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Kansas City looks to enhance transit-oriented development along Prospect bus line

With federal support, Kansas City will look at transit-oriented development along the Prospect MAX bus route.

The study will prioritize transit-oriented development and look at opportunities for development along the bus line that promotes more use of public transit.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a $500,000 contract to study reinvestment and development along the Prospect MAX bus route.

The council voted 10-3 in favor of the ordinance, with Councilmembers Theresa Loar, Dan Fowler and Brandon Ellington voting no. They did not explain their votes.

The contract calls for Gould Evans, an architecture firm in Kansas City, to prepare a strategic plan focused on transit-oriented development stretching north to south from 12th Street to 75th Street along Prospect Avenue.

The goal of transit-oriented development is to build residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transit, the aim being to promote greater use of public transit. Along the 10-mile-long Prospect line, that would include mixed-use and infill development, greater bike and pedestrian access, and improved infrastructure.

The city received $400,000 from the Federal Transit Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, and will be contributing an additional $100,000 to support the project. The federal funds are part of a pilot program that provides funding to communities to integrate transportation planning and land use around major transit lines.

The project will include engagement sessions with residents, business owners and other stakeholders located along the Prospect transit line. The strategic plan also calls for identifying ways to finance projects along the transit line.

Reinvestment along the Prospect Avenue line will follow Kansas City’s Transit-Oriented Development Policy, which was approved in 2017. The policy guides development along transit routes like the Prospect MAX bus line to promote density and incentivize mixed-use development.

As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
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