Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

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normalthings
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Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by normalthings »

I am starting this thread to be a place to discuss Highway Removal and Re-alignment around downtown KC (outside of the Northloop Specific Updates).

Mods, please transfer the recent Broadway Bridge posts over to this new thread.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by normalthings »

Removing i35 in downtown Kansas City.

My idea is to bulldoze i35 from Rainbow Blvd (169 Highway) in KCK to the 70 - 35 interchange in downtown KC. The need for a new Crossroads viaduct in the coming 2 decades makes this realistic (in my mind). Let's move the dang thing instead of rebuilding it all.

Highway 169 & 7th street in KCK will be upgraded to the "new" I35. The existing 7th Ave. interchange with i70 is already rather robust. and should not need much if any adjustments. There is ample ROW at the existing Highway 169 & i35 interchange to rework things there.

Today, Highway 7 is a busy and high-speed road at ground level in KCK. Building a new viaduct there could actually improve traffic and quality of life. There is 100 feet if existing row today with about half in use.


At the 670 & I 35 interchange, the removal of i35 from the south will allow more east/west lanes to be added on 670. These additional lanes are a needed modification for the removal of the north loop anyways.

Southwest Traffic Way will be redesigned so that it becomes the main feeds into/out of West Pennway. This adjustment will reduce traffic on Broadway through Penn Valley Park.

The segment of i35 that I propose removing shall become normal city streets in the Crossroads (not even a BLVD).


Please see the attached map. Red is road upgrades or additions. Green represents removed roads.

Image

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by grovester »

Why not just use 18th Street where there is already a viaduct all the way to 70?

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

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grovester wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:09 pm
Why not just use 18th Street where there is already a viaduct all the way to 70?
You are right, that is very doable and honestly a better plan! I was just trying to cover as much of the i35 industrial corridor as possible with my proposal. I think you could rework 69 with some interchange modifications and otherwise be good to go. Make i35 feed into/out of 69 highway with the option to continue north on i35 (that ends around Rainbow Road. Remove everything north of that to the 670 interchange.

Thoughts?

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by kas1 »

I'd assume that I-70 wouldn't be able to accommodate all the traffic from I-35 without major expansion throughout the stretch of shared roadway. What's the argument against routing I-35 along the edge of the West Bottoms? I know that idea has been around for a while. I'd do that and connect it directly to the new bridge and then build a new jog on the north side of the river to connect with the existing interstate. This lets you eliminate not just the stretch of I-35 through the Crossroads but also the entire east loop. 71 could be rebuilt as surface streets between Independence Ave and 22nd St. Combine that with the removal of the north loop, and downtown almost looks like a proper urban neighborhood again.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by beautyfromashes »

What does this give you except a connection of the north Westside to Crossroads for the elites?

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by normalthings »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:21 pm
What does this give you except a connection of the north Westside to Crossroads for the elites?
Southwest Blvd and the west side are not exclusively elites. Neither are those is Westside South (the area south of i35).

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by normalthings »

kas1 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:39 pm
I'd assume that I-70 wouldn't be able to accommodate all the traffic from I-35 without major expansion throughout the stretch of shared roadway. What's the argument against routing I-35 along the edge of the West Bottoms? I know that idea has been around for a while. I'd do that and connect it directly to the new bridge and then build a new jog on the north side of the river to connect with the existing interstate. This lets you eliminate not just the stretch of I-35 through the Crossroads but also the entire east loop. 71 could be rebuilt as surface streets between Independence Ave and 22nd St. Combine that with the removal of the north loop, and downtown almost looks like a proper urban neighborhood again.
8 lanes all the way through seems like it would be enough. Being able to add more east-west lanes at the 35/670 interchange would have a huge positive impact on travel times that would counter any slow downs over the shared segment

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by beautyfromashes »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:36 pm
beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:21 pm
What does this give you except a connection of the north Westside to Crossroads for the elites?
Southwest Blvd and the west side are not exclusively elites. Neither are those is Westside South (the area south of i35).
I said “north Westside”.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by kas1 »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:21 pm
What does this give you except a connection of the north Westside to Crossroads for the elites?
Removing all the scars from highways and railroads should be one of the city's top priorities when it comes to revitalizing the entire downtown area, including all of the adjacent neighborhoods. Those things ravage property values and radiate blight. Fixing those mistakes will require a significant upfront investment, but you get a permanent benefit with no ongoing costs. If left unaddressed, the city will be stuck perpetually having to remediate blight and subsidize projects along the edges of the affected neighborhoods, and even then it will still be tough to compete with peer cities that have more cohesive downtown neighborhoods.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by grovester »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:17 pm
grovester wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:09 pm
Why not just use 18th Street where there is already a viaduct all the way to 70?
You are right, that is very doable and honestly a better plan! I was just trying to cover as much of the i35 industrial corridor as possible with my proposal. I think you could rework 69 with some interchange modifications and otherwise be good to go. Make i35 feed into/out of 69 highway with the option to continue north on i35 (that ends around Rainbow Road. Remove everything north of that to the 670 interchange.

