From the Paper to the Pavement in Blue Springs

Now open: a bridge between Blue Springs High School campuses

Not even a freight train could stop Matt Roberds from building Safe Routes to School for students in Blue Springs! Two years ago, the Blue Springs City Council began planning improvements for Blue Springs High School, but the plan lacked any investment in better walking or biking. Armed with some advice from BikeWalkKC, a copy of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, and a passion for safer streets, Matt and his neighbors convinced the city to build a brighter future for students, staff, and local families. You can read the full story here.

The original plan called for a "street vacation" (also known as a street closure) on the north side of the campus. The modified plan called for a new road and bridge with a sidewalk between Blue Springs High School and the Freshman Campus to the south.

The original plan would have closed a portion of NW Ashland Drive, further disconnecting the neighborhood from the campuses.

The new bridge connects the campuses and the neighborhoods with a street and a sidewalk.

Full steam ahead for Safe Routes to School

The bridge is now complete just in time for the fall semester! Matt shared pictures of the new facility and provided some additional details:

  • There are swing gates on both ends to restrict car traffic, but the sidewalks will remain open.
  • There is a 10” thick concrete wall separating the sidewalk from the road across the bridge.
  • The new bridge also has new lighting and some security cameras installed.

The new bridge welcomes walkers and bikers to campus activities.

The streetlights are positioned to prioritize pedestrian safety.

Advocating for big changes can feel intimidating, but the new Blue Springs bridge is an example of what you can accomplish with a little strategy and a lot of determination. Matt and his neighbors didn’t let a “little thing” like an active rail line stop them – they dreamed big and built a bridge (figuratively and literally) with city leaders. They won safer streets in their community, and you can, too!

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All photo credits: Matt Roberds

Posted in Advocacy, Bicycling, Eastern Jackson County, Local, News, Safe Routes to School, Walking and tagged , , , , , .