by Ivan Foley
The City of Kansas City has expressed concern over whether Winan Road is wide enough to handle two-way traffic leading from the proposed Lake at Tomahawke development at the intersection of Hwy. 92 and Winan Road.
Tomahawke Ridge is a proposed 680 home project on about 300 acres located about four miles east of Interstate 29 on Hwy. 92, east of Platte City. The Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to hear discussion on the planned unit development (PUD) application at its April 8 meeting.
The area of Winan Road in question is that portion within the city limits of Kansas City, south of Hwy. 92.
In a letter of comments submitted in regard to a traffic study conducted for the developer by Tom Fulton of Olsson Associates, a transportation engineer for the City of Kansas City expresses concern about the street widths of N. Winan Road, NW 132nd Street and N.W. Interurban Road, and whether the roads are wide enough for two-way traffic.
The city says typically a minimum width of roadways is 22 ft. required for two-way traffic. Fulton told The Landmark this week that his firm has measured Winan Road at 20 ft. wide, two feet shy of the minimum width mentioned by Kansas City.
Winan Road to the south of Hwy. 92 is estimated to receive 45% of the volume of new traffic created by the proposed development, according to the traffic study done by Olsson Associates. That’s greater than the 40% of new traffic estimated to travel to the west on Hwy. 92 and the 15% estimated to travel to the east on Hwy. 92.
The Winan Road to NW 132nd St. to Mexico City Ave. is a shortcut route from that area used by many motorists to gain quicker access to Interstate 29. The traffic study says at a peak morning hour the new development will account for 165 cars traveling that route, and 172 cars traveling that route in the evening peak hour.
Mohsin Zaidi, transportation engineer for the City of Kansas City, told Fulton of Olsson Associates in written comments dated Feb. 6 that Fulton’s traffic study should include a description of the existing street widths.
Contacted by The Landmark this week, Fulton sounded optimistic that Kansas City will not require the developer to widen the roadway.
“Does the City of Kansas City want it changed? My guess is no,” Fulton said by phone on Tuesday.
“Basically the roadway is designed at 20 ft. Why are they (the city) allowing trucks on it? Why didn’t they get it widened when the quarry opened? Will this development cause an undue traffic impact on that road? My opinion is no, but this is totally the City of Kansas City’s call.”
Zaidi said Kansas City will have the option to require the developer to widen the roadway.
“We can ask them to widen the pavement. Or if they provide enough reason that what they have is good enough, we are flexible depending on conditions such as how much traffic,” Zaidi said.
Daniel Erickson, director of planning and zoning for Platte County, was non-committal.
“My opinion is I’m waiting to hear the response (from the developers) to Kansas City’s comment. I haven’t heard how that comment is addressed by the developers. The developers and traffic engineers will need to address that and we will assess it at that point to see what is or is not going to be required,” Erickson told The Landmark Tuesday afternoon.
Zaidi said he personally could not say how wide Winan Road is.
“We don’t know. Normally a traffic study would provide that information. They don’t provide it and so we made the comment,” he added.
Fulton said his traffic study will be revised based on various comments submitted by entities who have examined the study. Some numbers may change, he said, but results or recommendations will not. He said his updated study could be ready in about a week.
Adding existing traffic to the traffic estimated to be added by the proposed development results in estimates of 226 cars during the peak morning hour and 211 during the peak evening hour heading down Winan south of Hwy. 92.
Though he views comments from other entities as “minimal,” Fulton says it’s not that he doesn’t feel compassion for neighbors.
“I do understand that as a property owner I would be concerned about any car, especially if I had moved there to get away from the city. But this is something the developers and the property owners should work out. We have criteria we have to follow (in doing the traffic studies),” he remarked.
In related news, a group of around 40 neighbors to the proposed development met again Thursday evening at the Hoover Church. The traffic study, the proposal’s lack of conformance to the county’s land use plan, and how results of the county’s recent citizen survey seem to support the neighbors’ arguments against the development. The group has started its own web site, www.noto500homes.com.
The group plans a drive to gather signatures for a petition to be presented to county officials.
Jim Plunkett, second district county commissioner, sat in on the neighborhood meeting.