Getting Riverfront Rail Right

In October, the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, Port Authority, and KCATA issued a request for proposals to assess the feasibility of extending Kansas City’s streetcar to connect with Berkley Riverfront Park.  The move should not surprise anyone.  Kansas City’s streetcar has been wildly successful at overcoming precisely the two major challenges the riverfront faces. Kansas…

Public Transit – Hiding in Plain Sight

Readers: The following post is written by a new guest contributor who asked to remain anonymous.  If you are interested in reading more about this subject, or more from this author, please let us know! The undeniable connection between transportation mobility (or lack thereof) and poverty has been studied and confirmed over and over. From…

Peace, Love, and Zoning: MPDs in Midtown

The last month or so has been a big test for the newly adopted Midtown Plaza Area Plan. First, the City Council upheld the tight density limits imposed on the Plaza, rejecting two requests for rezoning. While many pro-development urbanists (including me) were disappointed to see a dense redevelopment proposal rejected, it was nevertheless encouraging…

Beyond Autonomous Vehicles

Anyone interested in the future of cities is paying close attention to the rapid development and proliferation of autonomous vehicle technology.  Autonomous vehicles are poised to radically alter how people move around, redefining the entire concept of personal mobility, and even transforming the form and function of our cities. The most immediate and dramatic impacts…

Where Are North Loop Streetcar Riders Coming From?

Two weeks into operations of Kansas City’s new streetcar, past the pomp and curiosity of the opening weekend, people are riding.  A lot of people.  Initially estimated to handle around 2,700 passengers per day, Kansas City’s streetcar averaged more than 7,000 per day in its first week of operations.  Scrapping plans to operate three cars…

Reconnecting Penn Valley Park

Penn Valley Park is not achieving its full potential today, but several specific improvements can enhance its use and better connect its neighbors.  The following proposals represent a collaborative effort by designers/Downtown residents Arpit Balhara, Jihee Chung, Alyssa Parsons, and Thomas Morefield. Just a mile from the heart of Kansas City’s central business district, Penn…

The Curious Case of a Baltimore Bumpout

A few days ago a curious curvy concrete curb appeared at the northwest corner of 13th and Baltimore. This particular concrete curb is curious for a few reasons. First, it is curious that the curb appeared in the first place. This recently rebuilt corner was new and functional and generally getting along as a normal…

Overlay Overload

For a variety of converging and interconnected reasons, Kansas City has seen a flurry of activity in recent months related to its development codes and standards. Three major updates to development standards have been adopted for the Downtown Loop, Troost Corridor, and the City’s Parkways and Boulevards. With support from a Mid America Regional Council…

Peace, Love, and Zoning: One Map to Rule Them All

Last month, the Kansas City Planning and Development Department released the long-awaited draft of the Midtown Plaza Area Plan, which was the culmination of several years of groundbreaking community engagement in the area from 31st Street on the north to 55th Street on the south, State Line to the west, and The Paseo to the…