KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City leaders are trying to reduce their traffic fatalities to absolutely zero by the year 2030. That’s car vs. pedestrian and car vs. car deaths. It’s a part of their Vision Zero plan. 

“Anything that you see that delineates bike facilities, pedestrian facilities, changes in intersections, street geometry, all of that relates to Vision Zero,” City Manager Brian Platt told FOX4 Wednesday. “This is one of the many ways that we in Kansas City are making our streets safe for all of our users.” 

The city could apply for a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to try to make the streets safer.

Streets with more lanes usually have more crashes and deaths. It’s why BikeWalkKC’s Michael Kelley wants the city to invest in more “road diets,” which just like it sounds, is a way to reduce lanes. 

“So the road needs to be put on a diet, so it’s a little bit wide,” Kelley told FOX4 Wednesday. “But the idea is it’s something that’s grounded in science. The Federal Highway Administration has studied road diets across the country over a number of years, and they found that road diets are very effective.

“They can reduce crashes by as much as 48% in some instances. And so it’s something that we know works, and we’ve seen it tried in other places, and we want to bring that here to Kansas City.”

Platt said the Vision Zero plan doesn’t relate to just one part of the city. It’s related to every part.

“I’ll note that we’ve had some resistance on the East side for some of these changes and improvements, and so we’re prioritizing every area that we can… I’m not sure,” Platt said when asked why there may be some resistance from residents on that side of the city.

Kelley said traffic deaths in the city are bad.

“The report that was released as part of the Vision Zero action plan noted that there have been over 700 people who have died on our streets since 2010,” he said. “Black users are disproportionately represented in those numbers.”

Kelley said it’s because of a history of not investing in parts of the city like 31st Street and Troost Avenue, calling streets like this “dangerous by design.”

“We have studies that have been done across the country which have shown that specifically we are building large arterials and overbuilt streets for cars alone in communities that need multiple transportation options because of a higher concentration of households without access to a car,” he continued.

The Kansas City Council’s Transportation Committee passed a resolution Wednesday that would have the city apply for a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The resolution would try to help implement this plan. The full city council will vote on it Thursday.