Without grocery store access in Marlborough, residents without cars depend on public transit to get their groceries. Residents face many obstacles in using bus transit to reach grocery stores: bus routes run infrequently, and routes to grocery stores are long and indirect. This greatly increases the time required to shop for groceries on a regular basis, and also makes it difficult to keep frozen or refrigerated items cold on the way home.
The Marlborough Community Coalition successfully advocated for the extension of the 85th street route #54, which provided extended access to the Sav-A-Lot and Trader Joe’s grocery stores. However, many residents shop at Price Chopper, Aldi’s and Cosentino’s stores in the Waldo and Brookside neighborhoods. The Community Coalition can build on previous success and work with the KCATA to identify the key bus stops and routes that connect Marlborough residents to the most commonly used grocery stores, and make changes so that routes are more frequent, shorter and more direct. Combine this with work to improve sidewalk access for stronger linkages to key bus stops.
- Send a member of the Healthy Food Leadership Network to attend the Transportation action plan meeting with CCO and the Regional Equity Network on December 18th. At this meeting, identify how Marlborough can plug in this and other mobility efforts into the larger action plan.
- Develop a workplan to assess opportunities for route improvements, combining efforts with the work to improve sidewalks, and integrating with the larger community action plan.
- Form a partnership between the Healthy Foods Leadership Network, the Marlborough Community Coalition Board of Directors, and the KCATA to implement the workplan for transit improvements.
Champions and their roles:
Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO) works with faith congregations in community to discover, develop and direct the power of people to build a better quality of life for their families. CCO is currently conducting research and planning to develop community action for more safe and direct public transportation in the Kansas City metro area, and the Marlborough Healthy Foods Leadership network is invited to join their efforts. CCO is working with the Regional Equity Network, formed through the Mid America Regional Council’s Creating Sustainable Places Initiative to develop and implement this work. Kathryn Evans, Community Organizer for CCO, is the primary point of contact.
KCATA is the regional bus agency serving Kansas City, Missouri, and most of its suburbs. The Marlborough Community Coalition worked with KCATA to extend route #54 on 85th street, and can continue that partnership to build on previous success. Danny O’Connor is the primary point of contact.
Work with the Swope Area plan implementation committee to align efforts to improve transportation routes and sidewalks, two key areas that emerged through the area plan process. Gerald Williams, Lead Planner for Kansas City, Missouri is the primary point of contact.