As construction continues at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience (KCUMB), an ordinance to close Woodland Avenue, passed last year, went into effect last weekend.
Woodland Avenue between Independence Avenue and Brownell Avenue was vacated and permanently closed to thru-traffic beginning Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
A barricade was placed across Woodland at Independence Avenue and another at Brownell to restrict vehicle access.
The left turn lane from Independence Avenue onto Woodland is also closed.
The portion of Woodland Avenue north of Brownell will remain open and Brownell, which up until last Saturday was one-way, will now carry traffic in both directions.
This will allow access to Della Lamb’s parking lot for parents, faculty, and staff.
For the time being, pedestrians will still be allowed to walk along Woodland Avenue and access Independence Avenue; however, future KCUMB plans include stretching the black wrought-iron fence across Woodland so no foot traffic will be allowed on the campus to access Independence Avenue.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) bus route 11 that usually ran along Woodland has adjusted its route to now run along Maple Boulevard, instead.
Jim Herrington, director of campus operations for Kansas City University, said this closure is for the safety and security of KCUMB students and employees.
“The traffic can be scary in that area,” he said. “We have the parking lot across the street for our faculty, staff, and students, and it’s risky walking across the street. This same traffic also is in front of Della Lamb, putting their students at risk.”
Ordinance No. 180762, sponsored by KCUMB, was filed by the City Clerk’s office Oct. 2, 2018 and was then referred to the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee.
The ordinance advanced pending specific conditions, including all Time Warner Cable and KC Streetlight facilities be relocated at KCUMB’s expense, a full-width utility easement be retained and all existing Evergy, KC Water Services and AT&T facilities be protected prior to the recording of the vacation, no structures can be constructed within the vacated area without approval from the Director of Public Works, and access to utilities must be provided to the utility providers at all times.
KCUMB will also be reconfiguring and repaving the parking lot at Della Lamb to maintain two points of access while still maintaining the same number of parking spots.
Della Lamb will be hosting their annual “Operation Thanksgiving” on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and Herrington said the KCUMB parking lot on the east side of Woodland will be accessible for individuals who are receiving a free Thanksgiving dinner to park there instead of along Woodland Avenue.