More than 50,000 people drive across the Buck O’Neil Memorial Bridge each day and 70,000 vehicles pass through the North Loop. They are primary regional arteries. Many others also walk and bike in the study area, though there are few safe or accessible facilities to accommodate them. The study will examine ways to improve safety and connectivity.
With more than a dozen on and off ramps woven tightly together along the North Loop, it’s common for traffic to backup during morning and evening rush hours. Because of the confined nature of the highway, emergency vehicles often encounter difficulties as they seek to provide aid. And residents have expressed concerns about pedestrian safety crossing between the downtown Central Business District and the River Market.
The population continues to grow north of the Missouri River, and residential units in the areas surrounding River Market and downtown are at full occupancy with more apartments under construction. The bridge and supporting highways now run through thriving and growing neighborhoods. This study will ask how we can improve the relationship between our transportation infrastructure and the communities it serves.
The study area also includes significant aviation, railroad, transit and waterway facilities that may impact or be impacted by changes to the roadway network.
The study will assess ideas suggested by the community and identify several feasible options for the future of the bridge and corridor. It will stop short of identifying a single preferred solution.
While the study’s primary purpose is to identify long-term options, it will also recommend some short- and medium-term opportunities for improvements. For example, it will examine ways to better connect the street grid between River Market and downtown Kansas City for future development.