Summary of SRTS: Local Spokes Across the KC Region 2021-22


Contact Information

Organization: BikeWalkKC
Contact person: Eric Rogers
Title: Executive Director
Phone: 816-205-7056
Organization address: 4741 Central Street, Suite 161
  Kansas City, MO    64112

General Information

G8.1 Project title: SRTS: Local Spokes Across the KC Region 2021-22
G8.2 Project description: Local Spokes is a comprehensive Safe Routes to School (SRTS) outreach and education program that encourages and empowers youth to walk and bike to school and improve their neighborhood using the 6 E’s approach. This is a regional program, serving 5,000 students annually.

Components: -Bicycle Safety Education -Pedestrian Safety Education -Walking School Bus -Active Ambassador Training -Public Engagement. Pre/post tests and student behavior surveys, arrival/dismissal evaluations, SRTS technical assistance, and built environment assessments will inform programmatic need and implementation stage.
G8.3 Project contact: Maggie Priesmeyer Green, Director of Programs
816-205-7056 ext. 7
G1. Project Type: Non-Motorized Transportation - SRTS Non-Infrastructure
G2. Funding Stream: TAP
G3. TIP Number: 996103
G4. State: Missouri
G5. Project county: 1. Region Wide
G6. Project municipality: 1. Multi-City
G7. Multiple agencies / jurisdictions? No
G8.4 Purpose and need: Missouri ranks 20th among states in obesity, with one in three children considered obese, and one of the largest populations suffering from obesity-related conditions. 50% less students walk and bike to school today compared to 40 years ago. Students lack the necessary resources, skills, and safety knowledge needed to make active transportation an easy choice. Additionally, barriers to biking and walking to school are plentiful. These problems are especially acute in vulnerable and underserved populations that have significantly health disparities and limited access to automobiles. Local Spokes aims to instill a desire for active living through biking and walking as viable forms of transportation. The program is designed to address the correlation between widespread physical inactivity, the city’s lack of infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian activities, and the immediate health and environmental threats facing our community.
G9. Origin and ending
  Length (Miles):

G10. Functional Classification: Not Applicable
G11. In Transportation Outlook 2040? No   Decade:   --Select--
G12. Muli-Agency Plan? Yes
This project is an important part of implementing several bicycle, pedestrian, walkability, and Safe Routes to School plans across the region. Jurisdictions with plans supported by this project include City of KCMO, Independence, North Kansas City, KCMO Public Schools, NKC Schools, Independence School District, Hickman Mills School District, Grandview School District and others.
G13. Included in a CIP? No
G14. Planning stage: Final Plan
G15. Reviewed by state DOT? Yes
G16. Right-of-Way acquisition: All acquired or none needed
G17. ROW by local public agency process manual? Yes
G18. Other unique local goals and objectives? Yes
This project supports the following TO 2040 Goals: Economic Vitality, Transportation Choices, Safety and Security, Environment, Climate Change and Energy Use.

Additionally, unique goals supported by this project include: engagement, learning, and equity. We are creating a culture of active transportation and sense of community by engaging students, parents, teachers, and neighborhood residents around SRTS. This project promotes learning as a primary goal in that evidence suggests a positive relationship between physical activity, grade point average, and classroom behavior. Finally, this project promotes equity by utilizing the 6 E’s SRTS model, the last E being equity. Not everyone has access to environments that support good health or access to transportation options. We focus on equity by targeting schools in some of the most underserved areas in the region.
G19. Transportation Disadvantaged Population: This project will primarily focus on providing education and resources to students in low-income communities. While underserved communities will not be the only audience, equity will be the guiding criteria for selecting schools to work with. Many of the schools to be served are in communities where the number of zero-car households is two or three times above the regional average and students suffer disproportionately from obesity-related diseases. Serving communities with profound transportation disparities will be central to this project. Schools participating in current SRTS programs have an average demographic profile of 66% African-American or Latino, and 80% free/reduced lunch.
G20. Relevant Public Engagement: BikeWalkKC works with stakeholders in many school districts and neighborhoods. Hundreds of meetings with school officials, parents, students, law enforcement, neighborhood associations, and community members have demonstrated a critical need for active transportation programming and education for students. This project has arisen from seven years of proactive engagement across the region and from past successes reaching 20,000 students through existing Local Spokes education programs.
G21. Planned Public Engagement: BikeWalkKC has a strong existing relationship with Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) thanks to a 2014-2016 Health Care Foundation grant that supported active transportation planning for the district. Recent support from the Aetna Foundation in 2017 is enabling us to dive deeper in our work with KCPS to evaluate educational programming and the effects of infrastructure on student travel patterns and rates of physical activity.

Additionally, BikeWalkKC has provided bicycle education and SRTS technical assistance to the Hickman Mills, North Kansas City, Grandview, and Independence school districts over the last several years, cultivating strong and sustainable relationships with these districts. BikeWalkKC will continue to employ a culturally sensitive and appropriate engagement strategy. We work with district translation services to ensure that program materials are culturally appropriate and we train education staff on cultural competence.

