County-wide bike path goes down controversial road in Wyandotte County

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Wyandotte County's year-long plan to build a county-wide bike path is leading down the road to growing controversy.

There are a growing number of people who say they are opposed, because they believe it would be harmful to their economic health.
     
It is why about 30 angry Kansas City, Kan., business owners met with government officials Tuesday night to tell them it's time to put the brakes on the plan.

The Unified Government is in the process of building a five-mile bike path that extends from Missouri to Johnson County.
     
The path will run along the newly re-paved Southwest Boulevard and down a new Merriam Lane in KCK, eventually to Johnson County. It is one of the city's most popular roads for cyclists.
      
The president of the Kansas City Metro Bicycle Club said a healthy society is a better society.

"I think it's great," Mark Horn said. "If we would all get out of our cars just a little bit and walk and ride our bikes a little more, we'd all be more healthy."

But business owners said the plan will take away valuable parking spaces, and therefore their business.

The government says Merriam Lane needs to be updated. The new pavement and a bike path is being built in part to spur on new business.

Ron Quick, with Quick's BBQ on Merriam Lane, said he'll lose his business.

"If you're riding a bicycle, you're not eating a half pound spiral cut, deep fried hot dog," he said. "That class of folks probably aren't going to stop in a lot."

The project is already underway on Southwest Boulevard and the last phase is expected to be complete in 2016.
 

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