
Gather and track biking and walking data.
Encourage design appropriate to the area context and use of streets.
Create and complete walking and biking networks during maintenance, such as resurfacing.
Strengthen ordinances to protect pedestrians and bicyclists.
Educate and enforce proper road use by all.
“We are prepared to address the key strategy areas outlined by the Challenge,” said Deb Ridgway, Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator in the Kansas City Public Works Department. “Pedestrian and bicyclist safety is very important to the city, as evidenced by programs we have implemented over the past few years along with our livable streets approach to roadway project design.”
Ridgway said the city currently is developing a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan in partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Other initiatives include a bicycle master plan and a city resolution to achieve platinum designation as a bike- and pedestrian-friendly community.
About 120 cities or other governmental units nationwide have signed on to DOT’s Mayor’s Challenge. Columbia and St. Louis join Kansas City as participating cities in Missouri. A Mayors’ Challenge Summit kick-off event is being held March 12 in Washington and a capstone event will be held next year to celebrate accomplishments and share best practices.
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