For decades Shawnee Mission Parkway has been a popular way to move east-west traffic across the northern parts of Johnson County.
Now some residents and community planners are taking a much-needed look at the future of parts of the popular road. It’s included in a larger proposal to make sure attention is paid to reviving older sections of the county.
The Mid-America Regional Council is helping to lead this initiative, called Creating Sustainable Places. More information about the program — including ideas to improve Shawnee Mission Parkway, downtown Overland Park and other spots — can be found at www.creatingsustainableplaces.com.>
The planners are reaching out to residents and businesses near the parkway for a good reason: They are the ones who are most affected by what happens along the road. It makes sense to see what kinds of changes they might like to see in the coming years.
Specifically, the goals are to look more closely at future development near the parkway’s intersections with Antioch Road on the east of Interstate 35 and Nieman Road to the west of the interstate.
Stressing transit improvements, which could include ways to make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to move along the parkway.
Adding more mixed-use retail areas.
Constructing more apartments and townhomes to add housing variety in the heavily residential neighborhoods.
The current planning effort does not include funds to put into place any of these or other proposals that might be developed.
But city leaders in Shawnee and Merriam need to know what might be possible and what might be attractive to current residents.