Midtowners propose parks, traffic warnings, street light to city committee

Maureen Browne and Joe Browne listened as Pete Browne explained his request for additional funding for Roanoke Park to the Public Improvements Advisory Committee last night.

Additional improvements in Roanoke Park, traffic signals on Southwest Trafficway and street lighting on 39th Street are on  the Midtown wish list for city-funded projects. At last night’s Public Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) hearing, 4th District PIAC representatives, council members Jim Marcason and Jim Glover, City Manager Troy Schulte and others listened as various neighborhoods made their pitches. The PIAC committee makes funding recommendations to the city council.

Jim McDonald, a 4th District PIAC representative, told those gathered for the hearing,” This is one of the most significant ways the city engages residents in making use of limited tax dollars.” He said that regular citizens can see a need, or neighborhood groups or coalitions of groups can come together to suggest improvements. Last year, the 4th District representatives recommended $3.92 million in improvements.

The 4th Council District includes Midtown as well as the West Side, West Bottoms and part of the Northland. The PIAC requests last night related to Midtown included:

  • Continued improvements to Roanoke Park: Four neighborhoods around Roanoke Park (Roanoke, Coleman Highlands, Valentine and Volker) are working to reclaim Roanoke Park. PIAC funding began last year, and park supporter Pete Browne asked for additional funds for sidewalks, path lighting and improvements.
  • Warning lights to slow people down at Westport Road and Southwest Trafficway: Westport business owner Chip Schmelzer spoke on behalf of Cooper Weeks, who owns the Westport Shopping Center. Weeks wants PIAC to fund warning lights so that drivers will be more cautious at the tricky intersection in front of his property.
  • Improvements for Jarboe Park at 17th and Jarboe: Lynda Callon of the Westside Community Action Network asked for outdoor fitness equipment for the Westside park, which she says is increasingly used by people from Midtown and Brookside. She said that the outdoor fitness equipment at Mill Creek Park is aging rapidly because of constant use, and that an additional set of outdoor equipment would benefit Midtown as well as downtown.
  • Continued funding for pedestrian lighting for 39th Street: Hal Shapiro of the 39th Street Community Improvement District asked for continued funding for lighting. He said last year’s PIAC funding allowed the district to provide pedestrian lighting to illuminate sidewalks and storefronts from State Line to Terrace. This year’s request would continue the lighting from Terrace to Southwest Trafficway.

A second 4th District hearing is planned for July 18that the Kansas City Museum’s carriage house, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., from 6:30-8:30.


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