One sidewalk done (almost); now how about another …

Getting in and out of where I live has been a little more interesting the past couple of months. They did a lot of utility work on Winn Road and now are just about finished putting in the sidewalk that made all the utility (mostly for storm-sewer drains) work necessary. All that seems to be left to me is the landscaping around the sidewalk (unless they actually repave the entire street — with all the potholes — which have gotten worse because of the construction equipment — I think it really needs it).

So now I am going to put it my plug, again for the other sidewalk that means as much to me, and one that would need less utility work.

A few years ago there was a big project on Chouteau Trafficway between North Kansas City (as the southern end of the zone) and I-35 (on the northern end of the zone). It was broadened and turned into a park-like boulevard. All the old, cramped businesses along that stretch were given good money (I presume) and relocated. Our favorite donut place, Donut King, moved into North Kansas City (loss of tax revenue for Kansas City) ontor Armour Road/Route 210.

But donuts isn’t the reason for my sidewalk request.  This stretch of Chouteau Trafficway has two main sub-units: Parvin Road splits it in two near the middle. North of it it is much broader and parklike. south of it is is park-developed but not as elaborately. Parvin also divides the neighborhoods that have access to Chouteau trafficway.

There are several streets given access to Chouteau to the North of Parvin, most of them on the East side. A stream runs along the west side of that part of Chouteau, limiting access there to one street. But the access to Chouteau by the neighborhoods is basically the same before as after the development.

The same cannot be said of Chouteau south of Parvin. The stream crosses to the east side of Chouteau when it goes under Parvin, and there was, and still is, one road, a dead-end, accessing Chouteau from the East. To the west, there were two streets with access prior: one near Parvin that was the entrance/exit for an apartment complex, and 34th terrace, that did a wicked twist to come down a hill. They entirely eliminated 34th terrace, and not the apartment complex entrance can only be entered going south and exited to the south.

Along the crazy hill where they eliminated the 34th Terrace access, there had been a motor pool for some sort of construction equipment. They eliminate it, cut off the street, and tried to landscape the slope, but it never grew grass, just eroded. Apparently the soil was contaminated by the equipment enough that it resisted all attempts to grow grass.

So this spring they brought in piles of dirt, and left them there, until they had wild, moderately sparse, tufts of grass all over them. In just the past couple of weeks they broke those piles up and re-sloped the hillside again, replacing all the dirt that had eroded away. I was wondering what they expected to do to get grass to grow.  Last Friday I discovered that they took rolls of sod and covered the whole thing that way.

I guess they expect the sod to root itself in the short growing season we have left and continue to grow next spring.  Me, I’m wondering how long the soil beneath the soil they spread will work its magic up into the soil they added and knock this grass out.  That’s just the perverse part of me, of course. Hopefully the grass grows.

So, how does this connect to a sidewalk? Well, when they put in the new parklands along the trafficway, and cut out 34th Terrace, they created a great place to use, and then eliminated all access to anyone who lives to the South of Parvin and West of Chouteau. Parklands that would be great and safe for walking.  All they need to do is put a comparatively short sidewalk across that now-sodded hill from Cleveland Street, somewhere between 34th Terrace and 35th street, to the sidewalk along Chouteau. Simple, and all of a sudden a large neighborhood is granted access.

But apparently no one with influence or authority to make a decision is thinking of this.  And I don’t know our city power structure to know which departments do what, or how to talk to anyone who can make a difference. So, I guess I need to find out.


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