What transportation projects should be included in RTP 2050?

MARC is working with local governments and other transportation stakeholders to develop RTP 2050, a plan that will serve as a blueprint for managing the Kansas City region’s transportation system for the next 30 years, and we want to know what you think.  The RTP 2050 plan includes a long-term vision for the region’s transportation system, along with goals that we want to achieve by 2050 and strategies for how we plan to do it. 

The final plan will also include a list of transportation projects — major regional investments for the next 30 years that will help us accomplish our goals. This list has to be financially constrained, meaning that the projects fit within the budget of transportation funding that we can reasonably expect to receive over the next 30 years. 

MARC issued a call for projects in February, and we received more than 400 applications representing projects in all parts of the region, with total costs that exceed our expected funding. We will need to make some hard decisions about what to include in the plan, and that’s where you come in.

Please review the list using the link below and share your comments at the bottom of each project. Your feedback will help our planning committees as they review and prioritize projects. Comments will be accepted through the end of the summer. 

View projects and share your thoughts

We need YOU to help plan for reducing risks from natural disasters

Changes in climate conditions and the rising costs to repair public and private property makes it even more important to consider steps to reduce risks from natural disasters. Local governments, school districts and others prepare a hazard mitigation plan every five years to evaluate their risks and identify actions they may take to mitigate loss of life and property. Over the past year, the region has experienced increasing threats from flooding, severe winter storms, heat and drought, and tornadoes.

As MARC begins our 2019 Hazard Mitigation planning process, it is important to include representatives from all aspects of public service — elected officials, planning and building services, emergency services, environmental planning, public health, public works and transportation, school district and college personnel and more.

For example, transportation is impacted in a natural disaster:

  • Many communities have low water crossings in residential and commercial areas that are prone to flooding from rising streams or flash flooding due to overloaded storm drainage systems.
  • Evacuation routes need to be identified to allow emergency response to take people to safety.
  • Air and freight networks bring supplies and support from other regions.
  • Communication tools like KC Scout share important messages with the public.

This is why we hope to see elected officials, city administrators, emergency managers, public works directors, transportation planners — and you — at an event for developing and implementing a hazard mitigation and community resilience effort.

The keynote speaker is Linda Langston, director of strategic relations at the National Association of Counties (NACo), and former supervisor of Linn County, Iowa. Langston will discuss the importance of hazard mitigation planning and preparing for disasters, why local governments, schools and others should care, and how to approach the planning process with a holistic view.

Workshop topics:

  • What are the hazard mitigation requirements for local plans?
  • Do all jurisdictions face the same challenges?
  • Have the challenges changed over the past five years?
  • How are risks changing with climate change or other conditions?
  • What actions have local governments taken to mitigate hazards and what results did they achieve?
  • Which strategies have proven most effective in mitigating hazards?

Don’t get distracted by detours! Find easy commute alternatives during I-435 and I-70 interchange construction

Missouri Department of Transportation crews will begin working at the I-435 and I-70 interchange beginning on Thursday, March 7! The project includes removing left exits on I-435, making safety improvements at the loop ramps, adding lanes on I-435 in each direction and building new bridges within the interchange. The work will have major traffic impacts over the course of two construction seasons. Learn more about the project.

On both Thursday, March 7, and Friday March 8, beginning at 9 a.m., crews will close the right lane of eastbound I-70 from 18th Street to Cleveland Ave. until approximately 3 p.m. each day. This closure is to stage signs, equipment and detours routes.

The following ramps will be closed throughout March and remain closed until December 2020:

  • Westbound I-70 loop ramp to southbound I-435. The signed detour will use westbound I-70 to Manchester to turn around on eastbound I-70 to southbound I-435.
  • Eastbound I-70 loop ramp to northbound I-435. The signed detour will use US 40 starting near 31st Street to northbound I-435.
  • Manchester Trafficway on-ramp to westbound I-70.
  • I-70 eastbound exit ramp to Manchester.

The project has the potential to add more time to your daily commute, presenting a great opportunity to explore other commuting options through RideshareKC.

  • Find a carpool partner at RideshareKC.org. This website connects you with others who live and work near you and want to carpool.
  • Take the bus. Find bus routes and schedules at RideKC.org. Rather than sitting in traffic, you can read, listen to music or chat with other riders.
  • Park and ride. The Kansas City region has many park and ride lots where you can meet up with fellow carpool riders and connect to public transit. Find a park and ride lot.

If you regularly take the bus, carpool, vanpool or ride a bike to work, register for the Guaranteed Ride Home program and we’ll provide up to two taxi rides home per year in case of emergency. Call 816-842-RIDE (7433) or visit RideshareKC.org for more information.

RTP 2050 Call for Projects seeks regionally significant transportation projects

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) 2050 Call for Projects is now open! The purpose of this call is to solicit all types of transportation projects from across the Kansas City metro that address transportation needs identified for the region. Projects submitted should be regionally significant in nature.

This process is intended to prioritize projects to be included in the plan’s financially constrained list. While this is not an application for specific funding, inclusion in the plan is a requirement in some cases, and a boost in others, for future funding opportunities. The Call for Projects will close on April 25 at 4 p.m.

After the deadline, all applications will be made available online for public review and comment. MARC staff will also score the projects based on a set of established criteria then assemble the projects into packages. They will use modeling software to see how these groups of projects — also called scenarios — impact certain outcomes of the transportation system. Ultimately, a list of financially constrained projects will be included in the final plan, slated to be adopted in June 2020.

RTP 2050 is the update to the region’s current long-range transportation plan, Transportation Outlook 2040. Per federal requirements, long-range plans must be updated every five years, have at least have a 20-year time horizon and demonstrate financial constraint with resources that can reasonably be expected to be available over the life of the plan.

Fight the winter blues with active commuting

Does the long cold winter have you feeling down? Not getting enough exercise? Feeling cooped up in your house?

Whether you’re dealing with a mild case of the winter blues or the more serious seasonal affective disorder, one of the best things to do is get outside.

One way to be more active outdoors is to leave your car at home and try an active form of commuting — take the bus, walk or bike. Trying an active commute during the winter months can seem a bit daunting at first but with a little willpower and preparation, you can do it! Not only will you improve your overall mood, you’ll be getting exercise and saving money.

Visit RideshareKC to get started with active commuting. You can find information about bus and bike routes and make connections with others who might have a similar commute. A commute buddy can help ease the transition to a new mode and keep you motivated. You can also find potential carpool matches at the site.

Tips to deal with winter weather active commuting:

  • Quick change — Keep clothes at work to change into, especially warm socks and shoes.
  • Stay hydrated — With drier winter air, it’s more important to stay hydrated when exercising.
  • Layer up — Wearing multiple thin layers is key. Synthetic based layers that wick moisture are extremely helpful.
  • Protect your head, feet and hands — Use sock liners, a hat, neck gaiter and gloves to help ward off the chill.
  • Gear up — Invest in a comfortable shoulder bag or backpack to carry extra cold weather gear so you can adapt to changing weather conditions.

Biking and walking are great ways to beat the winter blues and get some much needed sunshine. Being active outside during winter is all about dressing in layers. Once your body gets moving, you’ll be nice and warm!

Eric Rogers
BikeWalkKC, Executive Director and Co-founder

Thanks to our friends at BikeWalkKC for sharing pictures of active winter commuters!