Long delayed bike lanes finally installed in Midtown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After years of delays, work finally is beginning Friday to establish a bike-way through Midtown.

The bike lanes along Armour Boulevard are designed to make the neighborhood safer.

These will be the first protected bike lanes in Kansas City, separating bicycles from motor vehicles on Armour Boulevard by using parked cars.

Kansas City received federal funds for this project in 2013, but debate over how best to make the city more bicycle and pedestrian friendly stalled the project for years.

The advocacy group, BikeWalk KC, succeeded last year in getting community support for the Armour bikeway plan, which also includes other safety upgrades for Midtown.

"The community is really supportive about it because it’s not just about the bike lanes," said Eric Bunch, policy director for BikeWalk KC. "We are doing some serious traffic calming on Armour, a street that’s notorious for speeding and people just not feeling comfortable crossing it on foot. Or crossing it in their car even."

Armour has been reduced to one lane in each direction while the work to build a protected bike lane is underway.

Crews will apply a new layer of asphalt on Armour before striping for the new bike lanes happens.

There are also plans to put bike lanes on The Paseo this year. A city committee Tuesday will hear public testimony on reconstructing the Paseo Gateway at Independence Avenue and The Paseo to best serve walkers, bikers and drivers.