Kansas City Isn't Likely To Swap MLK Signs For Paseo Until The Spring | KCUR

Kansas City Isn't Likely To Swap MLK Signs For Paseo Until The Spring

Dec 30, 2019

If you’re wondering when the streets of Paseo Boulevard that have Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard signs will become Paseo once more, you may be waiting a while.

Maggie Green, spokesperson for Kansas City, Missouri's Public Works Department, said the street signs will not go back up until spring 2020. 

“The same crews that put up signs also plow snow,” Green said, adding that with 10 miles of Paseo signs to change, it'll take about four Saturdays to do it.

The timing also coincides with the end of the public comment period, led by the Parks Board. Mayor Quinton Lucas opened that 90-day comment period for ideas on how to honor King in Kansas City. After the comment period is over in mid-February, the Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners will public meetings to evaluate the ideas.

Lucas said that it was clear from the results of the November election that the community was frustrated with how the original process for the street change was handled.

“We wanted to make sure that people had a chance to know that their voices were heard. No matter the idea. It isn't just going to be one set of folks,” Lucas said. “It's going to be everybody that gets to be a part of it.”

The Kansas City Council voted to change Paseo Boulevard to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in January. But activist group Save The Paseo collected more than 2,000 signatures to put the issue to a citywide vote, and in November, voters agreed to change the street back to Paseo. 

The email address for public comment is mlktribute@kcmo.org.  

Michelle Tyrene Johnson is a reporter at KCUR 89.3 and part of the public radio collaborative Sharing America, covering the intersection of race, identity and culture. This initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes reporters in Kansas City, St. Louis, Hartford, Connecticut and Portland, Oregon. She can be contacted at michelle@kcur.org.