In 2012 the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) worked with Marlborough neighborhoods to improve access to retail and grocery locations to the west by removing bus stops between Paseo and Prospect and adding new stops between Paseo and Troost. Ridership has increased! However, with the extremely limited options for healthy food in Marlborough, connecting pedestrian routes and bus routes to grocery stores is a priority in Marlborough.
Every trip on public transportation begins and ends with a walk or a bike ride, so in coordination with the pedestrian and bicycling improvements, a key task of improving stops and routes is to identify the primary paths from each of the five neighborhoods to transit stops. A representative from KCATA advised the Catalyst planning process that through identifying more strategic, and fewer, locations for stops, more attention can be paid to the creature comforts of each stop. While MAX stations have standard amenities including: a well-lit shelter with a bench, and an information marker with real-time transit information; the planning team heard from the community that the availability of well-maintained trash/recycling receptacles at all stops is a top priority related to increased attention to property maintenance and beautification in the area.
Implementing a community identity program that incorporates environmental and aesthetic benefits at transit stops is another way to improve the transit experience of those in Marlborough and the perception of the area for those who live and work outside of Marlborough. This could include:
- Customized shelter panels and artistic amenities (trash/recycling receptacles) designed by local talent
- Green infrastructure streetscape improvements that mitigate stormwater, help snow to melt more quickly, distinguish key pedestrian zones, and beautify such as pervious pavers, biorention areas with rain gardens, and street trees
- A community signage program at the stops with the highest ridership counts such as the Troost MAX at 75th
Programs such as these would require coordination between KCATA, Water Services, Public Works, and Marlborough residents to implement and maintain.
With the ongoing Streetcar and Prospect MAX studies, current ridership and potential future ridership is currently being examined in detail. Participating in these studies and advocating for Marlborough’s transit needs related to community priorities is an important part of preparing for the future. One of the questions that the Prospect MAX planning process is studying is where the line should end: 75th, 77th, or 85th. It is important for Marlborough residents to provide their input, advocating for connection to key services and retail as well as the coordination of environmental programs. The Prospect MAX planning process is asking for community response on key issues. Please weigh in on the brief survey for the Prospect MAX here.
- Community champions of this opportunity to meet with champion of pedestrian and bicycling improvements to strategize high travel pedestrian paths and key transit stop locations.
- Community representative to meet with KCATA and HNTB to verify outcomes of pedestrian paths and ridership studies as well as potential for coordination with Water Services and community partners (below) for identity programs.
- Champions to meet with representatives of Water Services to identify whether green infrastructure streetscape improvements such as permeable sidewalks and stormwater planters can be incorporated into priority redevelopment nodes in Marlborough Village, on 85th between Prospect and Troost and along the project boundary extent of Prospect.
- Reconvene with pedestrian and bicycling champions to prioritize the improvements that will do the most good in Marlborough and have the most buy-in from the KCATA and Water Services.
Champions and their roles:
Diane Hershberger is a steering committee member for the Prospect MAX and served on the Mobility work group for the Catalyst Plan. Diane is also a co-lead with Aimee Alderman on the Healthy Foods Leadership Network and they are championing the opportunity to improve bus routes to grocery stores
Talk with Curtis Calkins about the walkability audit.
Charles Brown may be interested in participating in a graphic identity program.
Bonnye Brown could lead her students at the Community Center in a community arts process to provide imagery for the shelter panels or community signage.
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), Contact Danny O’Connor
Prospect MAX plan (underway)
Municipal Art Commission – Porter Arneill
Funding sources or supportive programs:
Keep Kansas City Beautiful (KKCB), a program at Bridging the Gap dedicated to neighborhood beautification and litter control, who currently supports Marlborough with cleanup supplies through the Great American Cleanup project.
Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) is 13 people whose purpose is to advise the City Council on public improvement needs. Their input is used to recommend projects for funding by a 1 cent sales tax dedicated to public improvements. If a business, organization or neighborhood has a need for capital improvements (sidewalks, water and sewers, road improvements, storm water runoff, etc.); they are encouraged to submit a project request form. The deadline in 2013 was August 31, 2013. Hearings are held in advance by district, so that the Committee and Council can hear directly from citizens about public improvement needs. In District 5 these hearings happened in mid-July 2013.