Residents weigh in on Midtown-Plaza improvements, can discuss options at public meeting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - People who live, shop, eat, work, walk or just hang out around the Midtown-Plaza area have the opportunity Tuesday to meet with city leaders about the future of the Plaza/Midtown neighborhood.

City planning and development leaders opened up an online forum for people to discuss their thoughts and concerns at and dozens weighed in on a wide range of ideas for the future.

Tuesday night will be the first opportunity for citizens and business leaders to discuss those ideas with city leaders as they develop an area plan for the next decade.

So far, one of the most popular ideas is expanding the streetcar project from the original voter approved plan (which goes from City Market to Union Station) out from Union Station all the way to downtown Brookside. The streetcar could stop at the Plaza, UMKC and several places in between along the way.

Residents have also pitched an idea to feature local artists around town on street corners, murals, etc.

A third idea encompasses making the neighborhoods more bike and pedestrian friendly, by adding bike lanes and bike share systems like the ones in downtown Kansas City, as well as enhanced and expanded options to the popular Trolley Trail. A few residents suggested expanding the Trolley Trail all the way to the Katy Trail, connecting bike paths across the entire state of Missouri.

An additional group of residents asked for the creation of an architecture review board to make sure future construction has a blend of modern and historic details.

Keith Spare has been the president of the South Plaza Neighborhood Association for the past 22 years. He's spent the past month encouraging his neighbors to take part in Tuesday's meeting and make their voices heard.
"The more you know your neighbors, and you know the people who do care about neighborhoods, the more you are able to be influential much more than you could on your own", he said.
The meeting schedule is as follows:

Meeting session #1:

Tuesday, April 23,  Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road
2 different meetings:
North West section (31st to 43rd streets; State Line Road to Southwest Trafficway) will meet from 5:30-7 p.m.
North East section (31st to 43rd streets; Gillham Road to the Paseo) will meet from 7:15-8:45 p.m.

Meeting Session #2:
Monday, April 29,  St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 11 E. 40th St.
2 different meetings:
North Center section (31st to 43rd streets; Southwest Trafficway to Gillham Road): 5:30-7 p.m.
South Brush Creek section (Brush Creek to 55th Street; State Line Road to the Paseo) 7:15-8:45 p.m.

Meeting Session #3:
Just one meeting-
Tuesday, April 30, 6-8 p.m. Gould Evans offices, 4041 Mill St.
North Brush Creek section (43rd Street to Brush Creek, State Line Road to the Paseo)

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