Transportation
Choices
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Provide a range of transportation choices for communities across the region to allow for ease of travel as well as public health and environmental benefits

Residents need access to more walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods with complete streets that accommodate all users. A variety of housing and transportation choices, supported by a centers-and-corridors investment strategy, will connect people to activity centers.

Places that have diverse transportation and housing choices appeal to businesses to locate there, creating more opportunity for residents.

Land-use rules that drive new investments in transportation ensure residents are well connected to new economic opportunities and other services, such as jobs, schools and retail.

Supporting programs

These programs or initiatives can help us achieve our goals by directly advancing various plan strategies.

Performance measures

Combined, transportation and housing costs constitute the largest single expense for the majority of American households. Offering more affordable transportation and housing options means freeing up funds to be used in other ways, perhaps investing in education or back into the local economy. It also can help families withstand economic shocks and stresses by allowing them greater freedom to adjust their budgets when times are tight.

One of the best ways to promote physical activity in a daily routine is to make the process of getting from one place to another an active one. That means creating safe and convenient options for walking and biking. Improving sidewalks and bike facilities will encourage habitual active transportation such as children biking to school or employees walking to work. Safe and convenient opportunities for physically active travel also expands access to transportation networks for people without cars.

The map below shows the region’s current bikeway system in dark blue with planned facilities in light blue in addition to environmental justice (EJ) areas—places with concentrations of communities of color and/or lower income communities. These EJ areas have the highest proportions of zero-car households in the region, and would greatly benefit from bikeway and other alternative mode facilities. This map also contains existing and planned transit service layers that can be turned on.

Alternative Transportation

Increased active transportation means fewer car trips, reducing pollution and in turn making our air cleaner. The American Lung Association found that increased active transportation can significantly reduce premature deaths, heart attacks, asthma attacks, chronic and acute bronchitis cases, respiratory-related emergency room visits, and lost work days.

When discussing transportation choices, not just in the Kansas City region, the importance of including a discussion of American Disabilities Act (ADA) cannot be overstated. State and local governments have specific compliance obligations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

One of these requirements is an ADA transition plan, which addresses the following:

  • Physical barriers that limit the accessibility of programs, activities, or services.
  • How to remove barriers and make facilities accessible.
  • A schedule to get the work completed and who is responsible.

The types of infrastructure that are addressed by the ADA transition plan include curb ramps, level boarding for public transportation, golf courses, swimming pools, playground areas and more. As people need transportation to go to and from work, get to medical appointments, purchase groceries and recreate, all modes of transportation need to be properly addressed to avoid discrimination against anyone.

STRATEGIES

COMPLETE AND GREEN STREETS — Design, build and maintain streets that are safe and convenient for all travelers, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders and freight and that use natural systems to enhance stormwater management, mitigate heat islands, improve air and water quality to create desirable corridors connecting walkable activity centers. Complete streets information

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE — Implement recommendations in the regional Green Infrastructure Framework. Integrate environmental, land use and transportation planning to achieve multiple policy goals using natural and engineered ecosystem services within transportation programs and projects.

MOBILITY HUBS — Work with local governments to develop, fund and build mobility hubs in key activity centers where transit services connect with a variety of other mobility services so people can easily switch from bike to bus, rent a car or bike, hail a ride, meet a vanpool, or charge an electric vehicle.

MOBILITY INNOVATIONS — Promote innovative services and technologies that expand or enhance safe and efficient mobility options for people and goods.

MORE MODE CHOICES — Prioritize broader implementation of accessible mobility services, such as bicycle, scooter and car-sharing options, as well as microtransit services to supplement fixed-route transit with first/last mile solutions.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION — Expand and enhance transit services along high-demand corridors as recommended in the Smart Moves Plan. Provide microtransit, or other on-call, curb to curb mobility services for lower density areas throughout the region to provide an appropriate balance between ridership and coverage goals.

REGIONAL CONNECTIONS — Support improvements to intercity passenger and freight transportation facilities and services that connect our region to domestic and international markets.

SAFETY — Prioritize safety for all modes of travel through engineered, educational and enforcement solutions as recommended in the Regional Safety Blueprint. This may include engineering efforts such as traffic calming and street tree planting, educational outreach such as public service announcements and data sharing, and enforcement of seat belt and safe driving behaviors.

TRAILS AND BIKEWAYS — Implement the MetroGreen system with continued planning support as needed, in coordination with the Regional Bikeway Plan. This includes connected trails, greenways and the network of on- and off-road facilities. Develop this system with an increased emphasis on natural resource conservation and restoration of connected stream and riparian corridors.

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