Overland Park, Kansas is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the second most populous city in the state of Kansas with a population of 167,500. Money Magazine ranked Overland Park number six on it’s list of the Best Cities to Live in the United States in 2006.
Over the past decade, residents and business owners have indicated that Metcalf Avenue — the north-south corridor that bisects the city — has become an undesirable place to live and do business, with 45% of those surveyed saying traffic is a “major” problem along Metcalf Avenue.
Brent at the the Missouri Bicycle Federation calls Metcalf “one of its very biggest, baddest, most bicycle, transit, and pedestrian UNfriendly streets … eight lanes of heavy, fast-moving traffic that at times closely resembles what you might see at a demolition derby.”
The city is responding with a $1.1 million study to improve the corridor and make it friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders.
“The challenge here, of course, is moving from a paradigm that’s 100 percent auto-oriented to a paradigm where it’s 50 percent pedestrian-oriented,” said consulting team leader Tony Nelessen.
As Brent from Missouri notes:
It may seem impossible to make such a busy street more conducive to walking and bicycling, but in fact it has been done in many other places, it has worked, and what’s more–people like it.
Of course pedestrians and bicyclists like it.
But yes, motorists like it, too.
Some friends who blog from the Kansas City area: