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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A main road in Kansas City, Missouri is looking a lot different for drivers as city crews paint new lanes onto a resurfaced East 31st St.

The stretch of 31st between Main Street and Troost Avenue was one of the most dangerous stretches for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians, according to city data and Kansas City, Missouri transportation planner Bobby Evans.

That means people who live and work nearby, like Ryan Ferrell, all have a story about a crash they were involved in or witnessed, or near-misses that could have been much worse.

“The car came in right here, so it blew out the bricks,” said Ferrell, motioning to the building he owns. “Blew out all the windows and it was about 90% into the building.”

Ferrell says the car was speeding down East 31st when another car pulled into the lane and forced it to swerve off the road.

It was so common that the community came together to create about 50 concrete planters to protect buildings, businesses, and people along especially dangerous stretches. They also brought in a design consultant to rethink how the street could look.

It wasn’t until road work led to a resurfacing project along East 31st that those ideas could be put into action.

“This was a community deciding what the road should look like instead of the road deciding what the community should look like,” said Evans.

The changes take four lanes of traffic, with two each heading east and west, and creates one land of traffic in each direction between Main Street and Troost. Parking is permanent along the sidewalk for most of that area now and left-turn lanes will hopefully cut down on cars swinging into traffic to get around a turning car in front of them.

The changes also make the travel lanes slightly more narrow, forcing drivers to slow down.

“The road layout before allowed people the sort of psychological freedom to drive crazy down this road and the proof was in the crash data and the resident experience,” said Evans.

“People were speeding because there was too much space on the road and not enough cars,” said Kansas City, Missouri chief mobility officer Bailey Waters.

The slower traffic will also make it a little easier for pedestrians to spend more time along the sidewalks on East 31st, not only by slowing cars down but by making the whole corridor a little less noisy.

And building owners like Ferrell are banking on a lot more pedestrians in the next few years.

The KC Streetcar extension is being built right now and will bring the Streetcar line right to the edge of the newly resurfaced roadway. Downtown, the Streetcar line is credited with sparking billions of dollars of new business and buildings and Ferrell says there is no reason to think that can’t happen along 31st St. too.

“It really laces together the whole 31st St. corridor because you’re going to have businesses all the way from Main Street to Troost,” Ferrell.

There are other resurfacing projects happening all over the city. You can find them here.