KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Plaza Art Fair kicked off at Country Club Plaza Friday for its 92nd year, but this time, the historic event is giving visitors a chance to see what the future of that neighborhood could be.
The closed streets that make the fair possible mimic plans floated just a few weeks before by Urban Lab KC, which imagined what the Plaza might look like if some roads were closed to cars permanently.
“Events like today prove that people want to be together, people want to share the experience of enjoying the Plaza, shopping, dining,” said Jeff Kempton, who says he’s on the Plaza a few times a week.
Mayor Lucas said no permanent changes would be made without plenty of input from the public and Plaza ownership first. But he pointed out that temporary pilot programs would help study impacts to business and traffic.
“When I’m thinking about pushing a stroller around the Plaza, it’s just nice knowing we wouldn’t have to complete with cars,” said Allie Noyes. “But my first thought that comes to mind is how that would make parking more complicated.”
“I think a semi-permanent test makes a lot of sense because you can theorize a lot about the way you would think it would work, but until you put it to the test, there’s no way to really know,” Kempton said.
Kansas City officials tell FOX4 there are no immediate plans to test out street closures after the Plaza Art Fair is over.