Thoughts?
I have grand plans for the stretch of SW Blvd from Rainbow to 18th Street once the freeway is moved.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by beautyfromashes »

kas1 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:06 am
beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:21 pm
What does this give you except a connection of the north Westside to Crossroads for the elites?
Removing all the scars from highways and railroads should be one of the city's top priorities when it comes to revitalizing the entire downtown area, including all of the adjacent neighborhoods. Those things ravage property values and radiate blight. Fixing those mistakes will require a significant upfront investment, but you get a permanent benefit with no ongoing costs. If left unaddressed, the city will be stuck perpetually having to remediate blight and subsidize projects along the edges of the affected neighborhoods, and even then it will still be tough to compete with peer cities that have more cohesive downtown neighborhoods.
North Westside is already revitalized. Where’s the ROI?

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by kas1 »

You're talking about a neighborhood that just shot down a very modestly scaled mixed-use development because they wanted more parking. Revitalized or not, that's not the type of neighborhood that should exist 10 blocks from the middle of downtown. In a healthy city, development expands outward from desirable neighborhoods and everything blends together seamlessly. In downtown KC there are small enclaves separated by hard barriers, and development does not jump them. Even if you're okay with the Westside being an insular community of single-family homes, having I-35 there is still going to be long-term impediment to redevelopment of the blocks between Broadway and the highway, and in the long term it will limit the city's ability to function as a true urban environment instead of just a novelty experience in a car-dependent metro.

There doesn't need to be an immediate ROI. Most things that the government does don't turn a profit. This is about quality of life and building a healthy city. Those highways should never have been built. The question should not be if they should be replaced, the question should be when and how. Elevated freeways are not cheap to maintain, so it's not even like we should put up with them just because they're already there.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by flyingember »

kas1 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:52 am
in the long term it will limit the city's ability to function as a true urban environment instead of just a novelty experience in a car-dependent metro.
This doesn't seem to have any basis in real life. The city can certainly function if only one small area doesn't change, there's possibilities along other corridors.

And why does it need to just be urban growth? There's room to add tens of thousands of single family homes across the east side and build up cooridors like Indep Ave and Truman with more 5-6 story buildings.

Filled neighborhoods that use existing suburban infrastructure would be a huge deal for the city too
Last edited by flyingember on Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by taxi »

grovester wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:36 am
I have grand plans for the stretch of SW Blvd from Rainbow to 18th Street once the freeway is moved.
Do tell!

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by grovester »

taxi wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:35 am
grovester wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:36 am
I have grand plans for the stretch of SW Blvd from Rainbow to 18th Street once the freeway is moved.
Do tell!
I’ve always been enamored of the stretch of SW from the overpass west to the old Quick’s BBQ spot.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0582953 ... a=!3m1!1e3

It still looks like a functioning neighborhood with the residential pulled all the way up to the street interspersed with commercial stock.
The Longenecker building needs a rooftop deck to overlook the newly created greenspace.
https://goo.gl/maps/NqJLaWdxMjZgvZM78

This building at the end would make a great BBQ joint.
https://goo.gl/maps/56qEjfbocEUAFCN28

Bodega https://goo.gl/maps/xWW1MjxM2RdjqAqX7

As for the northern part, reduce lanes to 3 and widen sidewalks with protected bike lanes.
The area is already a nice mix, but later improvements could be studios in these 2 buildings-
https://goo.gl/maps/P3F77FGkLdJRhcTK9
https://goo.gl/maps/EJyjRm5ixaxEMfQr5

And Bernie’s Electric just screams BREWERY!
https://goo.gl/maps/VUZStNPyhcEXBSuB9

Tying the two together would be a streamway starting at 7th St. on both sides of Turkey Creek.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0662344 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Take it south on the path of the vacated freeway hopping the creek and rail tracks the same way that Mill Creek Streamway in JoCo does.

Oh, and one last thing:
Gondolas from the Rosedale Arch down to Rosedale BBQ.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by Walker »

Senate is proposing $10 billion for urban highway removal. Funds would be used to remove the highway, construct a boulevard, and construct additional improvements like BRT lanes or an adjacent park. Strong focus on low income and minority community highways. It sounds like the local community does not need state DOT backing to do this. My dream is i-70 removal.

This funding is included in the Dem's $400 billion infrastructure package that I expect to pass.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by alejandro46 »

Walker wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:30 am
Senate is proposing $10 billion for urban highway removal. Funds would be used to remove the highway, construct a boulevard, and construct additional improvements like BRT lanes or an adjacent park. Strong focus on low income and minority community highways. It sounds like the local community does not need state DOT backing to do this. My dream is i-70 removal.

This funding is included in the Dem's $400 billion infrastructure package that I expect to pass.
Saw this on the Twitter too.

Remove I-70, replace with a boulevard.

Change 9 highway to at-grade boulevard. Run the streetcar along it across the HOA to North Kansas City.

Develop the real estate for dense housing and commercial space.

Transformational project for the north loop.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

Post by normalthings »

This grant needs to be used for 71 Highway or 70 in the east side. 70 northloop is needed but I don't think it falls under the purpose of this program.

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Re: Highway Removal and Re-Aligment in Downtown

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https://usa.streetsblog.org/2021/01/11/ ... oval-bill/
The Restoring Neighborhoods and Strengthening Communities Program — known among advocates as the “Highways to Boulevards” initiative — would only be available for projects located in regions with a high concentration of low income residents or residents of color.
It's so new there isn't even text posted for the bill. There isn't a grant yet in existence so we can't say what it needs to be used for.
S.5065

If this goes anywhere, knowing what "high concentration" means would be important.

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