In my December 23 email to you I informed you that the city was hosting a meeting at the Kauffman Foundation on January 4 ostensibly to gain additional information from us on the Gillham Track and Trolley Track Trail Connector project. The hosts of the meeting were Bailey Waters, Chief Mobility Officer at KCMO, and Jason Waldron, Transportation Director. In a very short introduction, Ms. Waters gave the background of the project from the city’s perspective and showed a street map indicating which streets were to be discussed, excluding Harrison. As you may recall, that single block of Harrison connects the end of the Gillham trail to Cleaver Blvd., the route that our neighborhood supports. When audience hands were raised to ask questions, Mr. Waldron indicated that no questions would be taken.
This comment elicited questions and comments from the audience that were largely ignored. The formal part of the meeting then ended, and the remainder of the meeting was essentially a redux of the first meeting on September 8 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum during which alternative options for a connector were presented on separate poster boards manned by city workers who tried to explain them. Although some options to modify Cleaver were presented, they were in addition to finishing the connector path on Gillham West – Rockhill Road and included such things as added concrete curbs or low concrete walls on Cleaver. As with the September 8 meeting, no attempt was made, except for asking for respondents’ zip codes on a short, vague questionnaire, to distinguish among Rockhill residents, bicyclists and the general public, despite City Ordinance 230613 mandating that “collaboration with and support from neighborhood associations is a critical step prior to the installation” of bike lanes.
The Rockhill Homes Association, including its Board, was well-represented at this meeting and our residents spoke with many of the presenters to gain additional information. The Board met on January 9 and discussed their conclusions from the meeting. To summarize their consensus, they are frustrated that the city remains adamant on continuing the Gillham West – Rockhill Road connector without public explanation or justification; that the process for installing bike lanes approved by the city has not been followed at all in this case; and that the overwhelming petitioned desires of the only residential neighborhood between the two bike paths to be connected continue to be totally ignored without public explanation or justification. The Board decided to continue working to achieve the original goals of the Rockhill Homes Association related to this project, namely to remove the lines already painted for the Gillham West – Rockhill Road connector and to combine traffic-calming measures with a bike path on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard, probably connected via Harrison to the Gillham Track. Our position is detailed fully in the following article by Jim Wanser entitled “Our Position Remains the Same.”
The project has been planned and budgeted by Public Works.
The document explains an Jan. 4th, 2024 meeting that the city has called regarding the connector bike path currently started on Rockhill Road and Gillham West. In the document I've tried to give as full an explanation as I know about where the situation is at this moment.
1) RHA annual dues reminder - See Home page.
2) Rockhill Coffee Club to kick off Feb. 17th - See Residents Page.
3) RHA President's reaction to the City Bike Path meeting of Jan. 4th and explanation of the Board's position - See Home or RHA President's Letter Pages.
4) Welcome to Frank and Jolyn Sebree - Residents Page.
5) Winter 2024 Rockhill Times - see Rockhill Times Page.
6) New Security Service for Rockhill: A new service has been contracted to patrol the neighborhood - see Residents Page.