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Jackson County Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis

 

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Transit service recommodations for I-70 and Rock Island corridor

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The Jackson County Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis will evaluate transit service options in Jackson County, Mo., that integrate with a downtown circulator in Kansas City, Mo., providing essential transportation services while fostering opportunities for transit-related economic development near major activity centers and town centers.

Existing transit service in downtown Kansas City, Mo., primarily focuses on bringing commuters from outlying parts of the region to and from downtown. Previous studies have indicated that the I-70 commuter corridor would benefit from additional service, potentially through additional travel options such as expanded express bus or rail.

Study Area

For the purposes of this alternatives analysis, the two commuter corridors to be studied run through multiple jurisdictions. The I-70 commuter corridor runs from the heart of Kansas City, Mo and extends east along the Kansas City Southern railroad through Independence, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, and Oak Grove in Jackson County and on to Odessa in neighboring Lafayette County. The Rock Island corridor begins in the heart of Kansas City, Mo., sharing a common corridor segment with the I-70 corridor approximately to the eastern edge of Kansas City, Mo., and then follows the old Rock Island rail corridor through Raytown, Kansas City, Lee's Summit, and Greenwood in Jackson County and further south to Pleasant Hill in Cass County. Study map

Both corridors run near two heavily traveled roadways, Interstate I-70 and Highway 350 (Blue Parkway), and through cities experiencing growing residential populations. Several activity centers, including downtown Kansas City, Mo., the Truman Sports Complex, and multiple town centers fall within in these corridors.

History

The Smart Moves Regional Transit Vision identifies both the I-70 and Rock Island corridors as high-priority commuter corridors in the region. Given this importance and the direct interest of Jackson County in pursuing additional commuter transit services, the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) initiated a multiphased implementation planning effort, which led to the current alternatives analyses.

The implementation planning phases further analyzed components of the Smart Moves concept, including both urban and commuter corridors. The I-70 and Rock Island corridors were deemed most feasible to move forward in the near term, with an emphasis on commuter rail service options.

In addition to Smart Moves, MARC undertook the Kansas City Regional Commuter Rail Study (2002) to determine the feasibility of major commuter corridors in the region. Following its completion, MARC began the I-70 Corridor Transit Alternatives Analysis (2006) to further flesh out the I-70 corridor and assess alternatives related traditional commuter rail technology and traditional express bus service.

Project Goals

MARC; the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority; Kansas City, Mo,; and Jackson County, Mo., will build on previous efforts and complete an alternatives analysis for both the I-70 and Rock Island corridors. The intent is to use the study results to secure funding for implementation and potentially apply for future federal funds.

Timeline

The study kicked off in June 2011 and is expected to be completed in the late spring of 2012. Project schedule details

Partners

The consultant team for the Downtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis is led by Parsons Brinckerhoff, and supported by Olsson Associates, KOA Corporation, TranSystems, Shockey Consulting Services, LLC, Taliaferro & Browne, Inc.

 

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