TransitKC

Crossing the river is about to get easier

MoDOT broke ground today on Kansas City’s first, safe Missouri River crossing for pedestrians and bicycles… ever.

See the video above for the Heart of America Bridge makeover.

Believe it or not, crossing the river on foot or bike today is a very dicey affair — unlike almost all other river cities. There is literally no room on the Broadway Bridge, Heart of America traffic zooms along at 50+ mph, and MoDOT slammed the door on ped/bike access on the brand-new Paseo Bridge.

The Heart of America crossing will be barrier-separated, although users will need to start their trip on 3rd Street in the River Market or on Burlington Street in North Kansas City. Auto users are treated to a plethora of access options.

This new crossing is even more necessary when you consider the limited transit options connecting the two halves of Kansas City — bus service is limited after 6 p.m., and non-existent on Sundays.

The HOA bridge had been tagged as the river crossing in most of the light rail plans that crossed into the northland. However, it was deemed in recent plans to be incapable of handling full light rail vehicles and would need to be rebuilt.

4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Laurie April 1st, 2010 8:51 am

    I was at the groundbreaking and several times I heard the official line,”The Heart of America Bridge is the preferred crossing.” I think we should have equality for all transportation modes so I prefer all the bridges to have safe cycling and walking facilities. How far out of a person’s way should they have to walk or bike to cross safely? If the Paseo is closer to their destination, it will be used anyway by some people. Otherwise they may have to walk 2 miles out of their way to the “preferred” crossing.
    However, it was a happy occasion to see this bit of acceptance for biking and walking. Small steps.

  2. Kevin April 2nd, 2010 2:33 pm

    First pedestrian crossing in KC ever? The ASB Bridge was originally designed in a time before the automobile became popular. pedestrians would have walked over it.

  3. The Independent Rage April 15th, 2010 3:56 pm

    I wouldn’t mind seeing them restore the previous upper deck of the ASB bridge and devote the crossing to pedestrian and cyclist only. Of course, brand new approach spans would have to be built and it would be a very costly project. (Notice I didn’t say that I knew how to pay for such a project). As to your comment on the Broadway Bridge, I’m always amazed when I see people trying to walk across it — there is so little room for that. I wonder if it’s even legal to cross that bridge by foot. Very dangerous.

  4. ryanwc April 25th, 2010 7:37 pm

    We were in KC as tourists yesterday, and wanted to see the river. We were at the city market, and wandered to Grand & 3rd before deciding it was too dicey. We walked up the hill to some former potato shipping place, and found no way to see the river. Seems like it’d be a good thing. Rivers are scenic, and I found it strange that KC was so divorced from it’s river, at least in our limited perambulations. We got on the Max bus and went back to the Q hotel (which offers free bikes to guests, gave us a discount for arriving by Amtrak, and shuttled us to and from Union Station – so any fan of this website should keep the Q in mind – they’re on your side.)