New design revealed for high-crash Paseo Gateway intersection

Paseo Gateway Project consultant Jay Burress presents the preferred design for the Independence and The Paseo intersection.

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

According to Parks and Recreation project manager James Wang, the intersection of Independence Avenue and The Paseo is among the most dangerous in Kansas City.

“This intersection is the worst intersection in the city in terms of crash rate,” Wang said.

At least that’s the case historically. On the evening of Wednesday, October 11 at Kansas City University, Wang and the Paseo Gateway Project team unveiled a “preferred alternative” to the current layout of the dangerous intersection that aims to reduce crashes while creating a welcoming gateway between the Historic Northeast and downtown.

The intersection improvements have been in the works since 2015, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a $30 million grant to Kansas City and its local partners. The funds are intended to improve the quality of life for those in and around the Paseo Gateway area, a goal that hinged upon the creation of improved public housing in the neighborhood but also included the implementation of The Paseo Gateway Project.

The Paseo Gateway team initially presented nine potential intersection re-designs to the community, before narrowing the list down to five ahead of a February 3, 2016 public meeting with area residents. From there, the preferred alternative that was presented on October 11 emerged.

A reduced crash rate at the intersection is just one of the perks of the improvements, which will also include a two-way bicycle trail and improved sidewalks with ramps at all intersections.

“The sidewalks are going to be wider, and they’re all going to have ADA-compliant ramps at the intersections,” said Jay Burress, Paseo Gateway project manager for consultant Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc.

The roads at the intersection will also be widened to provide motorists on Independence Avenue with left-turn lanes for safer access southbound onto the Paseo and northbound onto the I-35 on-ramp. Another highlight will be the construction of a second intersection to the north of Independence and The Paseo, which will slow highway traffic and provide a safer connection between the west end of Kansas City University’s campus and I-35’s off-ramp.

The project team has $8.5 million to begin improvements, thanks to $5 million in Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds and $3.5 million from the general obligation bond funds approved by voters in April 2017. Construction is expected to begin in 2019, and the improvements are currently scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving of 2020.

In addition to the reveal of the intersection design, the Paseo Gateway team solicited feedback from attendees about a potential “iconic” monument at the intersection. In a document offered to attendees, the team noted that the Paseo Gateway presents “a unique placemaking opportunity to create a welcoming and meaningful introduction to the Northeast neighborhood, as well as Kansas City as a whole.”

International Architects Atelier (IAA) has been brought in to design the Paseo Gateway monument, though IAA claimed at the October 11 meeting that they’re starting the project from scratch. To receive feedback from area residents, IAA set up  stations during the meeting: one to discuss potential headlines related to the gateway, one to discuss factors of success, and another to discuss features that residents don’t want at the intersection. The final station offered displays with dozens of monument designs from around the world, and asked attendees to choose their favorite – and least favorite – offerings.

IAA will take all of the ideas provided by the community into consideration as they work to design the iconic gateway between downtown Kansas City and the Historic Northeast. The firm estimated that gateway concepts could be ready as soon as early 2018.

The Paseo Gateway intersection preferred alternative design.

Attendees of the Paseo Gateway intersection meeting held on Wednesday, October 11 at Kansas City University.

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City’s Urban Youth Academy opens to the community

    March 22nd, 2018

    By Katrina E. Williams Northeast News The $19 million, state-of-the-art Kansas City Urban Youth Academy won’t host its official grand […]

    How evictions shape Kansas City

    March 21st, 2018

    Paul Thompson Northeast News Kansas City tenants are 19 times more likely to be evicted if they live east of […]

    UPDATE: Body found in Sheffield Park Identified

    March 20th, 2018

    Northeast News Police established a crime scene yesterday afternoon in Sheffield Park after a body was discovered near a wooded […]

    Weather brings Paseo Gateway groundbreaking indoors

    March 20th, 2018

    Paul Thompson Northeast News The Second Annual Paseo Gateway Report was issued on the afternoon of Monday, March 19, roughly […]

    Northeast Newscast episode 46 – Northeast Library branch manager Claudia Visnich on her retirement

    March 16th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Kansas City’s Northeast Newscast podcast, managing editor Paul Thompson sits down […]

  • Another dangerous home demolished in Northeast

    March 16th, 2018

    By Sheree Sims Northeast News Editorial Assistant Friday morning, demolition workers from Kansas City, Missouri’s Neighborhood and Housing Services department […]

    Frontier Schools to participate in KC STEM Fest

    March 15th, 2018

    Sydney Jones Northeast News Editorial Assistant Science, science, and more science! That’s what attendees can expect at KC STEM Fest, […]

    New fire chief announced during KCFD 150th anniversary celebration

    March 14th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The 150-year anniversary of the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) was celebrated on Wednesday, March […]

  • What’s Happening

    Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know as Loose Park was […]

    St. Joseph’s Tables of Historic Northeast

    Frontier Schools’ Multicultural Festival

  • Local Weather

  • Free tax preparation for most taxpayers!