KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The trail that connects much of southern Kansas City is getting a closer look from city officials and the people who use it and live near it.
Kansas City asked for public feedback on a few plans to improve and better connect parts of the trail and got a room full of local residents pouring over renderings and maps.
“The fact that the Trolley Track Trail doesn’t connect through Brookside has always been a barrier to the really heavy use form a recreational standpoint,” said Tiffany Moore, who has lived nearby for 25 years.
One big challenge is the Brookside Shops and the Brookside Court Park, where streets can be tough to navigate, and popular stores make parking hard to find.
Through all that, Kansas City Public Works Director Michael Shaw said the parking lots broke up the Trolley Track Trail when they were put in, creating a hole in the trail.
“There’s parking and there’s tennis courts and so maybe one or both or none have to go away in order to accommodate that type of change,” Shaw said. “But we want to get that feedback from the public and we want to understand their best uses for this.”
That’s why the city collected verbal feedback and had residents fill out questionnaires Thursday night to shape what is eventually built in the next few months.
Residents like Katherine Snow like some of the ideas for getting across busy streets around Brookside but are worried other aspects might encroach on parking that is already hard to find.
“I wouldn’t say it’s all bad or all good,” Snow said. “There are plusses and minuses, everybody has their own wants and needs.”
At the same time, Kansas City Council approved the process to start to connect the Gillham Cycle Track to the Trolley Track Trail. City council member Johnathan Duncan said a similar public input session is still months away, but this step is an important one to make more of the city more accessible.
“The more that we can actually connect the trails from south Kansas City to north Kansas City and interconnecting the hiking trails improves the quality of life and allows everybody to get around in ways where you don’t have to use a car,” Duncan said.