Speak up for Road Diet on 75th St. in KCMO

The Waldo CID, Family Bikes, and the city of KCMO is holding a series of open house events this week to gather public input on how best to improve the intersection of 75th and Wornall in Waldo. The first meeting is this evening (Tuesday, August 11th) at 5:30 p.m.

An historic streetcar suburb, Waldo is replete with charming local businesses, schools, and single family housing. Such a quaint neighborhood should be easily traversed on foot however walkability in the primary business district is a mess thanks to the intersection of the two high-speed streets. We are glad to learn that improving walkability is one of the expressed goals of this planning process for 75th and Wornall.

Before-and-After-300x19975th and Worrall public engagement process
All sessions at Jackson-Hewitt, 404 West 75th Street.

  • Tuesday, August 11th 5:30 to 7pm Idea Generation
  • Wednesday, August 12th 5:30 to 7pm Review Draft Concepts
  • Thursday, August 13th 2 to 4pm Final Concept

If you can’t attend in person, you can email your ideas or questions to theresav@familybicycles-kc.com.

If the Public Works department is serious about making the area a safer, more pleasurable place for people to walk then implementing a road diet on 75th St. is critical.

And with increasing enrollment at Hale-Cook Elementary School, a neighborhood school whose attendance boundary is split in two by 75th St., a road diet would mean far greater accessibility for school children.

Read more about Road Diets

You may recall that the city conducted an analysis of all of its 4+ lane streets to pluck the low hanging road diet fruit. Standards used to measure the feasibility for road diets were intentionally set high to prevent the need for more detailed traffic studies.

Even using high standards to determine road diet feasibility 75th St. came in well below the average traffic volume threshold and just slightly above the cutoff for rush hour volumes. Additionally, we recently learned that KCMO Public Works has conducted a traffic study on 75th St. that indicates that a road diet would be feasible but have no further details.

It is absolutely critical that people who live, work, play in Waldo attend the meetings this week to speak up for pedestrian improvements.

Why a road diet?

Reducing the number of straight-thru lanes is a proven way to reduce excessive speeding which increases safety for all street users. Additionally, the extra space can be converted to permanent on-street parking in the commercial segments near Wornall and buffered bike lanes in the residential segments. The restaurants, shops, and offices in the vicinity of Wornall and 75th struggle with significantly limited on-street parking. Following the jagged north-south bike routes across 75th St. would be more pleasurable.

But the real win is for pedestrians. Reducing the number of travel lanes could significantly cut the crossing distance for those on foot. Eliminating fast moving traffic next to the curb would make the narrow sidewalk feel significantly more comfortable to walk on. Furthermore, a road diet would also nearly eliminate unpredictable driver lane changes which is a particular hazard at unsignalized crossings.

And with increasing enrollment at Hale-Cook Elementary School, a neighborhood school whose attendance boundary is split in two by 75th St., a road diet would mean far greater accessibility for school children.

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