Transportation, Built Environment

Kansas City, MO
United States

Using data to understand the relationship of traffic-related injuries to the built environment and infrastructure in historically marginalized neighborhoods and to develop recommendations for prioritizing infrastructure investments. 

For more than 80 years, local leaders in Kansas City, Missouri, made purposeful policy decisions to shift resources, development, and investments from communities of color. This historical disinvestment has created disparities in individual and community health and public safety. In Kansas City, there is a demonstrated relationship between traffic infrastructure, demographic characteristics, and rate of serious injury or death from traffic violence. Since 2010, BikeWalkKC has led community engagement, advocacy, and public policy reforms that center the voices and lived experiences of the region’s residents who are most vulnerable to traffic violence.  

This project seeks to understand (1) the relationship of traffic-related injuries and death to the built environment and infrastructure in historically marginalized neighborhoods, (2) if infrastructure investments are equitably distributed, and (3) how existing conditions reflect the outcomes of previous policy decisions. BikeWalkKC will collect data on infrastructure conditions, traffic crashes, injuries and mortalities, neighborhood demographics, and social determinants of health to understand the intersection between infrastructure investments, road safety, and equity in the city. Staff will also use in-person engagement and interviews to understand how dangerous traffic infrastructure impacts Kansas City communities. This data will be used to build out a community safety dashboard, create a set of policy and investment recommendations, and publish a city-wide traffic-injury risk profile. These will be shared at community meetings and through other presentations.  

BikeWalkKC will use these data and resources to advocate for prioritizing community infrastructure investments with Kansas City councilmembers. They will also assist residents with requests to the Kansas City Public Improvements Advisory Committee, which makes annual funding recommendations for community-identified capital and infrastructure projects.