Michael Bushnell

The Kansas City Current appears as the hottest ticket in town these days, but this News-Dog has found something even hotter — the temper of some Historic Northeast residents who can’t access the northbound I-35 entrance ramp during KC Current games. This closure, it seems, was never part of the initial conversation — imagine that — with the general public prior to CPKC Stadium opening for business in April.

A couple Fridays back, just prior to a KC Current home game, a social media post in one of the Northeast-area threads drew over100 responses — most of them from hot-under-the-collar residents who couldn’t get on the highway prior to and during KC Current matches. While the closure of a singular egress from the neighborhood might not seem like a big deal, that closure — combined with the seemingly, never-ending closure of the Independence and Paseo intersection — points to a larger, ongoing frustration for Northeast residents’ oft hindered ability to get in and out of our own community.

This News-Dog has penned editorials about this before, specifically during the Guinotte Avenue closures in 2020, which lasted for over a year — then again in 2022 for nearly three months. That construction ran concurrently with the Paseo Gateway construction that got under way in February 2022.

Photo by Michael Bushnell

Back in March — when  KC Current announced its traffic plan for home games — only two road closures were named — Lydia Avenue between Guinotte Avenue and Front Street and  Grand Street Viaduct between City Market and roughly the entrance to  Bar-K Dog Park. Those closures are clearly noted on the team’s web site.

The game day closings of the I-35 entrance ramp however, came as a complete surprise to Northeast residents — as well as commuters — who were rerouted from accessing the interstate, most recently during a Friday evening rush hour.

Photo by Michael Bushnell

On Monday, June 17, we reached out to KC Current Parking and Transportation honcho Bruce Martin, and our email was referred up the chain to the Current’s VP of Communications Dani Welniak. We reached out again  Thursday morning, given questions weren’t addressed and still no response from the team on the surprise closure. 

With over 35 years of hands-on traffic experience at Arrowhead Stadium, this News-Dog can pretty safely assume this ramp closure is all about safety and trying to merge northbound traffic, as heavy event day traffic attempts to exit the highway onto Front Street. Our Traffic team at Arrowhead regularly closed lanes of public roadway to allow for safe entry onto the sports complex’s property and this looks to be no different.

That said, the talking heads at the Current should be able to convey that to the general public, rather than not responding to emails, which attempt to clarify why said closure wasn’t part of the general conversation initially.

Here’s the bottom line. It’s about transparency. KC Current might be the town’s hottest ticket, but this nosey news pooch thinks a little transparency on road closures — that regularly cut off highway access to an entire community — might go a long way in building positive relationships in the Northeast community.