Kansas City, MO
Midtown KC Now and Street Smarts Design + Build applied to the Asphalt Art Initiative to make long-sought improvements to the intersection of Westport Road – a well-traveled road connecting two major commercial corridors – Wyandotte Street and W 40th Street Midtown. The corridor is used heavily by pedestrians, bikes, and cars, but the selected intersection felt daunting and dangerous for pedestrians and bikers because of its design. City engineers worked with Street Smarts Design + Build, a local urban design firm, to create a new design for the intersection that would address the safety challenges. The new design reclaimed over 4,000 square feet of roadway space, and four artists were selected to paint murals at the four corners of the intersection. In addition, members of the community were invited to paint a simple mural in the center of the intersection. A sixth mural was added on the exterior wall of an adjacent business.
Reshaping a Dangerous Intersection Through Art in Kansas City
“This Asphalt Art project will build on our ongoing efforts to create more opportunities for Kansas Citians to get outdoors and will help the City revitalize public spaces for all to enjoy.”
Mayor Quinton Lucas
Use the slider to see the transformation
Best Practice Highlight: Reshaping an Intersection
In analyzing the site, the primary safety challenges were found to be cars speeding and making sharp turns, and long distances for people to walk across the street. The design narrowed the travel lanes and implemented curb extensions bordered by planters, boulders, and bollards to slow traffic and make crossing the street safer for pedestrians. Crosswalk length was cut in half, turn paths were more clearly delineated for drivers, and two stop signs were added.
- The average speed at the intersection has dropped by 45%, and the most dangerous, illegal speeds have been eliminated.
- Crosswalks have been shortened by 52%, making it faster for pedestrians to cross the street.
- The percentage of pedestrians who report feeling “very safe” at the intersection has increased from 23% to 63%.
An Initiative to Improve Street Safety through Public Art
New project at Westport intersection could expand to other parts of Kansas City
10-Minute Walk Grant will continue improvements in Northeast parks
KCMO receives Asphalt Art grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies
KCMO Receives Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Grant