Preliminary survey results: Better sidewalks would lead to more walking

untitled-(30-of-43)People who live and work in Midtown say they would walk more if sidewalks were in better shape. They also think their families and other folks would do the same.

The Midtown KC Post, BikeWalkKC and The Whole Person are working together on the MidtownKC Walks project. We’ll be reporting on the city’s sidewalk policies and procedures and asking people what is going right and wrong with sidewalks in Midtown.

We’ll also bring the community together to discuss sidewalks and work on ideas for making it easier to get around in Midtown.

The first step is a survey we launched on Oct. 6.

take the survey

So far, no one who has taken our survey thinks getting around Kansas City using a wheelchair, walker, stroller or other mobility device is easy.

And no one who has taken our survey so far would categorize Midtown streets as in good repair; a majority of people rate the sidewalks they use as in poor repair.

We’re also learning that people have very strong feelings about the sidewalk policy that makes property owners responsible for potentially costly repairs – so much so that some people are even reluctant to take our survey.

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 goal of our survey is to learn more about which particular aspects of sidewalks are so important, how people use them to get around in Midtown, and what problems they encounter.

We’re also hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 7- 8:30 p.m. at The Whole Person, 3710 Main Street. (Stay in touch in case the meeting conflicts with a World Series game and needs to be rescheduled).  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 make to make them more satisfied with sidewalks.

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