In addition to upgrading roads, KC planning 10-mile bikeway along Paseo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As the weather gets warmer and more people head outside, the city says it's working to make the streets friendlier for walkers, runners and cyclists.

Just last year, some complained that the city had federal grants to make street improvements for bikers and pedestrians, but no work had happened. That's all changing now.

Construction of a protected bike lane on Armour Boulevard, between the Broadway Boulevard and The Paseo begins next month.

Parked vehicles will separate cyclists from motorized traffic.

Other streets will undergo a road diet, similar to what's happened on Grand Avenue, where traffic lanes have been reduced or eliminated to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

"Oftentimes there’s a tough community discussion, but when you see projects like Grand Boulevard, which had a road diet, you took travel lanes away and put in buffered bike lanes this summer, there's been a lot of positive reception," city planner Joe Blankenship said. "Conversations sometimes are tough, but the outcomes have been beneficial."

The city also is designing a 10-mile long bikeway along The Paseo from 85th Street to Independence Avenue. And a Midtown Complete Streets project seeks to make Charlotte  and Holmes avenues safer routes for those who want to get around on their own two feet.

Road diets could become more common across Kansas City after the city council reviews and approves a new bicycle master plan that's expected this summer.