Winner: Armour Road Complete Street

The Armour Road Complete Street Plan was adopted in November 2017; the first phase of implementation was completed in September 2019. In 2020, City staff and planning team collected extensive data to facilitate an evaluation of the project by the community in a virtual town hall. The data shows concrete results in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning and a drive toward implementation, with a project that achieved demonstrable results through state-of-the-art methods that support a community of lasting value.

Implementation of this project has been multi-year and included:

· A community planning process that resulted in adoption of the Armour Road Complete Street Plan (2017)

· Completion of construction plans and community outreach regarding final design (2018)

· First phase construction (2019)

· Data collection and evaluation (2020)

· Second phase construction (budgeted for 2021)

The Armour Road Complete Street Plan began as a project to reimagine a five- to seven-lane thoroughfare that divided the most walkable parts of North Kansas City in half. The resulting plan is a vision for a corridor “that is safe, serves all users, incorporates sustainable measures, is visually appealing, and is economically vibrant.” The first phase of construction included the installation of parking protected bike lanes, decorative crosswalks, landscaped islands, floating bus stops, and pedestrian refuge islands for safer pedestrian crossings. The corridor is more visually appealing and has reduced traffic speeds to increase safety for all users.

Engagement through 2017 included a corridor walk, visualizations, and online surveys. The key element was the all-day Pop-Up Parklet demonstration project, which installed the parking protected bicycle lanes, decorative crosswalks, and expanded pedestrian parklets by the plan. The Pop-Up Parklet event was successful in engaging with many more community members than a typical public meeting, including many who had not previously attended a public meeting. The event also garnered an extremely high level of media interest that is not typical for a public meeting. The event was covered live and recorded by three television stations, a radio station, and the Kansas City Star. The demonstration event also received an Innovation Award from the Missouri Municipal League.

Data collection conducted in 2020 measured the results of the project and reported those results to the community. Data collected included traffic counts, speed analysis, crash data, traffic citations, travel times, and other technical data. In all measures, the Armour Road Complete Street project has resulted in measurable success: READ DATA.

The results of the Armour Road Complete Street project are a corridor that achieves the goals set for it: an Armour Road that is safer, serves all users, is more visually appealing, and supports both existing businesses and new development. In addition to improved traffic safety, another result of this project is a new affordable housing project set to break ground on the south side of Armour Road in Fall 2020. This project will be the first residential development on the south side of Armour Road in 20 years, demonstrating the project’s success in overcoming Armour Road’s effect as a barrier dividing NKC in half.