Transportation updates from the Mid-America Regional Council
Author: MARC Transportation
MARC is the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. One of our main roles is to provide transportation-planning services for eight counties — Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.
MARC has prepared the draft 2020-2024 Transportation
Improvement Program (TIP) for public review and comment. This core 5-year
planning document includes all federally funded surface transportation
projects, and all regionally significant surface transportation projects,
regardless of funding source, planned for the Kansas City metropolitan area in
Federal Fiscal Years 2020-2024.
The document is developed cooperatively with local governments,
state departments of transportation and transit operators. The goal of the plan
is to implement the policies and strategies of our current long-range transportation
plan, Transportation Outlook 2040.
The plan includes an Environmental Justice analysis that looks
at the group of projects to assess whether they pose disproportionally high or adverse
human health and environmental effects, including social and economic, on
minority and low-income populations.
Large projects in
RideKC MAX service — fixed-route line, demand responsive
and BRT service
KC Streetcar — Main Street Extension to UMKC
Kansas City, Missouri & KC Streetcar Authority, $316,850,000
US 169 — bridge over Missouri River
I-435 — corridor improvements from I-49 to
Kansas state line
I-35 and 119th Street interchange
Have you ever wondered how to get around the Kansas City Region by walking, bicycling or taking transit? Do you think that connections between major destinations, trails, streets and other places could be easier to understand? You’re in luck, and we want to hear from you!
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, several local jurisdictions, and MARC are working hard to make walking, bicycling and transit better for you by creating a regional signage system.
The project, called Connecting Our Region, will work across the metro to create an inclusive signage plan that enhances the visitor experience and fits the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users. The goal is to develop a system that helps users find the logical and safe connections between key destinations and commercial districts in the region.
Connecting our Region will engage the community through
surveys, events, public meetings and in-person interviews to inform the design
committee on how signage is currently used and influence the plan for a future
Do you work at an organization that values air quality and active transportation? Are you looking for an opportunity to give back and help shape the future of the Kansas City region? MARC is seeking representatives from organizations and businesses to serve on the Air Quality Forum or the Active Transportation Programming Committee.
Air Quality Forum
The Air Quality Forum (AQF) is a policy and programming committee comprised of local elected officials, air quality and transportation agency personnel, and representatives from businesses and community groups. The AQF reviews regional air quality issues and makes policy recommendations regarding those issues to the MARC Board of Directors and the states of Kansas and Missouri. Additionally, the AQF serves as MARC’s designated committee to review and make recommendations pertaining to Congestion Mitigation Air Quality project eligibility and fund allocation. It is the goal of the committee to support and fund projects which will have a positive impact on air quality in the Kansas City region and mitigate congestion when possible.
The AQF meets at the MARC offices on the second Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m.
The bylaws of the AQF committee provide for up to five representatives from community groups and one representative from a for-profit business. These positions are selected by the chairpersons of the AQF in consultation with the MARC Board of Directors and will serve a two-year term, once selected. Organizations are expected to nominate a member and alternate upon selection.
The AQF is seeking representatives from any of the following types of organizations:
Health organization — one available seat. The selected member will represent a health organization related in some manner to the health consequences of air pollution.
Environmental organization — two available seats. The selected member will represent an established environmental organization that holds meetings within the Kansas City metropolitan region.
For-profit corporation — one available seat. The selected member will represent a corporation with an interest in air quality issues. The AQF rotates this open position among various Standard Industrial Classification codes.
Transportation organizations — two available seats. The selected member will represent an established transportation organization that holds meetings within the Kansas City metropolitan region.
Questions about the Air
Quality Forum? Contact Karen Clawson, air quality program manager, at 816-701-8255
Active Transportation Programming Committee
The Active Transportation Programming Committee (ATPC) oversees federal programs that provide funds to transportation projects that benefit pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized transportation users. The committee assists in reviewing project applications and provides recommendations to the Total Transportation Policy Committee (TTPC), Air Quality Forum and MARC Board of Directors. The committee also assists in monitoring and reporting on the progress of funded projects.
