Reflecting on 2019

As we settle into 2020, we’ve taken a little time to reflect on 2019 and some of the projects we were able to complete to help create a more walkable world.

In 2019 micromobility ridership continued to flourish. While the numbers for 2019 are still being aggregated, we do know in the first year of E-scooters (2018), over 30 million trips were taken on scooters on US streets, doubling the annual number of micromobility trips taken in the United States. In addition, dockless bike share trips are rapidly gaining popularity and are expected to surpass station based bike share trips over the next few years.

Unfortunately, as ridership continues to grow, the necessary infrastructure needed to accommodate and protect these riders has lagged far behind. That’s why we’re focusing our energy to add the crucial infrastructure needed to keep these vehicles secure and in an appropriate location. In 2019 we were able to add a fair amount of micromobility parking…

19th and Baltimore Micromobility Hub

In Kansas City, MO, we partnered with the Department of Pubic Works to design and build the region’s first dedicated on street scooter and bicycle parking spaces, In early summer we unveiled the “Micromobility Hub”, creating a visible, organized space to park these vehicles without creating a hazard on the sidewalks. We built three of these hubs situated in the downtown loop and the Crossroads neighborhood at 13th & Grand, 19th & Baltimore, and 18th & Oak.

18th and Oak Micromobility Hub

The Micromobility Hubs provide a safe and organized space to park micromobility vehicles on the street. Typically at the intersection between the crosswalk and on street parking without removing any automobile parking, these hubs range in size, currently spanning from 25 – 50 feet in length and can park anywhere from 10-25 scooters and 4 – 6 bicycles. We hope to build many more in 2020 and establish a network of micromobility hubs!

Later in the summer of 2019, we entered the world’s first ever parklet design competition, which was hosted by Spin as a way to creatively approach micromobility parking. We set out to create a design that allowed for people to comfortably and enjoyably wait for their transit ride after securely parking their bicycle or scooter. Dubbed “The Urban Backyard”, a transit stop at its core, our mobility parklet provides shade, a porch swing, seating for fourteen people, a variety of plant life, yard games and parking for seven scooters and six bicycles.

“The Urban Backyard” in Denver. CO

We were honored to be selected as the winners of this competition beating out five other extremely talented teams with stellar parklet designs. Check out this quick video to learn more about Spin’s parklet design competition!

Later in the year, we received the opportunity to build another “Urban Backyard”,

this time at CoMotionLA in downtown Los Angeles, where we had a first hand look at the future of mobility. We met some great companies leading the micromobility revolution, including Swiftmile, who are building docked stations for e-scooters and e-bikes that actually charge the vehicles. Our mobility parklet is designed to house these charging stations and can be seen below.

The Urban Backyard with a Swiftmile charging station

Back home in KC, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to lend our services for a few great projects. In the River Market neighborhood, we provided bicycle parking for two historic renovations at Landmark Lofts and Delaware Lofts, where we outfitted each building with a bicycle storage room and short term bicycle parking infrastructure.

Landmarks Lofts Bike Storage Rroom
Bicycle Parking at Landmarks Lofts

Also, in the River Market neighborhood, we had the honor of installing the Anthony Saluto Jr memorial. This custom designed memorial serves to honor Anthony and all of those who’ve lost their lives while riding their bike. We hope that we never have to install another memorial bike rack but the reality is until decision makers become serious about creating the safer streets, the inevitable is Anthony will not be the last innocent life taken on our streets.

Anthony Saluto Jr Memorial

On a lighter note and across the state line, we completed multiple projects in Kansas. In downtown Overland Park, we installed 37 custom racks outside of various businesses, providing much needed bicycle parking spaces that also double as public art.

Also in Overland Park, at the Johnson County Library, we installed three bicycle shaped bike racks, a repair station, and an air pump. These amenities will be available for the community to use at any time and provide a great amenity to the patrons of the library. Visitors can securely park their bicycle, fill up their tires, and tend to maintenance repairs before checking out a great read.

In Topeka, we had the opportunity to work with the Historic North Topeka East Neighborhood, where we provided an 8’ x 6’ concrete pad to serve as home for a brand new bicycle repair station equipped with an air pump that we installed at Iglesia Principe de Paz. These amenities will serve the neighborhood and larger community by providing a 24/7 bicycle repair station.

In addition to the micromobility infrastructure, we also worked with natural world by recreating native landscapes. At the new office of Midtown KC Now, we installed a native flower bed with thirteen different species of native Missouri wildflowers. This garden works to add beauty to the entrance of the offices as well as provide crucial habitat for native birds, bees and other wildlife.

We also continued work on our demonstration forest garden, the Blue River Food Forest. By using regenerative agriculture techniques and native plantings. This 1/2 acre garden demonstrations ways we can transition our world into sustainable agriculture that works with nature to provide toxin free nutrients for humans while also contributing positively to the natural ecosystem.

We appreciate you taking the time to review our year with us. A month into 2020, we are already striving towards adding even more micromobility infrastructure and native landscapes to our urban areas. Stay tuned for more great projects from MDDC!