On some nights downtown’s streets are packed with people and traffic jams.
That’s when something is going on in the Power & Light District, in addition to there being performances at the Sprint Center, the Midland Theater and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. When that happens, the crowds make this town feel like a big city.
But go downtown during the day, and notice the people walking and traffic flowing. There is no hustle and bustle, no feeling that downtown is where the action is.
Part of it is because greater downtown has lost 19.6 percent of its private employees, or 16,237 fewer jobs from 2001 to 2011, according to the latest U.S. Census data. The Kansas City Star reports that billions of dollars have gone into making downtown a place to live and play, but the jobs part is the weak link.
The highways tell the tale. On any workday, traffic clogs with people migrating to jobs in Johson County.
The inflow of motorists to downtown is still apparent, but it is not what it used to be as many companies and jobs have relocated in the suburbs.