Two new bus stop shelters could be coming to Roe Boulevard south of 48th Street in early 2016.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, known as the KCATA, shared concept drawings for the proposed bus stops with the Roeland Park City Council earlier this week. This location is one of several new stops planned for Johnson County that will be paid for with a federal transit administration grant.
“Along Roe in Roeland Park is a primary corridor that we use between the Mission Transit Center and downtown and very southern parts of the region,” said Shawn Strate with the KCATA. “So, we’ve zoned into 48th and Roe as a spot we’d like to install some bus stops, shelters, ADA accessible pads for boarding and that sort of thing.”
Strate noted three bus routes travel through the area including the 546, 660 and 667, with each heading to a different area of town.
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“With the amount of retail and employment at this location and several large apartment complexes, we feel like this location has a real potential for ridership,” Strate said.
KCATA is considering two options for the stop’s design. One puts the shelter in the right of way, near the curb. The other creates a pull-off lane for the bus, which would require additional money and property to build on.
“This is a little bit more of a unique set-up,” Strate said. “We don’t have very many stops that have a pull-off lane. But it is something we’d be willing to look at and see if this makes sense for this situation.”
Strate also noted that the KCATA is willing to include any extras the city might propose, for example a specific sort of shelter.
“But if there are additional costs associated with that, we’d be looking potentially for the city to pitch in some funding,” he said. “But in terms of a basic bus stop addition, we do have the funding for it and it is something we want to pursue I’d say early next year.”
Several council members spoke in favor of the bus stops.
“I think a lot of us here are excited about this possibility,” said Councilwoman Becky Fast. “We want to be a more bike friendly, more walk friendly, bus friendly community.”
Councilwoman Teresa Kelly agreed.
“In our strategic plan, it talks about connectivity, walk-ability and accessibility for all ages,” she said. “We are also a complete streets city. So this just falls right into place. I think as a city we would be all behind that and look forward to hearing the final plans.”
Strate said he expects to be able to return to the council by the end of the year with more solid plans for their approval, with the goal of beginning construction in early 2016.