We are a trusted organization in the most disadvantaged parts of our region and will continue to engender a community of care through one-on-one outreach, grassroots community organizing, and consistent, reliable service.
G22. Sustainable Places Criteria: Access to Healthy Foods---Active Transportation/Living-------Compact, Walkable Centers--- Complete Street Design---Connected Street Network---Context Appropriate Streets---Diverse Housing Types--- ----Green Infrastructure-------Integrated Trail System--- Mixed-Density Neighborhoods---Natural Resources Protection---Optimize Parking---Pedestrian-Oriented Public Realm--- Renewable Energy-----------Strong Suburban Downtown--- Transit-Ready Corridors----Unique Community Characteristics
G22.1. Describe CSP relationship: While this is a non-infrastructure project, it will result in more children walking and biking to school. Safe Routes to School is a critical facet of any plan to increase walking and biking, and supports most of the sustainable places criteria listed here. lt increases the public’s understanding of the relationship between public health, transportation, active living, land use, community design, and the environment. Education, equity, and encouragement are critical components in a 6 Es approach to sustainability and public health. Safe Routes to School is a foundation that underlies most of the PSP and CSP work being done in the region.
G23. Implements Sustainable Places Initiatives? Yes
Creating Quality Places identifies neighborhoods that have a distinct identity to define their boundaries as walkable and bikeable, and fosters pride and sense of place among residents. Our interaction with participating SRTS schools will not solely be focused on students and schools: it will be community focused and community led, with an emphasis on the health and wellness of the entire neighborhood as it relates to SRTS. Through our partnerships we will help focus community pride on health and wellness via walking and biking, using the school as the center.

Additionally, participating SRTS Local Spokes schools reside in the same neighborhoods identified in the MARC CSP corridors: KCMO’s east side, the Northeast, north of the river, and areas of South KC.
G24. Serves Regional Activity Center? Yes
Highest-Intensity and Most-Walkable Centers Many SRTS school sites are adjacent to activity and employment centers in the urban core, first-ring suburbs, and suburban activity centers. Providing opportunities for kids to walk and bike to school reduces the transportation burden on parents. This is especially true for lower income households with limited access to automobiles and/or reliance on public transit for getting to work.

The most intensive programming will be offered in areas of highest density and walkability to ensure that the areas where biking and walking to school are most practical receive the greatest programmatic intervention. It is often the case that areas of highest density are also the most underserved and have the greatest health disparities. This is where the greatest opportunity exists for major improvements. Our project will prioritize for the areas where these two community characteristics overlap.
G25. Environmental justice tracts? Yes
School sites within environmental justice tracks are given priority for participation. This project has historically served schools with high rates of free/reduced lunch and minority populations, both in the urban core and first ring suburban neighborhoods. Students in these schools come from neighborhoods with high disparities in mobility, transportation options, transit dependency, health outcomes, and economic opportunities.

Increasing walking and biking to school is a crucial strategy for addressing environmental justice issues. Air quality, sidewalk conditions, crime, vacant buildings, and quality of street life all contribute to the health of student who walk or bike school, and are important determinants in whether of students walk or bike at all. SRTS improves the quality of life in Environmental Justice areas by reducing congestion, improving air quality, reducing crime, and improving the built environment.
G26. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions? Yes
We have already seen measured increase in walking and biking to school following the implementation of our education and encouragement programs. For example, observations conducted through our SRTS program in Wyandotte County show rates of kids walking or biking to school has more than doubled in the course of one year. This is decreasing the reliance on cars for parent drop-off/pick-up. It’s not just about VMT reduction -- idling engines are a significant problem around schools -- getting more kids walking and biking to school could have an even bigger impact on emissions than changing adult commuting habits.
G27. Natural Resource information: While this project does not directly impact natural resources, it does drive wider community interest in things like trail development, open space preservation, and more sustainable land use planning. Our high school programming includes youth development modules that focus on helping students make a positive impact in their community. One example is East High School in the KCMO School District. Students in our Bike Club program are actively engaged in planning a project to restore the school’s disused outdoor classroom facility with features that include urban farming and a singletrack hike/bike trail.
G28. Community Links at Watershaed Scale: Ultimately, reducing the number of kids driven to school in buses or private automobiles reduces demand on the motorized transportation system. In this way, SRTS allows communities to ultimately build fewer roads and smaller parking lots, reducing stormwater runoff and air pollution.
G29. Explain local land use or comprehensive plans: SRTS concepts and the overall goal of increasing bike/ped mode share is a central element of many plans across the region. In KCMO these include Bike KC, Trails KC, the Walkability Plan, all Area Plans, and the Climate Protection Plan. MARC plans include the Regional Bikeway Plan, MetroGreen, and the Pedestrian Master Plan currently in development. Other local municipal plans supported by Safe Routes to School include those in Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Gladstone, and others.
G30.1 Complies with MARC’s CSP? Yes
G30.2 Exception to the MARC CSP? No
Traveler Type (All Ages & Abilities)
Mobility Aids:       
Transit Riders:       
Green Streets:       

Project Financial Information

TAP Federal amount: 357.14361  (Thousands of $)
TAP Match amount: 89.28590  (Thousands of $)
TAP Year requested: 2021
Source of Local Match: BikeWalkKC general budget
Explain: BikeWalkKC has a robust fundraising program that has already secured hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our previous federally funded programs. Grants, corporate giving, and individual donations support our work.
Scope Change: The budget corresponds to the number of schools involved in the project. If the project is phased, the scope will reduce in the number of schools served. Ideally, half the funds would be spent in 2021 and the other half in 2022.
Cost Breakdown:
Highway:   %
Transit:   %
Bike: 50  %
Pedestrian: 50  %
Other:   %

Supporting Documents

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Submitted comments

Carri King said...

KC Bikes is a great program. Many students do not have bikes and have never ridden one. This program shows them how to care for them, learn all the safety rules, and actually ride weekly. Our students love this program.

4/6/2018 8:21:33 AM

Amanda Wilson said...

Safe Routes to Schools creates a safer neighborhood, invests in our youth, provides children safe access to schools, and gives kids the confidence to safely bike or walk to school.

4/8/2018 6:06:16 PM

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