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'This is preventable,' official says after weekend pedestrian fatality along Troost Avenue in Kansas City

86 and troost
Posted at 4:14 PM, Oct 16, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday’s early evening hours were filled with sorrow for the family of 59-year-old Michelle Dunmore, as friends and family gathered to honor her life near the intersection a driver hit and killed her just a day before.

Her family said the mother and grandmother was trying to catch a bus before she was killed in an apparent hit-and-run.

“I do understand other people stopped," said Asia Dunmore, Michelle's daughter. "But that still doesn’t take away the fact that when she was struck, that person didn’t stop to render any aid."

On Monday afternoon, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department said there were no updates in the case or suspect information.

Family members expressed concern over the lack of sidewalks and constant speeding by drivers along Troost Avenue, south of 82nd Terrace.

“They have to come and investigate this area and put some sidewalks over here because this is dangerous,” a sister of Michelle's that KSHB 41 spoke to. “You see what happened here.”

KSHB 41's Abby Dodge heard the pleas of Michelle’s family and took their questions to Michael Kelley with Bike Walk KC. He’s the policy director, working to improve roads for pedestrians and cyclists.

While walking near Troost Avenue and E 86 Terrace, I asked him how it feels to walk alongside traffic in that area of town.

“It feels very unsafe. Very intimidating,” Kelley said “Not comfortable at all.”

Kansas City’s Vision Zero plan, to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030, recognizes Troost as a problem area.

Kelley easily pointed out the problems for pedestrians and cyclists near 86th and Troost.

“It’s really wide, and as you can see because it’s built so wide it’s actively encouraging people to go over the speed limit,” Kelley said while standing next to a 40 mph speed limit sign.

Without sidewalks or physical barriers south of 82nd, Kelley said solutions are simple: narrowing lanes, improving signage and clear pavement markings are just the start.

“You deserve to be able to leave your home and go wherever you need and know you will return safely,” he said. “This is preventable because of the way the street is configured. We can do something different. We have to make a choice as a community, as leaders to choose that different path.”

Kelley said there are currently no explicit plans to improve the specific section of the Troost corridor, but improvements are part of the Vision Zero plan.