KC adds temporary scooter, bike lane downtown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oak Street will be reduced to one lane throughout October between 17th and 19th streets as a temporary scooter and bike lane is added to an area known for speeding drivers.

"This is a street that has been plagued with car crashes for people that are driving at excessive speeds," said Eric Bunch, the policy director at BikeWalk KC.

That makes it potentially dangerous for scooter and bike riders, so Better Block KC decided to do something about it.

"We are recipients of the AARP Livable Communities Challenge and we got a grant to promote street safety," Better Block KC volunteer DuRun Netsell said.

The community group is using the $2,500 grant to modify a lane on Oak Street just for bike and scooter riders.

"We are giving the community an opportunity to experience what a redesigned Oak Street would look like," Netsell said.

And it isn't a typical bike lane.

"Typically, we would just call this a bike lane, but now we are calling it a mobility lane," Netsell said. "It's scooters, bicycles, Segways, long boards, skateboards," said Netsell.

While parking will still be available alongside the opposite lane, riders should feel safer with the change.

"We are using those parked cars as well as cinder block and planters to protect the bicyclists and scooters and it also provides an additional buffer for pedestrians," Netsell said.

Organizers hope city leaders examine the temporary addition and make it permanent.

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