Are you ready to green commute?

The 10th annual Green Commute Challenge starts tomorrow! That means it’s time to log your trips using alternative transportation — riding your bike, taking the bus or streetcar, walking, carpooling, or telecommuting. You and your teammates compete with other organizations to see who can save the most miles — and maybe win a few cool prizes along the way.

This year, we’ve made it even easier to identify carpool partners, find bike and bus routes, and log trips using the RideshareKC smartphone app. Download from iTunes | Download from Google Play

Not only will you be contributing to better air quality, but you can save money on gas and vehicle expenses and gain health benefits from reduced stress and increased physical activity. It’s a win, win, win!

The Challenge runs from June 1 to August 31 and registration is open until July 7. Find out more and register at www.ridesharekc.org.

A Triple Play — DBE networking event offered by MoDOT, Bellewether & COMTO

An informative, relationship-building event will be held Monday, June 12 from 5:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m. at the Robert J. Mohard Multipurpose Center, 3200 Wayne Ave., Kansas City, Missouri. It’s geared toward primes in the construction trades and transportation professionals from MoDOT, KDOT, KCATA and FTA.

Not a DBE? That’s okay … join us and meet professionals from local, state and federal levels and learn how your business can benefit.

Presentations start at 6 p.m. and will cover 2017 Q3 and Q4 project opportunities and announcements.

Find out more and register today.

Share your thoughts on a roadway improvement project near I-49 in Grandview, Missouri

We would like your feedback on an amendment to Transportation Outlook 2040, the Kansas City region’s long-range, Metropolitan Transportation Plan. This blueprint describes how the region will manage, operate and invest in its multimodal transportation system during the next 25 years.

This particular amendment adds details, expands boundaries, modifies the total cost, incorporates phases and demonstrates financial capacity for an existing project in Grandview, Missouri.

Project details:

  • Convert the outer roadways of I-49 from one-way to two-way traffic.
  • Add improvements to the existing outer roads, existing city streets near the Main Street interchange, and construct a new roadway between East 129th Street and Highgrove Road.
  • Add roundabout interstate access on the north and southbound sections of I-49 near 140th Street.
  • This could require up to three phases of construction projects to complete.

Share your comments by Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Submit comments:

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax: 816-421-7758
  • By email: transportation@marc.org

All comments will be documented and reviewed by MARC’s Total Transportation Policy Committee.

Additional information about the MARC transportation planning process can be found in A Guide to Transportation Decision Making and in MARC’s Public Participation Plan.

Engaging future transportation leaders

On Feb. 8, the Kansas City Chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) honored the legacy of Garrett A. Morgan and his contributions to the transportation industry by exposing students from the Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri school districts to the work of transportation planners, engineers, architects and others.

The Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day Program was developed under the Clinton administration by Rodney E. Slater, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. COMTO KC hosts the Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day each year to encourage young people to pursue transportation-related careers and help grow and sustain a workforce to meet the technical demands of the 21st century.

As part of the shadow day, students visited the RideKC bus simulator, the KC Streetcar maintenance facility and the Charles B. Wheeler air traffic control tower. Burns and McDonnell hosted the students for lunch and an engineering panel featuring six different types of engineering professionals.

Read more about the Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day.

What do you think? Proposed amendments to long- and short-range transportation plans

Periodically, MARC seeks public comments on transportation planning efforts and major amendments to transportation plans.

We would like your feedback on:

A proposed amendment to Transportation Outlook 2040 to improve Lone Elm Road from Old 56 Highway to 151st Street in Olathe, Kansas to prepare for future K-7 expansion from a rural 2-lane to 4-lane divided highway.

Transportation Outlook 2040, the region’s long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), is a blueprint that describes how the region will manage, operate and invest in its multimodal transportation system during the next 25 years.

Submit your comments:

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax: 816-421-7758
  • By email: transportation@marc.org

A special amendment to the short-range transportation plan that includes 18 projects.

Four new projects to be added:

  • Clay County — Replace 148th Street bridge over Carroll Creek.
  • Clay County — Replace 188th Street bridge over New Hope Creek.
  • Jackson County — Pavement repair at Longview Lake.
  • MoDOT — Pavement striping at various intersections.

