KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friends, family and community groups marched down Troost Avenue on Wednesday, hoping one woman’s death brings changes to a dangerous area for pedestrians.
Michelle Dunmore was killed Saturday at 86th Terrace and Troost by a hit-and-run driver as she walked to the bus stop.
It’s the third fatal hit-and-run on just a seven-block stretch of roadway in the past two years.
A roadside memorial now sits in the grass, marking where Dunmore was killed. There are no sidewalks on either side of the street in the area between the Veteran’s Community Project and Center High School.
As family and friends walked the same path and took the same steps that proved to be Dunmore’s last, their message was simple.
“Build a sidewalk, build a sidewalk,” a couple dozen people chanted, holding up signs.
Family say Dunmore was killed as she walked northbound on Troost trying to catch a bus north of 89th Street. That’s where the sidewalk ends.
“My mother didn’t have to die, and the accident may not have been fatal if there would have been a sidewalk or a curb to prevent the driver from driving into her,” Asia Dunmore said.
As they walked along the shoulder with a police escort, they encountered multiple hazards, including a huge bubbled crater that stretched from the edge of the road across the shoulder.
“It’s just a big rubble. Just look at it. It doesn’t make any sense. We need sidewalks,” one woman exclaimed.
They were joined by the Marlborough Community Coalition and Bike Walk KC, which said Troost is in the city and Vision Zero’s High Injury Network.
“We have data that tells us that the way Troost is built makes it more likely that traffic crashes are going to occur, and crashes have been occurring here,” said Michael Kelley, policy director with BikeWalkKC.
“We had somebody get hit right in front of our office,” Bryan Meyer, Veterans Community Project CEO, told the family.
The Veterans Community Project said speeding and inattentive drivers pose a big problem for residents of its nearby tiny homes.
“That’s a long stretch with only one stoplight to have people even think about slowing down,” said Chris Admire, Veterans Community Project executive director.
“These sidewalks are going to be put up on each side of the street. It’s going to happen. It has to happen because no one else needs to die on these streets without these sidewalks. That’s my sister. That was my sister,” a tearful Sharonda Jordan said.
Until that may happen, the family asks drivers to pay attention.
“That’s all you need to do. If you do something, stop. Just don’t leave somebody on the side of the road like they are a piece of trash,” Dunmore’s mother Jennifer Declue said.
A GoFundMe has been established to help the family with funeral expenses.
FOX4 asked but police haven’t provided an update on the investigation into this hit-and-run crash.
Voters approved GO bonds for sidewalks back in 2017. The program provides $7.5 million annually.
Early years have been centered around repairing a backlog of aging sidewalks, but the program also provides residents an opportunity to request a new sidewalk be put in through the Public Improvements Advisory Committee.
Kansas City also hosted four virtual public meetings in 2022 to gather information about sidewalks in Kansas City with a goal of creating a safe and connected sidewalk network throughout the city.
According to Public Works, staff are working on finalizing a plan for the city to identify maintenance and other needs. The plan will go before the City Council for consideration, and it’s anticipated to be implemented in 2025 if approved.