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KCMO cutting costs for property owners to install bike racks

Posted: 7:10 PM, Jan 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-01 17:44:14Z

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Outside Sloop Dental Co. in Brookside there are two unique bike racks that are a hit with patients.

"People love to bike around here and that's a long-term stability of East Brookside is bike-ability and walkability," Dr. Jackie Sloop, owner of Sloop Dental Co. said Wednesday.

In the summer of 2016, Sloop reached out to Bike Walk KC to help her navigate through the permitting process.

"We want to empower small businesses to make small changes in their community, improve their community by adding an amenity like a bike rack," Eric Bunch, policy director at Bike Walk KC told 41 Action News.

Sloop chose to install her bike racks, that are in the shape of a tooth, within her property line because of a simple reason.

"If they were closer to the curb, I would have to pull a lot more permits, the process would have probably taken 18 months," Sloop said.

That's because right now any Kansas City, Missouri property owner who wants a bike rack installed on a sidewalk has to apply for a so-called "encroachment permit".

Public works said the upfront cost is $196, then there's an annual fee of $60.

However, a proposal making its way through city hall slashes the costs to a one-time fee of $160.

"We're just looking forward to making it easier by amending this code and just taking out a step in the process," Beth Breitenstein, a spokesperson for KCMO public works said.

According to Bike Walk KC, the discussion for a bike rack permit began in 2012.

"I think it's emblematic of the slow progress that the city has been making, but we are seeing progress and we're seeing it accelerate at a very rapid pace," Bunch said.

Case in point, the city is using a federal grant to install more than 100 K.C. branded bike racks in hotspots like the Crossroads.

"We're just really hitting momentum right now on some of those things we're looking at all ways to accommodate bicyclists," Breitenstein said.

If you're a property owner interested in installing a bike rack, visit this link for more information .