Downtown bicycle loop project to go before KC city council

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you've been waiting on Kansas City to become more bike friendly, you're not alone.

Wednesday morning, the city's public works department asked for $600,000 to improve roads for bicyclists on the Downtown Loop Bike Project, which stretches from midtown to downtown.

Ralph Davis, deputy director of Kansas City Public Works, said this bike project has been stalled out since 2011, largely because it was using federal funding.

Because of that, contractors were adding in a 30 percent overhead margin when they were quoting the city. That led bids to come in twice what the city budgeted for the project.

City leaders said if they work with the Missouri Department of Transportation, they can lump it in with street overlay work already done annually, cutting costs significantly.

People in favor of the bike lanes said it will lead to a healthier Kansas City, and say it's been a long time coming.

"Every year, it's another disappointment because they don't happen. People are just very frustrated, but we think it's moving in a positive direction," explained Eric Rogers, the executive director of Bike Walk KC.

Davis said some of the work they need to have done is resurfacing, stripping the roads, painting lines, as well as having bike facilities like bike lanes added.

Click here for more information from the city on the Downtown Bike Loop.

The 18th Street segment from Grand to the Jazz District and beyond will reportedly be delayed until 2018 because the Water Department is replacing a water main under 18th Street in the spring.

The full council was scheduled to hear the proposal Thursday.

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