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Old 02-20-2017, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,498,983 times
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Kansas City Will Take a Serious Look at Removing Downtown Highway – Streetsblog USA



This is one of my personal proposals that I have been hyping up for years. Remove the north section of the freeway loop or convert it into a parkway. The footprint of that freeway is ridiculous and it's totally unnecessary. Remove it and route all interstate traffic across I-670 and cap I-670 with a park. Turn one of the Lewis and Clark viaducts into a pedestrian/transitway park connecting downtown KCK to downtown KCMO. Make the other viaduct a local road or parkway for vehicles.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:09 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 983,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Kansas City Will Take a Serious Look at Removing Downtown Highway – Streetsblog USA



This is one of my personal proposals that I have been hyping up for years. Remove the north section of the freeway loop or convert it into a parkway. The footprint of that freeway is ridiculous and it's totally unnecessary. Remove it and route all interstate traffic across I-670 and cap I-670 with a park. Turn one of the Lewis and Clark viaducts into a pedestrian/transitway park connecting downtown KCK to downtown KCMO. Make the other viaduct a local road or parkway for vehicles.
Yes! Absolutely.

The only aspect of the above that I disagree with is turning one of the Lewis and Clark viaducts into... well, anything. Those things are each massive behemoths, and would be a major overkill for pedestrians, cyclists and/or transit. There's not enough transit to justify it. Cyclists would be much happier on a surface path alongside the river, and pedestrians would avoid it like the plague. It would not be a fun stroll, and there's not enough reason to make it.

I say demolish the northern viaduct, and turn it into linear parkland, with perhaps some space for development.

What I don't get is that it sounds like you want to decommission both viaducts. But don't you need at least one of them for I-70 traffic?
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,498,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Yes! Absolutely.

The only aspect of the above that I disagree with is turning one of the Lewis and Clark viaducts into... well, anything. Those things are each massive behemoths, and would be a major overkill for pedestrians, cyclists and/or transit. There's not enough transit to justify it. Cyclists would be much happier on a surface path alongside the river, and pedestrians would avoid it like the plague. It would not be a fun stroll, and there's not enough reason to make it.

I say demolish the northern viaduct, and turn it into linear parkland, with perhaps some space for development.

What I don't get is that it sounds like you want to decommission both viaducts. But don't you need at least one of them for I-70 traffic?
When you say "both" viaduct, do you mean the two Lewis and Clark bridges or both the I-70 and the I-670 viaducts?

I-670 has plenty of capacity to serve downtown KCK. If you follow the I-70 signs through KC now, the highway has very sharp turns and narrows down to one or two lanes in several place due to lanes dropping. So the 70 route through KCMO and KCK is totally worthless. When 670 was built, the only reason they did not re-route 70 across 670 was because KCK thought it would hurt their downtown economy. The highway system has little do with downtown KCK's problems.

Why I propose is to reroute all I-70 traffic across the I-670 viaduct. The only major improvement needed to do that would be to widen the freeway where it goes through the SW corner of the loop near bartle hall. EB 670 narrows to one lane there, WB 670 narrows to two lanes. That can be fixed. Otherwise the rest of the downtown freeway system can handle the traffic.

To maintain access to downtown KCK most traffic would be diverted to I-670 and a new ramp would be built from WB 670 to what is currently NB/EB 70. You also have access from the west loop. One of the Lewis and Clark bridges could carry car and trucks while the other bridge would carry streetcars, a bike path and be a linear elevated park connecting Kaw Point to Berkley Park. Your idea of routing the bike trail along the river front is good too if they can somehow make that work. If so you could decommission one of the bridges.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,661 posts, read 1,770,490 times
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Keep in mind that the northern Lewis and Clark span dates to 1924 (opened as the Intercity Viaduct) and contains a lower-level bridge across the Kaw. There's a surface street that runs right next to the viaduct that crosses the river on that lower deck.

I'd say that if you simply routed I-70 traffic via I-670, you could dispense with the southerly viaduct altogether, or certainly narrow it to just what's needed for a streetcar and bike path. Either that, or add a lane to the 4-lane northern span for bikes and have the streetcar and car traffic share the other four lanes.

