Roeland Park looking for input on most important characteristics for redesign of Roe Boulevard

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The city of Roeland Park is hoping that, in a few years, its central business district along Roe Boulevard will be transformer from a congested thoroughfare that’s intimidating to pedestrians into one that lets bikers and walkers easily make their way from neighborhoods to shops.

Last week, the city held an open house as part of the visioning process for its Roe Boulevard Improvement Project, which it intends to break ground on in 2020.

The goal of the project, which was announced last year, is to both improve the ability of pedestrians to cross Roe Boulevard and also to make it easier for people to travel along the street from the businesses near I-35 south to Johnson Drive. Among the likely features of the project will be the construction of an eight-foot multipurpose path on one side of the street. (Both sides will still have at least a sidewalk).

“We’re wanting to enhance safety for pedestrians as well as making them more comfortable,” said city administrator Keith Moody.

Because the city will be keeping the project within the existing right-of-way and not acquiring additional property, the inclusion of a new eight-foot trail will likely mean the elimination or vast reduction of the median space currently in use.

“We’d basically be looking at taking green space out of the center and moving it to the sides,” Moody said.

The city is currently asking for input from area residents about what features they think are most important in the redesign, among them: pedestrian refuge areas, sidewalk connections and the width of the lanes on the road. You can take the brief online survey here.

Wanting to enhance safety for pedestrians as well as making them more comfortable.

Public Works Director Jose Leon said the city will be looking to wrap up the visioning phase in the coming months and start preliminiary design work.