Shawnee study on 75th Street recommends improving connectivity, safe passage for Shawanoe Elementary families

Transystems will handle engineering services for the redesign of a stretch of 75th Street in Shawnee.

The results are in for a year-long study on a stretch of 75th Street in Shawnee, and consultants for the project are recommending a few changes to improve connectivity, safe passage for all users of the road, and beautification.

The purpose of the study, Re-Imagine 75th Street, was to develop a design guide for future transportation along the 75th Street corridor between Switzer and Quivira roads. Recommendations included short-term options for improvements this year — to be coordinated within the city’s capital improvement plan — and long-term guidance to inform decision-making for future redevelopment opportunities.

The study, which received funding last year from the Mid-America Regional Council, looked to paint a full picture of the corridor with the intent of improving connectivity, intersection safety for all users of the road, and adding landscaping and beautification at key areas along the corridor.

Part 1 of the report can be found here. Part 2 can be found here.

Some of the short-term recommendations include:

  • Reducing the center turn lane width from 16 to 12 feet, reallocating that space to accommodate a shared-use path for bicycles and pedestrians
  • Adding a raised median with low landscaping and a high-visibility or decorative sidewalk to improve the mid-block pedestrian crossing at the traffic signal at 75th and Flint streets
  • Removing a dedicated eastbound right-turn lane on Nieman entering 75th
  • Adding dedicated dual westbound left-turn lanes on Quivira entering 75th
  • Coordinate with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to upgrade 6 priority bus stops
  • Enhance beautification by adding benches, landscaping, street trees and pedestrian light poles
  • Add lighting, curb ramps, corner landscaping and decorative crosswalks at major intersections

Long-term recommendations include:

  • Coordinating with Overland Park and Merriam to complete a shared-use path connection to the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail
  • Coordinating with Arbor Square Apartments near 75th and Flint to add a traffic signal with pedestrian push buttons and signals
  • Coordinating with property owners and neighboring cities on redevelopment initiatives and improved connectivity
Deanne Winkelmann with TranSystems, the consultant for the project, shared the study’s short-term and long-term recommendations with the city council on Monday.

In a presentation to the city council on Monday, Deanne Winkelmann with TranSystems, the consultant for the project, said long-term recommendations for redevelopment include adding shared driveways and shared parking to replace the current arrangement of access points to strip malls in the area.

The study included multiple opportunities for public engagement, including open houses, surveys and public meetings at Shawanoe Elementary, a school next to the project area. Participating residents said they support the shared use path and improved plans for safe crossing of 75th near the school.

The study also considers upgrades to bus stop amenities along 75th Street. Considering that some bus routes are on the chopping block, Councilmember Tammy Thomas asked to ensure the city coordinates with KCATA on improving bus stops that will remain a part of the transit system.

Stephen Powell, deputy city manager, said Johnson County staff told him that if Route 402 is eliminated, then Route 403 will be re-routed to take its place along Nieman Road.

The city council unanimously approved the study. The governing body will consider at a later date any recommended improvements from the study as part of a future project.