KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The push to rename Troost Avenue gained momentum at Kansas City’s City Hall on Thursday as council members voted to create a webpage to collect feedback from the residents and businesses on the 10-mile stretch of road.
“Unfortunately Troost, you know, the dividing red line that Troost represents, I think it’s long overdue for us to look at how we can move beyond that,” Fifth District Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw said.
The city’s approach on this is somewhat more deliberate when compared to another renaming in the past.
In 2019, voters in Kansas City rescinded a decision that renamed The Paseo for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“As many of you may know — you were on the council when Paseo was being renamed — and the members who lived along that corridor felt like they weren’t involved in the process,” Third District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said Wednesday. “So this does allow us to address that concern.”
This time around, the city has decided to take a direct approach. As a result of Thursday’s resolution, the city manager’s office is tasked with creating “a landing page” to collect feedback so people are more looped in on the process.
Council members unanimously passed the resolution which, in 45 days, will culminate in a report on how people feel about a potential name change.
“First of all, any public engagement is great. For far too long, many of our constituents aren’t heard,” Parks-Shaw said. “So creating that landing page will give us an opportunity to hear what the constituents have to say about it.”
“My thought was that we have to make sure that the process is followed,” Fifth District Councilman Lee Barnes said.
Barnes chairs the Neighborhood Planning & Development Committee where, on Wednesday, Chris Goode spoke. He’s leading the renaming push.
Goode said it’s time to take down the name of a slaveowner.
Troost Avenue is currently named for Dr. Benoist Troost, an 18th Century slaveowner and physician in Kansas City.
“We as a city are complicit at this point because we’ve now allowed this honoring to maintain itself over decades,” Goode said.