The Junction Before and After, North Loop Removal

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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TheLastGentleman
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The Junction Before and After, North Loop Removal

Post by TheLastGentleman » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:10 pm

Thought you all might find this interesting. I tried my best to match a slide from the sanborn maps featuring the junction with the current layout. Of particular interest is how the grid on the east side kept its form exactly while the west side is almost completely unrecognizable. Also, see how Delaware went straight through where the flashcube is. THIS is the project it should be replaced for!

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Last edited by TheLastGentleman on Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by flyingember » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:23 am

What value does downtown get by recreating Delaware today? If anything a pedestrian bridge in the place of Main would be nice but for density there's more value in putting buildings down on the larger parcels than adding a road back that reduces opportunity.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by smh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:27 am

flyingember wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:23 am
What value does downtown get by recreating Delaware today? If anything a pedestrian bridge in the place of Main would be nice but for density there's more value in putting buildings down on the larger parcels than adding a road back that reduces opportunity.
But it's fun.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by TheLastGentleman » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:15 pm

There would be more buildings facing the streets, and thus more potential places for retail and thus a livelier neighborhood. Also, people love flatiron buildings and terminating vistas, so I could see the junction becoming a sort of miniature times square.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by wahoowa » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:06 pm

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:15 pm
people love flatiron buildings and terminating vistas
am people, can confirm. what's our best terminating vista in town? the new york life building?

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by anonkcmo » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:56 pm

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:15 pm
There would be more buildings facing the streets, and thus more potential places for retail and thus a livelier neighborhood. Also, people love flatiron buildings and terminating vistas, so I could see the junction becoming a sort of miniature times square.
That's exactly what it was, KC's version of Times Square with an elevated streetcar. I would love to see a new version of the Junction
however the new "epicenter" has shifted south to Truman Road. Lots of potential to get it right with the highway cover.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by TheLastGentleman » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:28 pm

wahoowa wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:06 pm
TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:15 pm
people love flatiron buildings and terminating vistas
am people, can confirm. what's our best terminating vista in town? the new york life building?
Baltimore going into the New York Life building is easily the best, but this city actually has a lot of them. I might even make that its own thread. Here are a few.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by TheLastGentleman » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:47 pm

anonkcmo wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:56 pm
That's exactly what it was, KC's version of Times Square with an elevated streetcar. I would love to see a new version of the Junction
however the new "epicenter" has shifted south to Truman Road. Lots of potential to get it right with the highway cover.
I don't really see Truman being an epicenter. Sure, the Light towers and park with improve the appeal of that area immensely, but it's too far south. There's not enough across the freeway. A rebuilt junction, on the other hand, would be in a perfect location, being between the river market and the financial district, two lively and important areas.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by FangKC » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:40 am


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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by anonkcmo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:44 am

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:47 pm
anonkcmo wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:56 pm
That's exactly what it was, KC's version of Times Square with an elevated streetcar. I would love to see a new version of the Junction
however the new "epicenter" has shifted south to Truman Road. Lots of potential to get it right with the highway cover.
I don't really see Truman being an epicenter. Sure, the Light towers and park with improve the appeal of that area immensely, but it's too far south. There's not enough across the freeway. A rebuilt junction, on the other hand, would be in a perfect location, being between the river market and the financial district, two lively and important areas.
There is nothing around the old Junction and almost nothing planned, a rebuild is virtually impossible. Maybe 10 years from now things will have changed. But there's no energy there now, the city epicenter has moved south.

Meanwhile Truman Road has become the boom area of downtown with Kaufmann Center, 2 & 3 Light, Loew's Convention hotel and 2 other hotels: one recently finished and 1 under construction. Throw in the possibility of the park covering the highway, the ever-expanding Crossroads retail and the new apartments planned/under construction and Truman Road will definitively be the new Junction. It's already happening organically.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by TheLastGentleman » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:12 pm

Of course nothing is happening. That's not the point. I'm not talking about this stuff happening now. 10 years is actually a pretty good estimate for when this might be plausible. This forum is for speculation right?

I think a lot of the reason the junction area is dead is because so much of it can't even be developed yet because of the overly wide freeway trench. The buildings around the surface lot wasteland also haven't exactly contributed much. This could start changing, though, especially with the Savoy, New England Building, and the smattering of apartment projects. Hopefully it'll start creeping north.

If the dream of the north loop being removed happens, the energy from the river market could finally begin moving south and connect with projects in the financial district. Once this happens, the time to alter the street grid will have passed. That's why it needs to be done before or in tandem with new development, while the area is still so barren. It's the perfect opportunity. The flashcube and the catholic garage would go, but I don't think they'd be missed.

While I won't deny that Truman has had great success, I think it's different enough from this hypothetical junction that they could coexist. Truman is and will be the center of convention and P&L activity, while the junction would be the center of the "old town", being River Market and the Financial District. No reason there can't be both.

At the bare minimum, Main should be reconnected. They wouldn't even have to move any roads and would make the river market side of the street more than just a glorified alleyway. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Beyond the Loop rendering showing this, even just as a possibility, which is just baffling to me.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by flyingember » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:11 pm

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:12 pm

I think a lot of the reason the junction area is dead is because so much of it can't even be developed yet because of the overly wide freeway trench.
Given in the core of the 1970s freeway era an exit came out with direct access to this area, I don’t see that as holding water. It was a prime car-centric building area and it never did even when towers went up a few blocks south.

I think it’s because the bank owners saw more value in it for parking when the bank was at its peak. Remember that at one point they were in 5 buildings

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by TheLastGentleman » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:09 pm

flyingember wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:11 pm
Given in the core of the 1970s freeway era an exit came out with direct access to this area, I don’t see that as holding water. It was a prime car-centric building area and it never did even when towers went up a few blocks south.

