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October 17, 2007

Bridge walkways needed

The recent death of a pedestrian has once again brought to the forefront the issue of safe bicycle and pedestrian access to Kansas City’s river bridges.

The downtown renewal is outfitting our beautiful city with a vibrant, livable and healthy new downtown space. People are snapping up condos and lofts, and looking for ways to enjoy living without having to use a car.

Did you know that our heritage as a Missouri Riverfront city is actually a hindrance to those who wish to live downtown?

There are no pedestrian walkways or sidewalks to get across any of our bridges. Anyone who has driven across the Broadway Bridge has seen people walking down the middle “catwalk,” little more than a 2-foot-wide section of curb between four lanes of speeding traffic.

When will MoDOT step up and commit to keeping those who walk and bike downtown safe? So many other Midwestern cities have successfully added pedestrian walkways over freeways and rivers, leaving Kansas City on the bench. We need safe walkways across all of our bridges, and we need them now.

Sarah Belanus
Kansas City

Comments

GCYL

“Oh, and if your car breaks down there, you're screwed.”

No, the cars behind you are screwed. :D

“Isn't pedestrian and bicycle traffic prohibited on Interstates?”

I believe so but there’s this river and shouldn’t our bridges have the ability to move bikes and pedestrian also? Otherwise I’m all for specialized roads/trials with their own dedicated bridges for bikes and pedestrian traffic.

Engineer

Isn't pedestrian and bicycle traffic prohibited on Interstates?

ScooterJ

I've walked across the Heart of America several times. It's definitely the safest with its wide eastern shoulder but it's still scary. I don't understand why we can't have a simple concrete divider in the middle of that shoulder to give pedestrians a safe path isolated from traffic.

There are many downtowners who work at VML and would love a safe pedestrian walkway on the Broadway Bridge. I know a few people who have walked to work... once... and been too terrified by the experience to ever do it again.

CRD

Oh, and if your car breaks down there, you're screwed.

CRD

Need easier access running along 1-70 viaduct between KCMO and KCK as well. I see people walking along the shoulderless bridge all the time.

T. Hanson


"There are no pedestrian walkways or sidewalks to get across any of our bridges."
This is a fact, but the Heart of America Bridge does have quite a bit of shoulder room on the bridge and the approaches.
The Broadway bridge (constructed in the late 60's) was never meant to be pedestrian friendly, and anyone that has been on the extension knows how dangerous it is (the person hit was not on the grassy side of the barriers).
Should KC (Not the state) build a crossing? Yea, but where? There really is no resident housing near Broadway Bridge. Chouteau Bridge does have a good shoulder now, so does the 435 bridges on both sides of the state line. But just like Broadway there is no real resident housing (north side). So the bridge that is near to resident housing is Heart of America.
I think the best investment instead of guessing where the best place for a pedestrian bridge should go we should just simply put it towards a fund for bridge replacement (Paseo Bridge soon) and then when we build it make a designated passenger sidewalk next to the road bed.

 
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