NewsLocal News


Advocacy group applauds proposed bill that would decriminalize biking, walking

Posted at 7:39 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 08:39:22-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Legislation is being discussed at the Kansas City, Missouri, City Hall that could repeal three existing laws concerning jaywalking and bicycles.

The legislation, sponsored by Mayor Quinton Lucas, focuses on three city codes.

Code 70-268 requires wheels and tires to be clean, 70-706 allows the inspection of bicycles relating to traffic and vehicles, and 70-783 relates to "jaywalking."

According to authors of the proposed bill, the three existing city codes don't make people safer and expose citizens to unnecessary interactions with law enforcement.

Bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization, BikeWalkKC supports the bill and said it will help decriminalize biking and walking in the city.

"We deserve to be able to walk and bike in our streets without worrying about being punished for something as simple as walking where there might not be a crosswalk or biking with a bike that may not be 100% in tip top shape," said Michael Kelley with BikeWalkKC.

Kelley said the organization has heard stories of people punished by the existing city codes they hope will be repealed.

"We've heard from members of the community where someone has been doing something as simple as maybe having a step outside of a crosswalk or maybe they just happen to be walking in a place where there aren't sidewalks," he said.

The proposed bill points to studies that looked at cities across the country where jaywalking and similar laws were enforced of communities of color.

The legislation is being discussed in the transportation, infrastructure and operations committee of the city council.

A spokesperson for KCPD said the department could not comment on pending legislation.