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Katy Trail to KC update

Connecting Missouri's Katy Trail State Park with Kansas' Flint HIlls Nature Trail is a key part of BikeWalkKC's long-term vision for the region, and momentum is building on the Missouri side. Plans are moving swiftly, and Jackson County voters could have the chance to decide a multi-modal transportation plan later this year.

The State of Missouri is working on a Katy Trail extension from Windsor to Pleasant Hill in the southeast corner of the KC metro, and plans for final connection into the heart of the city are moving quickly. Jackson County is preparing a regional transit plan that includes commuter rail, streetcars, new bus routes, multi-use trails, and bike lanes. BikeWalkKC is working closely with the county and local cities to ensure that bike/ped is tightly integrated into the new transit plan. The new Rock Island Trail will would be one of the first projects built if voters approve a 1 cent sales tax later this year.

Rock Island Trail / Katy Trail Connection

A transit study was recently completed to determine the plan and phasing for Jackson County's transit network. The Rock Island corridor will be a "rail-with-trail" project that includes both commuter rail and a new multi-use trail connecting to the Katy Trail.

  • 40 miles of new trail from the Truman Sports Complex to Pleasant Hill, connecting to the Katy Trail State Park.
  • Trailheads in Kansas City, Raytown, Lee's Summit, Greenwood, and Pleasant Hill
  • Connections to key MetroGreen trails like the Brush Creek and Trolley Track Trails
  • Future connection to the Missouri Riverfront Trail via a planned Blue River Trail
  • Linkage to Kansas via the Indian Creek Trail

Phase 1

  • Truman Sports Complex to Route 291 in Lee's Summit.
  • The trail can be constructed quickly on the existing rail bed.

Phase 2

  • A new passenger rail line will be added ot the Rock Island corridor
  • The trail will be shifted over to run alongside the rail line.
  • Appropriate fencing and other barriers will ensure safe separation between trains and the trail.

Phase 3

  • Trail extended to Pleasant Hill, where it meets the Katy Trail extension to Windsor, currently under contstruction by Missouri State Parks
  • The section between Pleasant Hill and 291 in Lee's Summit is too narrow for both rail and trail, so the trail will eventualy be re-routed to a parallel route
  • The commuter rail line will also be extended to Pleasant Hill.

Next Steps
County Executive Mike Sanders is currently negotiating with the railroads that own the Rock Island and I-70 corridors. If the railroads agree, Jackson County voters could decide on a 1% sales tax in August or November of this year. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months, and be sure to join BikeWalkKC so we can keep pushing to realize the dream of bringing the Katy Trail into heart of KC!

Read the Jackson County Commuter Corridor Study

Visit BikeWalkKC's Katy Connection page.



Submitted by eric rogers on