Kansas City, MO recently launched its Open Streets Program. Open Streets KC is a temporary program that will last through the KCMO state of emergency order. KCMO Public Works worked with KC Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s office, and the Health Department to create more space for people to get outside and get exercise while maintaining social distance.
The program consists of several parts:
- neighborhood open streets permit – a new permit for anyone to obtain in the city’s neighborhoods which allows block-level closures on neighborhood streets. Similar to the Block Party permit – but without the party – this permit is streamlined to be easy and accessible for neighborhoods or residents to apply at no cost and without signature requirements;
- implementing automatic pedestrian crossings at over 100 intersections;
- four longer “local traffic only” corridor closures sponsored by the city to allow more space to safely walk, run, and bike while maintaining social distance; and,
- roadway closures in some city parks – KC Parks is encouraging everyone to walk, run, or play counterclockwise on all loop trails to help with social distancing.
“I am excited for KCMO to join the list of other cities providing safe space for people during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Eric Bunch, fourth district councilperson and co-sponsor of the Open Streets resolution. “Exercise and getting outdoors go a long way in decreasing stress and promoting healthy living. The emergency Open Streets program accomplishes the goal of maintaining social distancing while also giving our residents safe space to get outside and be physically active.”