The sidewalks along Belleview in Midtown are once again blocked by signs warning motorists of road closures related to the construction at the West Edge project. The photos below are represtentative of conditions on every block of Belleview between Westport Road and Ward Parkway, on both sides of the street.
This is a violation of city policy, which requires construction projects to maintain a clear pedestrian path on at least one side of the street at all times. When both sidewalks need to be closed, an alternatate path must be provided - usually by closing a travel lane and erecting a barrier between the cars and people.
Unfortunately the City is not doing a good job of enforcing this policy for developers, or even following its own policy on public projects. BikeWalkKC has noted and reported several similar situations in recent years. Over that time we have noted several issues:
- Developers and property owners not clearly describing their projects when applying for closure permits
- Lack of communication between different City departments, and especailly within the Public Works department
- Inadequate inspection of work sites to enforce City policies
- Lack of cross-checking permits to ensure separate projects are not closing adjacent sidewalks at the same time
In this particular location, Belleview separates the Country Club Plaza and Plaza-Westport neighborhoods from the West Plaza and Westwood Park neighborhoods. The entire area is very pedestrianized with high walk scores and many people walking to work. Belleview/Madison carries also carries a popular bus route.
We need your help.
BikeWalkKC has notified the 3-1-1 Action Center and the appropriate City officials. You can help by also contacting the Action Center. You can also ask your own City Councilmembers to make it a priority to maintain pedestrian access to sidewalks during construction projects.