And 14 projects to be modified in scope, schedule or budget.

See the full list of projects.

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the region’s short-range program, identifying projects to receive federal funds and projects of regional significance to be implemented during the next three- to five-year period.

Submit your comments:

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By fax: 816-421-7758
  • By email: tip@marc.org

All comments will be documented and reviewed by MARC’s Total Transportation Policy Committee.

Comments are needed by Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.

Additional information about the MARC transportation planning process can be found in A Guide to Transportation Decision Making and in MARC’s Public Participation Plan.

Burlington Avenue corridor in North Kansas City to get bike facilities, rain gardens

The Kansas City region’s vision of vibrant, green and connected centers and corridors is central to both the Creating Sustainable Places initiative and Transportation Outlook 2040, the region’s long-range transportation plan.

Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) is an initiative to provide communities with pre-development resources to advance sustainable projects in their corridors and centers. The first round of projects was funded in 2013, the second in 2015 and a third round was just awarded for 2017.

The Burlington Corridor Complete Street Design project received funding in 2015 and set out to produce plans to increase green elements and improve transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the corridor in North Kansas City, Missouri. Sara Copeland, community development director for the city of North Kansas City, recently provided this project update:

Burlington Avenue is the front door to North Kansas City (NKC). More than 25,000 cars use Burlington every day, whether they are traveling to a destination here in NKC, heading south to reach downtown Kansas City, Missouri, or heading somewhere further north. Burlington is also a state highway (Route 9) and a major transit corridor.

BEFORE:

NKC PSP project 01-BEFORE
Photo courtesy Confluence

AFTER:

NKC PSP project 02-AFTER
Photo courtesy Confluence

Unfortunately, we have heard for too long that as a front door, Burlington lacks curb appeal. The medians and their trees are aging. Burlington lacks continuous sidewalks, and it is not pedestrian or bicycle friendly.

The city of North Kansas City was planning to explore median improvements to Burlington when MARC announced the call for projects for the 2015 Planning Sustainable Places program. Receiving PSP funds gave us an opportunity to take a broader approach to Burlington, to examine not just median improvements, but how investing in complete street improvements on Burlington could revitalize and refresh the corridor.

After months of community outreach and engagement, the plan for Burlington includes a new cycle track — a two-way bicycle path on the east side of Burlington that will connect to the bike path on the Heart of America bridge. Setting a standard traffic lane width allows additional space for sidewalks and amenities. The aging medians will be replaced with rain gardens to better handle stormwater.

Making these improvements will be a multi-year project. The first phase of improvements has been galvanized by the award of federal Surface Transportation Program funds — $3.8 million to support construction of the cycle track in 2020. We anticipate moving forward on surveying, engineering and construction documents in the spring of 2017.

Because we knew that some community members would have a hard time envisioning future improvements, a key part of this project was the creation of visual materials illustrating proposed improvements. These illustrations, especially a video demonstrating the difference between today’s Burlington and tomorrow’s improved corridor, have been instrumental in building support for this project. All of these materials are available on the North Kansas City Burlington Corridor Project website.

Planning team seeks input on use cases for I-35 corridor planning project

The Interstate 35 Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Planning project is focused on the I-35 corridor in Kansas from the Sunflower Road interchange in Edgerton to the Missouri state line. The scope of the project is to develop a Concept of Operations (“ConOps”) for the integration of transportation modes, agencies, networks and intelligent transportation systems. It outlines roles, responsibilities and technological requirements for the integration of multi-modal transportation operations within the I-35 corridor.

As part of this project, the planning team has developed a range of potential use cases for consideration.  Planners want to get a clear sense of the decisions users may make related to transportation choices for a variety of modes (private auto, transit, ride share, etc.) based on travel conditions, available options and trip purpose.

The team will choose one use case to analyze, evaluating it under four conditions (daily, incident, major construction, major planned event) for three scenarios (current, future, ICM) to create 12 operational views. The other use cases will be documented in the ConOps.

The planning team is seeking input on:

  • The potential use case that would provide the most initial benefit to the corridor.
  • Other potential use cases that should be added to the ConOps.

Leave your comments below or email Jim Hubbell.

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Potential I-35 ICM Use Cases V1.3_for PDF-2