Now, once that's done, could we then turn our attention to one of the greatest acts of civic vandalism committed by the Missouri Highway Department, namely, the construction of the west leg of the loop? Could we please bring back Kersey Coates Drive?
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:50 PM
 
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I agree with all this. I apologize if I misunderstood which spans are referred to by the moniker "Lewis & Clark".
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Midwest USA
146 posts, read 101,415 times
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Agreed, the north loop is the single biggest obstacle facing downtown right now.
It is truly an insane, almost comical design, can't even imagine what they were thinking.
It is dangerous and obsolete.
There are 35 acres of land that can be developed contiguously by removing this monstrosity!
Imagine how many tech companies would love to build a large scale campus reconnecting downtown with the River Market. KC should have don this 15 years ago or at least started planing it back then.
Using KC's normal timing, this could take a lot of time.
I hope it doesn't drag out, get this done now!

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Old 02-21-2017, 03:21 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,008 times
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One reason the Interstates were built were to more quickly and efficiently carry workers to their offices in the city's core. If you remove these sections of the loop you will also eliminate highway miles/per driver and some entrances and exits. This will then require those drivers to use other exits.

We are expecting downtown to gain more jobs, which should further increase traffic. What do you think will happen with congestion at the remaining access points?

Don't you think this could require the enlarging of, and/or addition of exits needing to be built, and therefore require more land in other areas of the remaining freeway? If you want the exits to be safer (in other words) not as short, but not take up any more real-estate, than specific lanes on the existing freeways would need to be added to more-safely accommodate the stacking up of cars into these short exits. You'll notice that they use longer exits in suburban areas where there is a lot more open land; not as easily done in an urban core though.

I agree the downtown highway system could be made more efficient and safe, but in this case I think the freeway that remains will also require a major upgrade.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:59 PM
 
105 posts, read 68,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soapboxist View Post
One reason the Interstates were built were to more quickly and efficiently carry workers to their offices in the city's core. If you remove these sections of the loop you will also eliminate highway miles/per driver and some entrances and exits. This will then require those drivers to use other exits.

We are expecting downtown to gain more jobs, which should further increase traffic. What do you think will happen with congestion at the remaining access points?
Spoken like a true Kansas Citian! Made up traffic issues and all. if you just stood on the bridge and counted the cars driving by, you would realize how unnecessary this highway is. It serves next to no purpose and shouldn't be there. Other, much much larger cities have figured out things like large cores and downtown stadiums for that matter, we don't know more than they do.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:04 PM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 230,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soapboxist View Post
One reason the Interstates were built were to more quickly and efficiently carry workers to their offices in the city's core. If you remove these sections of the loop you will also eliminate highway miles/per driver and some entrances and exits. This will then require those drivers to use other exits.

We are expecting downtown to gain more jobs, which should further increase traffic. What do you think will happen with congestion at the remaining access points?

Don't you think this could require the enlarging of, and/or addition of exits needing to be built, and therefore require more land in other areas of the remaining freeway? If you want the exits to be safer (in other words) not as short, but not take up any more real-estate, than specific lanes on the existing freeways would need to be added to more-safely accommodate the stacking up of cars into these short exits. You'll notice that they use longer exits in suburban areas where there is a lot more open land; not as easily done in an urban core though.

I agree the downtown highway system could be made more efficient and safe, but in this case I think the freeway that remains will also require a major upgrade.
It's all in the eye of the beholder. The Bay Area has a decent transportation system today to bring workers into SF, but nonetheless during the era in which KC decided to tear up the city with freeways, SF residents fought against many of the proposals and today SF isn't hampered by the lack of freeways.


San Francisco's Freeway Plan

In the end, some sort of boulevard system will likely replace the North Loop so drivers can still access the north end of town without much issue similar to the Embarcadero freeway removal.


Oh, by the way...: Happy Birthday To Two California Landmarks!

Lastly, some of your concerns will be addressed in the report put together on this topic.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:17 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
All of 670 should be capped and let the downtown merge into Crown Center. Can one imagine KC's skyline if it wen from 8th st to Pershing Rd. KC would look incredible.
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