You say sidewalks are important – we want to know why

sidewalk-1The Midtown KC Post, BikeWalkKC and The Whole Person are teaming up to engage Midtown residents in a discussion of Kansas City’s sidewalks, why sidewalks are important and how sidewalk policy could be improved. The goal of the MidtownKC Walks project is to develop a community plan for fixing the problem identified by residents.

Midtown Kansas City residents have made it clear that sidewalks are important to them and they would like to see improvements. During the 2015 City Council election campaign, Midtown residents said sidewalks were an important issue they wanted the new city council to address. They also mentioned biking and walking as important policy issues. In the city’s 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, only 30 percent of people said they were satisfied with the condition of city sidewalks, and 54 percent said sidewalks are an important issue.

The first step in the process is to learn from the public exactly why Midtown residents, workers and visitors say they are dissatisfied with sidewalks. We’ve launched an online survey and a mapping tool where people can report bad sidewalks. You can also make comments on this post or on our Facebook page.

We’re also hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 7- 8:30 p.m. at The Whole Person, 3710 Main Street. (Meeting has be rescheduled due to a possible conflict with a World Series game). At this meeting, community residents will learn about the current Kansas City sidewalk policy and have a chance to give input into why they think sidewalks are important and what changes the city could consider to make them more satisfied with sidewalks.

Why sidewalks are an important issue

sidewalk-3At the Midtown KC Post, we have decided to make sidewalks a top issue in our reporting because of the overwhelming interest Midtown residents have shown in sidewalks.

“Our reporting on sidewalk issues will begin with listening to people who live, work and play in Midtown. We want to know why they have identified sidewalks as such an important issue, and how they think the city and the community could work together to make improvements,” Midtown KC Post editor Mary Jo Draper said.

At BikeWalkKC, Communications Director Kristen Jeffers says she hopes the project will extend the work the group has completed on safer routes to area schools, crosswalk improvements and street harassment to how sidewalk policy works in Midtown and throughout Kansas City.

“BikeWalkKC is also a Midtown resident as an organization; several of our staff are Midtown residents; and overall, we are always for anything that makes walking, biking and any people-powered transportation easier, safer and sensible. Also, as residents, we understand what it means to need better infrastructure and we understand the burden that the current city laws place on people who need sidewalk improvements.”