The following list represents the top infrastructure priorities for the Downtown Neighborhood Association. We look forward to working with other Downtown neighborhoods and organizations to develop a shared list of priorities in accordance with the Greater Downtown Area Plan Implementation process.
Case Park / West Terrace Park
The Downtown Neighborhood Association supports the finalization of the KCDC preliminary master plan for Case Park, and a phased approach to implement recommended improvements. With one of the largest contiguous open spaces downtown, unparalleled panoramic views, and directly adjacent residential uses, this space is a unique and important amenity for downtown. However, the DNA believes that this park is not fulfilling its potential as a signature public gathering space that could enhance quality of life and catalyze new activity in the Quality Hill area.
The preliminary master plan identifies concepts to activate the existing park space, create new dynamic public gathering spaces, and to increase the visibility and integration of the park with the surrounding areas. These student concepts require vetting and professional design. The DNA believes that these improvements will help to enhance Case / West Terrace Park as a downtown amenity and improve quality of life for residents of the west loop.
Grand Boulevard Improvements
The Downtown Neighborhood Association supports improvement to Grand Boulevard to achieve the goal of making Grand a premier urban boulevard that includes all of the following components, integrated in a thoughtful and well-designed manner: increased transit service, a safe and comfortable bikeway, green infrastructure, public spaces, and a destination linear park experience. The Downtown Neighborhood Association believes that Grand Boulevard is an important priority for downtown because of its potential to transform the area, attract new residents and businesses, and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. This project is important in part because it links many of the downtown neighborhoods – River Market, Downtown Loop, Crossroads, and Crown Center.
DNA understands that there is currently a plan being enacted to perform a paint-only road diet on Grand by Public Works. However, there are several other overlapping initiatives for Grand Boulevard, namely the KCATA efforts to create a transit corridor on the street. KCATA is requesting PIAC money in this cycle to enact several improvements in the corridor, so we believe there is a prime opportunity for a synergy between DNA’s goals and KCATA’s goals. DNA implores the City and KCATA to coordinate behind a unified vision for Grand that satisfies the goals of all constituencies, and to move forward with incremental investments in this shared vision.
Northeast Loop Connectivity Project
The Downtown Neighborhood Association supports efforts to realize the potential of Admiral Boulevard by transforming it into a Complete Street with bike lanes, forming the spine of a network that links Downtown, Columbus Park, Paseo West and the Northeast. We also seek to convert Admiral, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets to two-way streets to improve local circulation and the installation of pedestrian way-finding signs to encourage exploration of these downtown-adjacent neighborhoods and to welcome residents of those neighborhoods into
We believe that this project has the potential to make progress on the five goals outlined in the Greater Downtown Area Plan:
1. Double the Population – The Northeast Loop area features entire blocks ready for new mixed-use development. Putting the multi-modal infrastructure in place now to make this a desirable area for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users will be seen as an asset by developers and a benefit to residents.
2. Increase Employment – Adding new density in this area would provide future residents with walkable access to the Government District, numerous bus routes and a future streetcar route.
3. Create a Walkable Downtown - 6th and Charlotte Streets form the primary pedestrian connection between Downtown and Columbus Park, yet lack proper pedestrian infrastructure. Several new developments underway in Columbus Park will increase the population of that neighborhood and create demand for a quality walking route into Downtown.
4. Retain & Promote Safe, Authentic Neighborhoods - The Northeast Loop area features connections to Columbus Park via Charlotte Street and to Paseo West via Admiral, 8th, 9th, and 10th Streets. Continuing on Admiral Blvd leads one to the Historic Old Northeast area of the city. Giving downtown residents an inviting connection to these resurgent areas would be beneficial to all neighborhoods involved.
5. Promote Sustainability - The gentle grade of eastbound Admiral, its excess capacity, and connections to existing bike routes on both Grand & Woodland make it a logical choice for a bike route between the neighborhoods listed above. A quality bike route would encourage people to use this sustainable mode of transportation to travel between these areas. By simplifying transit routing through two-way street conversions, transit becomes more attractive to people who might otherwise drive.
Recognizing that PIAC funds are finite each year and this is an ambitious project, we have laid out the following phases to allow the City to begin making upgrades immediately while scheduling later phases for following years when they are more feasible for financial or policy reasons.
Phase 1 – Enhance the Bike KC Network: Sign Admiral Boulevard as the official bike route between Downtown and the Northeast. Reconfigure traffic lanes between Locust and Woodland to include bike lanes. Add bike facilities to 6th Street between Grand and Charlotte until Admiral Blvd can be converted to two-way between Locust and Grand. Install one or more bike share stations in the project area.
Phase 2 – Inform & Entice Pedestrians with Walkability Improvements: Improve pedestrian connectivity between Downtown and Columbus Park by closing the sidewalk gap on 6th
Street in the block west of Charlotte. Add underpass lighting to I-70 over Charlotte to create an attractive link between Downtown and Columbus Park. Add pedestrian way-finding signs to the area.
Phase 3 – Finish the Conversion of Admiral to a Complete Street: Add bike lanes along the remainder of the corridor. Improve pedestrian crossings along Admiral, specifically along the north side of the intersection with Oak & Locust. Convert to two-way between Locust and Grand.
Phase 4 – No More One-Ways: DNA understands that it is the intention of KCMO Public Works to delay any further two-way conversions until after the completion of the downtown streetcar line. Once that project is complete, Admiral Blvd, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Streets should be converted to two-way streets.
Quality Hill Lighting Improvements
The Downtown Neighborhood Association supports the repair, upgrading and expansion of street lighting in the historic Quality Hill neighborhood.
Reconstruction of Walnut Street Through City Market
DNA supports the reconstruction of Walnut Street as a city street through City Market in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We believe re-establishment of a through, bi-directional route for all traffic will enhance access to the Market on weekdays and conform to the goals laid out by the Greater Downtown Area Plan. We understand the need to close the interior of the Market to traffic on weekends, but believe the addition of through traffic during weekdays will enhance the visibility and viability of businesses located in the interior market buildings.
Reconstructing Walnut will mend a hole in our city's street grid; northbound travel is impossible between Grand and Wyandotte - a gap of four blocks. Southbound travel is only possible on one street in that stretch. This creates more traffic on Third and Fifth streets as drivers are forced to make longer trips to either through street. Walnut offers a direct route between Second Street and the heart of Downtown. Allowing Walnut to function as intended would remove traffic from Grand (allowing for more efficient streetcar and bus operations) and Wyandotte (making way for possible future bike lanes). The street grid is the circulatory system of a city and this project will be a key boost to its health.