Location: KCMO

Pledge to Put People on the Paseo Bridge

From Laurie Chipman of Let’s Go KC regarding the Put People on the Paseo Bridge campaign:

Put People on the Paseo BridgeMany people have pledged their support for a walking and bicycling trail on the new Paseo bridge and we want to say “Thank you!” There is only one week left for you to help this important cause that will make our community more green and equitable for all citizens. We need your support now.

See the supporters and pledge.

Our goal is to get 5,000 pledges of $20 each by November 24, 2008. Kansas City, Missouri has CMAQ funds that need a match of 20 percent. Your pledge could go to help raise the match. MODOT will not construct this bridge unless KCMO and other agencies raise the money.

Here are some community concerns:

  • There is no safe Missouri river crossing for bicyclists or pedestrians in our region.
  • If Kansas City is serious about the Climate Protection Plan and other green initiatives we need to offer transportation choices now.
  • To get energy independence and improve air and water quality we need to include more walking, bicycling and transit options. One-third of greenhouse gases come from transportation.
  • More people than ever want to walk and bicycle.
  • We need this river crossing for region connectivity to trails and roads both north and south and to the future KATY Trail connection.
  • The council of the City of Kansas City, MO has two resolutions that support the trail and MARC has policy that supports it.
  • This is an important step for making Kansas City a League of American Bicyclists’ certified Bicycle Friendly City that will attract tourism, businesses and residents.
  • Everyone should be able to use the bridge not just motorists, but families, walking and cycling commuters, hikers, runners, people of all ages.

Our pledges will show how much we want good walking and bicycling facilities in the Kansas City region by helping to meet the match requirement needed by KCMO.

There has been significant media coverage of this campaign, including stories in the Kansas City Star (Cyclists push for right of passage on Paseo Bridge) and The Pitch (Cyclists pony up for Paseo Bridge bike lane).

Brent Hugh of the Missouri Bicycle Federation is angry about MoDOT’s attitude and tactics: Boneheaded MoDOT comments drive me to pledge another $1000 — “Talking to MoDOT has been like talking to a mud wall. They don’t want to hear it, they don’t want to acknowledge it. So they simply don’t. To have MoDOT’s Jennifer Benefield say, repeatedly, to the press, “There would be nowhere to go once you got off the bridge” is nothing short of infuriating. I have personally shown Benefield where bicyclists and pedestrians would go, once off the bridge. And I would be more than happy to show her again. The problem is that MoDOT is some sort of a state of denial, where they cannot comprehend that people can walk along roads that don’t have officially designated sidewalks and can bicycle on roads that are not officially designated bicycle routes. In fact, people do walk and bicycle extensively in the neighborhoods and industrial areas in either side of the bridge. And they depend on walking, bicycling, and transit to reach jobs, shopping, and other necessities. But — they can’t walk or bicycle across water.”

Please help. No money will be collected until the project goes forward. Pledge today.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

One response to “Pledge to Put People on the Paseo Bridge”

  1. Randy says:

    2008-12-16 update: “We have pledges from 380 individuals, families and clubs for a total of $22,121. That is an average of more than $58.00 per pledge. See the list of pledge supporters here; visit the Put People on the Paseo Facebook group