KCATA looks at adding new bus stops along Roe Boulevard

The new RideKC branding that will start appearing on Johnson County buses next week.
Buses could begin making stops along Roe Blvd. next year.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) is hoping to install new bus stops along Roe Blvd. just south of 48th Street. The stops will include bus shelters and possibly a pull-off lane for the buses.

Shawn Strate of the KCATA told the Roeland Park City Council this week that three routes travel down Roe. Although ridership is not high now, the routes have potential to grow because of the employment and housing to which they connect.

A former traffic study on KU Med specifies a station on that route and before the Johnson County merger with KCATA it was on the project list, Strate said. The Mission Transit Center on Johnson Drive also connects to the routes. He presented drawings for a stop on each side of the street showing the potential turnout lanes.

Also mentioned was the potential for a park and ride option using the retail parking lots that are on both sides of Roe at that spot. Councilors Becky Fast and Teresa Kelly both expressed support for the bus stops and making Roeland Park a more friendly community for pedestrians and cyclists.

The next step is to get cost estimates for the options. No coordination with property owners has started yet. KCATA hopes for construction of the shelters in early 2016.

Another possibility is an enhanced design for the shelters that would be unique to Roeland Park. Any extra cost for a different design might require some funding from the city, Strate said. Councilor Sheri McNeill said she would love to have a design for Roeland Park, “but not out of our city budget.” Mayor Joel Marquardt raised the possibility of having volunteers come up with some designs. Using volunteers would be at no cost to at least get design options on the table.