LTE: Bike plan lacks community input

To the dismay of many in Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood, the KCMO Bike KC plans for Historic Northeast, specifically Gladstone Boulevard, are moving forward with great speed. These plans call for a “major separation” reconfiguration of Gladstone Boulevard and Lexington, from The Paseo to Indian Mound to build a “dedicated bike lane.”

What is missing from this project is resident and stakeholder input. Those most affected have been virtually shut out. Those stakeholders include residents living on Gladstone and Lexington, the Kansas City Museum, the Landmarks Commission and all residents of Historic Northeast.

City Planners seem not to have bothered to learn much of the Historic Northeast’s demographics, character, or even relaxed flow of traffic along Gladstone. We live in a wonderfully ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood, which the KCMO planners are blind to. We have “shared the road” with bicyclists for decades, without incident. I encourage all concerned Northeast residents to consider what this will mean to a lovely and historic boulevard.

Go to midtown and look at Armour Blvd, which is what will happen to Gladstone unless we become engaged. The Armour reconfiguration is not safer, nor attractive. But “safety” and “lifestyle changes” is what the KCMO Bike KC and BikeWalkKC are after. They are privileging a small group of people—bicyclists—few of whom live in Historic Northeast—over the needs and desires of Northeast residents. It is a fundamentally “elitist” plan sponsored by one group of people who feel entitled to “protected status.” What we need in KCMO—and Historic Northeast— is more green public transportation that serves a larger community. Dedicated bike lanes that serve the few are not going to save the planet.

Share your concerns now. Email Terry Rynard at the Parks Dept at Terry.Rynard@kcmo.org
Time is running out.

Catherine Morris
Northeast Resident

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