I think it’s because the bank owners saw more value in it for parking when the bank was at its peak. Remember that at one point they were in 5 buildings
That still doesn't explain why that area remains dead to this day. Downtown has changed a lot since the 70s and it seems like such a central location adjacent to the river market, garment district, library district, and financial district would be pretty sought-after by now.

That is, unless one of the adjacent things is an active highway.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by flyingember » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:59 am

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:09 pm

That still doesn't explain why that area remains dead to this day. Downtown has changed a lot since the 70s and it seems like such a central location adjacent to the river market, garment district, library district, and financial district would be pretty sought-after by now.

That is, unless one of the adjacent things is an active highway.
This isn't hard. It's private property and the owners want to use the land for parking. It doesn't matter how hot the land is, they decided it's cheaper to own the land and pay the taxes instead of building a parking garage or pay for parking in someone else's garage.

It's not the north loop but there's one parking lot right next to the convention district on 12th that had an actual lawsuit over it after the original owner died and the family inherited it. The lawsuit is over and it's still a parking lot. I picture this site as great for a hotel but the owners want to get parking money instead.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by smh » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:59 am

flyingember wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:59 am
TheLastGentleman wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:09 pm

That still doesn't explain why that area remains dead to this day. Downtown has changed a lot since the 70s and it seems like such a central location adjacent to the river market, garment district, library district, and financial district would be pretty sought-after by now.

That is, unless one of the adjacent things is an active highway.
This isn't hard. It's private property and the owners want to use the land for parking. It doesn't matter how hot the land is, they decided it's cheaper to own the land and pay the taxes instead of building a parking garage or pay for parking in someone else's garage.

It's not the north loop but there's one parking lot right next to the convention district on 12th that had an actual lawsuit over it after the original owner died and the family inherited it. The lawsuit is over and it's still a parking lot. I picture this site as great for a hotel but the owners want to get parking money instead.
Bingo.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:34 pm

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:12 pm
Of course nothing is happening. That's not the point. I'm not talking about this stuff happening now. 10 years is actually a pretty good estimate for when this might be plausible. This forum is for speculation right?

I think a lot of the reason the junction area is dead is because so much of it can't even be developed yet because of the overly wide freeway trench. The buildings around the surface lot wasteland also haven't exactly contributed much. This could start changing, though, especially with the Savoy, New England Building, and the smattering of apartment projects. Hopefully it'll start creeping north.

If the dream of the north loop being removed happens, the energy from the river market could finally begin moving south and connect with projects in the financial district. Once this happens, the time to alter the street grid will have passed. That's why it needs to be done before or in tandem with new development, while the area is still so barren. It's the perfect opportunity. The flashcube and the catholic garage would go, but I don't think they'd be missed.

While I won't deny that Truman has had great success, I think it's different enough from this hypothetical junction that they could coexist. Truman is and will be the center of convention and P&L activity, while the junction would be the center of the "old town", being River Market and the Financial District. No reason there can't be both.

At the bare minimum, Main should be reconnected. They wouldn't even have to move any roads and would make the river market side of the street more than just a glorified alleyway. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Beyond the Loop rendering showing this, even just as a possibility, which is just baffling to me.

Image
Image
what can really kick this area off is the new Cerner Stadium where the Commerce parking lots and bizarre flashcube bldg is. thats what we should be talkin bout.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:36 pm

and ditto on the ULI "ditch the ditch" movement (or lack thereof). The city gains acres of land back to re-sell on top of former I-70 deck - now integrated parking, commuter rail, bus terminus, etc.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by 2000_Watts » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:51 pm

Let's say that MoDOT came out today and announced plans for removing the North Loop:

Where would the 60,000 cars currently using the North Loop go? re-established Sixth Street? RE-established Indep. Ave?

If not there, then surely the South Loop can be re-designated as I-70, right? Wrong. The SW corner of the loop is barely able to handle its current traffic load in its current configuration, ESPECIALLY traffic from the west. We would be sending 30-60000 extra cars through an interchange that only has ONE thru lane for eastbound traffic on a cross-country interstate...? THAT'S not a traffic nightmare.... I don't see MoDOT having the sense or the foresight to rectify that situation if they were, in fact, to remove the north loop. Much like they did with I-70/435 & I-470/50, removing the north loop will only make a bad situation worse in other areas.

In addition, what pedestrian will want to cross an at grade road carrying 40-60000 cars? Not I.

What, exactly, is the benefit of removing the North Loop and restoring the street grid when it only takes a bad situation, makes it worse in another area, and gives more space for vagrants and beggars to congregate as if there's a current shortage of shiny grass & asphalt in and around downtown...?

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by grovester » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:17 pm

Construction detours of the past have dis-proven your point.

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Re: The Junction Before and After

Post by flyingember » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:27 am

2000_Watts wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:51 pm
Let's say that MoDOT came out today and announced plans for removing the North Loop:

Where would the 60,000 cars currently using the North Loop go? re-established Sixth Street? RE-established Indep. Ave?
This one line shows a lot about your point and how bad it is.

I-70 has been closed into Kansas since the beginning of the year and as a result it’s carrying nowhere near 60k people. It drops down to one lane by Wyandotte WB and everyone is forced onto I-35 or 6th St. there’s no ramps to/from I-35 to 670 so you won’t see many people taking that route making this a good model for removal.

Traffic is moving fine. A little slow at peak but that was already the case.

So it’s not just detours in the past; it’s detours right now.
The route reopens in 2020

Concurrently 169 SB is closed too if you want to make things more interesting.

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