Current Issues > Urban Sprawl

Urban Sprawl

Short Trips
by Ron McLinden, THB Urban Issues Chair

Heartland Sierran May/Jun/Jul 2006
Regional transit funding
Chances for getting legislative approval in Kansas and Missouri for a regional funding mechanism for public transit are dead for this year. The Kansas legislature adjourned for the year without taking action—after first assigning the bill to two separate committees, thus setting up an additional barrier to passage. Opposition to the bill emerged from some Johnson County mayors—not people you’d expect to hold the cards in a state legislative matter.
DEIS for a New Paseo Bridge
MoDOT has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for expansion of a segment of I-29/I-35 from 6th and Broadway in Kansas City to Armour Road in North Kansas City. The project would include a new or expanded bridge to replace the existing Paseo Bridge. More...

Short Trips
Heartland Sierran Dec 2005/Jan 2006
MAX ridership is strong
MAX (Metro Area Express), the ATA’s spiffy new bus rapid transit route between River Market and Waldo via Downtown, Crown Center, and the Plaza, is showing good performance in its first three months of operation. More...

MARC Transportation Planning — Little Change After Fifteen Years
by Ron McLinden
Heartland Sierran Aug/Sep 2005
Fifteen years ago, Kansas City area environmentalists began to get involved in urban sprawl and regional transportation planning issues.
In 1990, the Mid-America Regional Council released an update of the street and highway element of the region’s transportation plan.The plan envisioned spending $1.2 billion for new highways over the next 20 years. Aware of the environmental consequences of urban sprawl, and concerned that updating the highway plan without also updating the transit plan would send the message that highways are more important than transit, environmental leaders spoke out.

Regional Transit Funding for Kansas City? Time will Tell
by Ron McLinden,THB Transportation Chair
Heartland Sierran Feb/Mar 2005
With the failure of Bistate II at the polls back in November — you know, the regional sales tax for sports and performing arts facilities — plans for another regional funding mechanism are coming to the fore. More...

Short Trips - and Regional Connections
by Ron McLinden
Heartland Sierran Oct/Nov 2005
A recent proposal that Kansas City give tax incentives to Wal-Mart to redevelop the site of the Blue Ridge Mall brings to mind the broader issue of tax incentive wars. I can’t pretend this is a rigorous examination of the problem — just a broad-brush (and slightly opinionated) overview. More...

No Crow Today — Brookings Presentation To MARC Ducks Key Issues
by Ron McLinden
Heartland Sierran Aug/Sep 2005
In my story in the June-July 2004 issue of this newsletter, I previewed a presentation to be given by Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution at the June 4 Regional Assembly of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). No, I hadn’t read his notes — I was just speculating. More...

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Metcalf looking South
Photo: Kevin Klinkenberg
Getting a Grip on Sprawl
by Ron McLinden, THB Transportation Chair
Heartland Sierran Jun/Jul 2003
As you may already know, last December the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City released a report by the Brookings Institution on growth in Missouri. Entitled, "Growth in the Heartland: Challenges and Opportunities for Missouri," the report says Missouri is just plain not growing very wisely, and that state laws and policies are at least partly to blame. More...

Missouri's Growth: Smart Choices Needed
by David Lockwood, Activist
Apr. 2003
The Kauffman Foundation released a report in December, 2002 entitled "Growth in the Heartland - Challenges and Opportunities for Missouri." Commissioned from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., the report looks at various growth factors in Missouri, measures relevant economic and social indices and offers conclusions from the data presented. While the state's economic development rate is commended, the report indicates there are problems with the manner in which this growth occurs. It details these significant problems and projects ways in which Missouri can begin to address them.

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Differences in zoning
Photo: Kevin Klinkenberg

Smart Growth Alliance - Sprawl Slide Show

Sierra Club 2001 Sprawl Report (PDF)

See also:
Mid America Regional Council - Creating Quality Places initiative
Mid America Regional Council - Small Cities Program
Mid America Regional Council - Bike and Pedestrian Programs
Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance
The Brookings Institution report - Growth in the Heartland - Challenges and Opportunities for Missouri