On February 6th BikeWalkKC had a great group of Olathe (suburb of Kansas City) residents turn out for a discussion about Complete Streets and opportunities for improving Olathe’s walking and bicycling facilities. At that meeting BikeWalkKC scheduled a follow-up meeting for February 29th, however a very important city meeting has been scheduled for the same time. So BikeWalkKC is cancelling their meeting and encouraging everyone to attend the city meeting. They will be there with our partners from KanBikeWalk and KC Healthy Kids.
BikeWalkKC is the unified voice for active living, promoting a healthy, safe and accessible outdoor experience for all in a vibrant, engaged community.
They are a member-supported organization that works to make Greater Kansas City a safer and more accessible place to walk, bicycle, live, work, and play. Their advocacy programs work with local cities to improve policies and build sidewalks, trails, crosswalks, bike lanes, and more. Their education programs give people the knowledge and skills to walk and to bicycle safely and confidently for transportation, recreation, and fitness.
BikeWalkKC sent out the following call to action for the next City of Olathe planning meeting.
The City of Olathe is updating its planning and zoning rules, providing a great opportunity to make future development more accessible for walking, bicycling, transit, etc. On Wednesday, February 29th the city is holding its first public meeting for residents to provide input on how the city grows and develops in the future.
Wednesday, February 29th
City Council Chambers, City Hall
Real Estate Developers
8:30 am. to 10:30 a.m.
*also open to general public
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The city’s new master plan, PlanOlathe, includes many concepts from the Complete Streets movement, the simple idea that all streets should be designed and built to safely accommodate all people – motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, the elderly, people with disabilities, etc. PlanOlathe was created in 2010 with the involvement of hundreds Olathe residents. It’s the guiding vision for the future of the city.
Implementing the plan
Now that the city has an updated vision, it’s time to update the planning and zoning rules that ultimately implement the plan. These are regulations for how new neighborhoods are arranged, the arrangement of new shopping areas and business centers, and the placement of parks and trails. All of these things contribute to making the city accessible for walking and bicycling. Or they can make it difficult to get anywhere without a car.
We want the city to take the great Complete Streets elements from the PlanOlathe vision and put them into the new planning and zoning regulations. The vision includes walking and bicycling, and now the rules and regulations need reflect that vision. Here are some specific things you can ask for at the public meetings on February 29th:
- More sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, and crosswalks
- New neighborhoods designed to allow for easier and safer bicycling and walking
- Ensure new developments are easily access bile by transit
- Plan for the potential of commuter rail and bus rapid transit in the future
- Major barriers like main roads, highways, and railroads are easier to cross on foot or on bike
- Consider other ways to reduce traffic congestion before expanding roads
- PlanOlathe web site
- Bike/walk highlights in PlanOlathe (PDF)
- Current planning and zoning regulations to be updated