The ATPC meets on the second Wednesday of every quarter at 10:30 a.m. at the MARC offices.
The bylaws of the ATPC committee provide for up to two representatives from community groups, one based in Kansas and the other in Missouri. These positions will be selected the ATPC. Organizations are expected to nominate a member and alternate upon selection.
The ATPC currently has one open position:
Missouri-based community representative — This person will provide technical expertise in assessing the regional benefits and impacts of proposed projects related to bicycle, pedestrian and other forms of active transportation.
Questions about the
Active Transportation Programming Committee? Contact Alex Rotenberry,
transportation planner III, at 816-701-8228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poor air quality can affect children more than adults. Kids tend to be outdoors more, and their developing lungs are more vulnerable to pollutants. There are simple, everyday actions that kids can do to help keep our air clean.
Quinton, mascot of MARC’s Air Quality program, takes kids on
clean air adventures to teach them about the importance of air quality and how
we can all do simple things can help us breathe easier. In “Wingin’ It”,
Quinton and his dad explore Kansas City on an Ozone Alert day, so to reduce
harmful emissions they use alternative transportation such as riding the bus or
To share Quinton’s message, Royce Handy, MARC’s air quality intern, has spent the past few months delivering copies of the children’s book along with Air Quality calendars to elementary school children throughout the region.
I’ve had a great experience this year delivering air quality books and 2019 calendars to our Head Start partners and to kids at Crossroads – Quality Hill in partnership with Lead to Read. So far, I’ve delivered over 2,500 books to places like the Kansas City School District, Front Porch Alliance, YMCA and more. This has been a refreshing experience, as I not only get to meet amazing regional leaders who are caring for our children and their education, but the children themselves.
When I was a kid, I loved R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” book series. Through them, I developed an appreciation for creative writing and a love of reading. As I bring books to students throughout the metro, I hope they have the same feeling I still have years later. Quinton’s “Wingin’ It” is a great book full of color and adventure, but also educates children (via the parental glossary in the back of the book) about ozone pollution, why air quality is important and shares simple steps to help keep our air clean. So not only do I get to take time away from my desk and see new parts of the region, I get to have a hand in creating a better environment and encouraging lifelong learners.
If you know any groups that may want books or calendars, please email me at email@example.com.
Read ‘Wingin’ It’ and see other air quality educational
materials at AirQKC.org.
Green Light (OGL) has been aiding in the safety and efficiency of traffic
signal operations across the Kansas City metropolitan area since the program
was started in 2004. The goals of the program are to reduce travel time, fuel
consumption and air pollution while ensuring safety and efficiency.
Recently, Grandview and Blue Springs joined the list of 23 OGL
member cities. Blue Springs added nine intersections to the signal management
system along with network communications. Grandview added five intersections, communications
and signal controllers.
When adding a new route to the OGL system, existing
equipment is saved and used whenever possible which saves money. All costs for
the program are paid for by federal, state and local funds.
This time-lapse video before and after signal coordination along an OGL corridor shows that this system allows traffic to move at a much smoother pace.
While traffic flow is a big part of what OGL helps with, another
important aspect of the system is the regional air quality improvements. When
cars idle at stoplights or in traffic jams, large amounts of carbon dioxide are
released into the atmosphere. According to an article published by the U.S.
Department of Energy, idling cars in the United States release roughly 30
million tons of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere annually. Programs like OGL
and AirQKC work to limit emissions and improve
air quality throughout the region.
Well-coordinated signals also work with the Kansas City Scout freeway management system to help respond to traffic incidents. OGL’s wireless communications system allows analysts in an office to make changes to a signal without having to visit the intersection, reducing costs and increasing response time.
These agencies and cities currently participate in the Operation Green Light program.