Jim and I like to think we’re idealists. We love cities, and we love Kansas City, and we think this great city could be much greater if only …
“If only” is where we get in trouble sometimes, for two reasons.
REASON 1: our frequent undecided voter moments. By “undecided voter moments” we mean moments in which we, with great confidence and ignorance, propose unoriginal solutions to the world’s problems. Here we cross the line between “idealistic” and “should probably read up on that.”
REASON 2: our hopes and wants for the urban condition sometimes come out in the form of massive complaint fests (like this recent one, by me, on why riding the bus in Kansas City is an overall crappy proposition). Here we cross the line between “idealistic” and “pessimistic” (or to use another SNL analogy, we cross the line into Debbie Downer territory).
The reason Jim and I are exposing our head-scratching moments and our downright annoyed moments via this blog is because we think people just like us (people who may not be experts in urban issues but care about the quality of the places they inhabit) can benefit from that kind of exploration. The point is to question, from a thoughtful person’s point of view, why our city works the way it does, and to figure out if there’s anything a regular resident (with a job unrelated to urban issues, a busy life, and a million things clamoring for his/her attention) can do to improve life in Kansas City. We’re mostly reflecting on our experience in the urban environment as ordinary Kansas City residents. The hope is that as we explore we’ll begin to understand the policies that shape our experience and help others understand (and possibly act), too.
Enter Eric Bunch.
When it comes to transportation issues in Kansas City, Mr. Bunch is neither an “undecided voter” nor is he a “Debbie Downer.” He knows his stuff, and he knows what can be done to start changing the transportation landscape in Kansas City. He – and others like him – can help supply answers to our questions. We like him.
Eric is the Director of Education for BikeWalkKC and Director of Operations for Kansas City B-Cycle. A long-time dedicated bicycle and pedestrian advocate, Eric spends a great deal of his professional and personal life attempting to make the Kansas City metro a more welcoming and safe place for people to experience the region without a car.
With his wife Kaitlyn, and 90-lb. Alaskan Malamute Mally, Eric calls Midtown Kansas City home. Eric and Kaitlyn are in the process of restoring their 1905 Arts and Crafts Foursquare home. The top priority of the home restoration is building secure bike parking in the basement to house their fleet of commuting, touring, and cargo bikes. The space will also include a full-service workshop space. As a one-car family, they rely heavily on biking, walking and the bus to get about KC.
For all of the above, we’ve asked Eric to contribute a series of articles exploring in layman’s terms the key transportation issues in Kansas City.
What are the key issues shaping the transportation options we have in Kansas City today?
What can a regular Kansas City resident (undecided voter, Debbie Downer, or just plain, busy Kansas Citian) do to improve the current situation?
He starts answering tomorrow and will continue during the next few weeks.