As construction continues at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, an ordinance to close Woodland Avenue, passed last year, will soon go into effect.
Woodland Avenue, between Independence Avenue and Brownell Avenue, will be vacated and permanently closed beginning Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
A barricade will be placed across Woodland to not allow access and the left turn lane from Independence Avenue onto Woodland will also be closed.
The portion of Woodland Avenue north of Brownell will remain open and Brownell, which has recently become a two-way street, will remain a two-way.
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 south on Woodland Avenue and access Independence Avenue; however, future plans include stretching the black rod-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 south on Woodland has adjusted its route to now run south on Maple, 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 KCP&L, 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 their turkey dinner to park there instead of along Woodland Avenue.