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Project looks to bolster biking, walking in downtown Mission
What would the Mission downtown look like if it were to be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly?
That was among the questions that several dozen residents, primarily from Mission and Overland Park, tried to answer this week during a workshop that focused on the two downtowns as part of the Mid-America Regional Council’s initiative called “Creating Sustainable Places.” The walls in the conference room at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center were lined with examples of what other cities have done to create better pedestrian and biking experiences in their urban areas.
The Creating Sustainable Places project focuses on corridors throughout the metropolitan area in an effort to make them more vibrant, connected and green. Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf is one of the corridors. Marc’s Jeff Hirt said Mission was proactive in getting involved with the project and wanted to focus on on bike and pedestrian connections to the neighborhoods from downtown.
The goal of the workshop this week was to identify improvements to encourage biking and walking downtown and improvements that could happen in the next few years. Since Johnson Drive is slated for upcoming changes that will keep the four lanes, but widen sidewalks, this is a good time for the community input, facilitators pointed out.
During a keypad polling session participants gave their priorities on several possible improvements to downtown Mission, including signage, bike lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian safety.
The questions and a survey regarding Mission improvements will be on the MARC website — www.marc.org — under the Sustainable Places section to gather more input. A followup meeting will be held in January to work through the ideas and results of the surveys.
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