The 47, a corridor shared by Roeland Park, Westwood and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, Kansas, is undergoing a striping project that will reduce it from a four-lane road to a three-lane road.
A lane for bicyclists will also be added.
Road work and lane conversion, including a dedicated left turn lane on eastbound 47th Street in Roeland Park, began on Aug. 17 and is expected to last until Sept. 15.
Improvements will take place between Rainbow Boulevard and Mission Road, and aside from car and bike lane striping, will include minor signal and signage changes. Operation details for motorists, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians will be finalized in 2021 prior to the 2022 project, according to the city of Westwood.
A Roeland Park Facebook post said at least one traffic lane will remain open each way throughout the process, and pedestrian disruptions are anticipated to be minimal. Businesses and resident access along The 47 will be maintained.
Ryan Barrows, vice president of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, said he thinks the project is headed in a direction that will be beneficial for the beloved 24-year-old barbecue joint.
“There were some other things that wouldn’t have benefited us, but everybody was receptive to, you know, feedback from the neighborhood,” Barrows said. “I think this is going to be a good thing for us.”
Barrows said with more people enjoying the outdoors amid COVID-19, “it is going to be a pretty great thing” to offer ways to safely bike and walk along The 47.
The tri-city project intends to show the corridor’s Complete Streets potential, which means it is safely designed for various users including bicyclists and transit riders, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 2020 striping project sets up The 47 for a full road reconstruction in 2022.
Businesses and residents will be notified of work near their properties before it starts. More information about the 2020 striping project and 2022 Complete Streets project can be found here.