KCUR News
6:16 pm
Tue September 7, 2010

Main Core Makeover Nears

Kansas City, MO – Nine blocks of Kansas City Main Street leading into Westport from the north are about to get a pedestrian-friendly makeover. The city public works department late last week took a look at the 90 percent of the plan that's been finished.

From 34th to 43rd and then spreading out along the southern boundary in the Art Institute District, Main will be altered with added street lighting, planters and landscape architecture.

It will be more attractive to people on foot but not so kindly to bench sleepers. The project will include leaning rails, but benches will be kept so narrow an 'ample' person might find them uncomfortable.

Planning has been underway for months, led by designer-architect Terry Berkbuegler. He says, "43rd street has been considered an art corridor by this committee from the beginning, because it connects the Art Institute with the Bloch art space down by Main Street and the cultural district up on the hill. So there's a lot of Art Institute pedestrian traffic, there's a lot of residential pedestrian traffic."

Lighting will be designed to match the art deco influence in parts of the district. It will be set up along both sides of Main which has only had lighting on one side for decades.