KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People across the metro are voicing their continued concerns over the bike lane construction on Truman Road.
The bike lanes were put in by the city as part of the Complete Streets project, aimed at making Truman Road accessible for all types of transportation. During a committee meeting Wednesday, councilwoman Melissa Robinson said the city failed to see how the construction would negatively impact businesses along that road.
Robinson went on to say that in the urgency of trying to complete the project, the city’s implementation of the project is not safe for anyone and failed to get feedback from business owners prior to starting construction.
“I dealt with the pandemic for three years, all the restrictions and everything that happened and now this came,” one frustrated business owner said during Wednesday’s meeting. “I’d rather deal with the pandemic restrictions. This has just been awful.”
Robinson stated that adjustments are needed and recommended passing legislation to remove the bike lanes and other infrastructure that is blocking businesses, while still protecting cyclists and others on the road.
“Personally, I’ve lost two dear friends in recent years to traffic violence, a third was nearly killed this October just off of Truman after existing the bike lanes and thankfully he’s recovered well enough to be back to work today,” a concerned cyclist said.
After a lot of discussion and hearing from the public, Mayor Lucas recommended a final decision be held until Wednesday, February 15 to give city leaders more time to figure out the best way to move forward for everyone.
One late amendment offered Wednesday calls for moving the bike lanes now on both side of Truman all to the south side of the street creating what’s called a cycle track of two-way bike lanes.
Venus Restoration and the two other building John Mika owns are on the south side of Truman Road.
The proposal would double the amount of bike lanes in front of his business he says have already been giving his customers and delivery drivers headaches the past couple months since they were installed.
“I don’t like it on either side of the road so I’d double hate it on this side,” Mika said.
BikeWalkKC, which last week asked cyclists to oppose the ordinance saying removal could cost more than $1 million, expressed tentative approval Wednesday.
“This does seem like a compromise that can work for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users,” Michael Kelley, BikeWalkKC policy director, said.
Full details haven’t been announced of how the double bike lanes might be installed differently than the single lanes which created confusion and what Robinson called a potentially deadly situation for drivers and people parking in front of businesses.