After a few residents complain, public hearing leads to strong public support & Complete Streets remain on Armour Road in North Kansas City | BikeWalkKC

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Last night, the North Kansas City City Council held a special public meeting to discuss the recent “complete street” improvements to Armour Road, to decide then and there whether to rip out the changes less than a month after they were completed.

The meeting, and its outcome, came down to numbers:

* Grassroots organizers in support (thanks to a combination of resident-led door knocking and online outreach) were able to get 672 petition signatures by Tuesday afternoon.

* By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, public testimony supported keeping the Complete Streets project in place.

* After nearly three hours of testimony and debate, the City Council voted unanimously to keep the changes in place for the next six months, pending an evaluation in late Spring 2020.

Last night’s outcome showed the power of individuals coming together and speaking up for the things they want to see in their community.

MoBikeFed comment: This is another example of a very successful Complete Streets project that has turned a long stretch of Armour Road in North Kansas City from an uninviting asphalt jungle to a far more inviting walkable, bikeable city center for NKC--a "Main Street" that looks like an old-time Main Street rather than a multi-lane state highway.

That means a lot of changes in the area--and it also means slowing down traffic. That's because high-speed traffic is incompatible with human life, and a city's Main Street is a place people come to visit, to pick up their mail, to go to the gym, go shopping, grab a bite to eat, or attend a meeting.

Crossing a 4-lane highway with 45 mph to do all those things isn't much fun!

The new design slows traffic and makes the whole area a lot more human-scale and accessible.

But all those changes do upset a few people a lot--and they let their city council representatives know. On top of that, there are always a few legitimate problems any new project causes local businesses and residents.

But the combination of those two factors led some to demand that the whole project be thrown out after it had been in place just a few weeks.

But--as usual--when push came to shove, at the public hearing in October, there were far more supporters of the project than opponents.

And the few legitimate issues, such as parking and loading areas for some area businesses, can be solved with a few small tweaks to the existing plan.

For more details, read the full article by Michael Kelley of BikeWalkKC, which has played a key role in supporting and providing technical assistance for the project:

More about the project and recent developments: (public meeting video)