KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Take a drive on Inverness to 133rd Street, and you can see what’s causing all the fuss in South Kansas City.
It’s a barricade that blocks drivers on Inverness from using 133rd Street as a cut-through to a popular shopping area. It’s been there since November, but by next week it should be gone.
“I started advocating for the reopening the day that they closed the street in November,” said Gary Bennett who lives in New Castle, the neighborhood that pushed to have the barricade installed.
Bennett said the effort to close the street from traffic never made any sense to him despite claims by other neighbors that the number of cars passing through had become a hazard.
“I’ve run through these neighborhoods hundreds of times, and I wasn’t aware of a massive traffic issue with cars going 40 mph around these roundabouts,” said Bennett, who said he has lived in the subdivision for four years.
The Newcastle Homeowners Association needed 100% of homeowners to sign a petition before the city would allow a section of 133rd Street to be permanently closed to traffic. According to a neighborhood newsletter, only 91% of homeowners signed on. There were roughly 20 holdouts, including Bennett.
“I can tell you on social media like nextdoor.com, I was not highly thought of by the board,” said Bennett, laughing.
However, he was a hero to drivers who use the cut-through on a regular basis.
Bennet said one driver even tracked him down at his home to tell him thank you.
Kansas City Public Works spokeswoman Maggie Green said the barriers will be taken down June 15. She said the city will continue working with the neighborhood to come up with other ways to combat any traffic problems, such as installing stop signs or speed bumps.