Taking on Traffic Laws: A How-To Guide for Decriminalizing Mobility


In May 2021, the city council of Kansas City eliminated jaywalking and bike inspection violations.

Policy, planning, and funding decisions have left primarily Black and low-income communities without safe infrastructure for biking and walking and created conditions forcing people to make choices that cities have criminalized. As a result of the racialized enforcement of laws related to walking and biking, Black and brown communities receive the majority of tickets for walking and biking. In July 2020, BikeWalkKC called for repealing and modifying three municipal codes that could lead to the over-policing of walking and biking. Following their successful campaign to decriminalize walking and biking, BikeWalkKC created this guide of action steps others can take to pursue similar legislation in their communities. 

You can read the full text here


  • Analyze traffic laws to identify language and provisions that criminalize people’s movement throughout the city to target decriminalization.
  • Decide whether there is racialized enforcement of traffic laws by gathering quantitative and qualitative data on their enforcement.
  • Build a coalition of grassroots organizations and institutional partners.
  • Speak up and mobilize support.
BikeWalkKC and Safe Routes Partnership
Safe Routes Partnerships