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Sidewalk improvements, pedestrian safety up to KC voters

Posted: 3:48 PM, Mar 30, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-30 22:40:39Z

A Midtown mother is on a mission to make the urban core more pedestrian friendly.

Kaitlyn Bunch walks with her 3-year-old son and 4-month-old twin girls every day.

Her son’s daycare is only about five blocks away, but the short walk is full of safety issues.

“You know just your average person walking down the street has a tough time on these sidewalks a lot,” she said. “They're old, they're crumbling, they're falling apart, and sometimes they don’t even exist.”

41 Action News first interviewed Bunch nearly two years ago.

In that time, she and her husband, Eric, have repeatedly reached out to the city for help.

They’ve joined together with neighbors to shine a light on the lack of walkability in the urban core. 

On Tuesday, April 4, Kansas City residents will vote yes or no on the Go Bond. The Go Bond is an $800 million, 20-year investment plan for the city.

Question one deals with funding infrastructure, including sidewalks. 

“$150 million over 20 years, that’s $7.5 million a year that will go to sidewalks,” said Eric Bunch, the Policy Director for Bike Walk KC. “Currently, there is almost nothing going to sidewalks."

As of now, if you report a sidewalk that needs to be fixed, the expense falls on the homeowner. That’s one reason why so many in KC are deteriorating. 

The Bunches believe a vote for the Go Bond will not only improve city living, but also safety. It will also take away that financial burden many neighbors don’t even know about.

“I think a vote yes on question one is really our chance to change the way sidewalks are repaired here in the city,” Bunch said.

Some critics of the Go Bond believe Kansas City leaders have misspent money for decades, which is why many roads, bridges and sidewalks around the city are failing.