Our Board of Directors

bobbi baker

Bobbi Baker

President/CEO NECC

Rebecca Koop

Rebecca Koop

Business and Community Events Director

Jon Henderson

Jon Henderson

Chairman of the Board
Administration and Finance Committee Chair

Carmen Lopez

Carmen Lopez

Director of Lending

Jerry Potocnik

Jerry Potocnik

Secretary

Ann Rundquist

Ann Rundquist

Children’s Memorial Lutheran Church

Jim Lawless

Jim Lawless

Neighborhood Relations co-chair

Jill Hammond

Jill Hammond

Treasurer

Claudia Visnich

Claudia Visnich

Taste & Tour Chairwoman

Edward Kendrick, DDS

Edward Kendrick, DDS

Board Member at Large

Manny Arbaca

Manny Arbaca

Board Member at Large

Michael Iniguez

Michael Iniguez

Board Member at Large

Independence Avenue Safety Study

A new study is aiming to make the pedestrian experience along Independence Avenue more user-friendly.

The Independence Avenue Pedestrian Safety Study – a partnership between the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and the City of Kansas City, Missouri – convened a steering committee of Northeast community leaders on Wednesday, July 12 for a planning conversation.

The group discussed goals and strategies for solving pedestrian issues along Independence Avenue, which accommodates thousands of motorists every week. All of those motorists lead to congestion, speeding, and ultimately, vehicle crashes. Study leaders have found that between 2013 and 2016, 128 crashes were recorded at the intersection of Van Brunt and Independence Avenue, while an additional 79 crashes were recorded at the intersection of Hardesty Avenue. Chestnut Avenue saw another 35 crashes, which is why it joins Van Brunt and Hardesty as two of the study’s primary target zones.

Consultants brought on for the safety study, which is supported by $36,000 in funds from MARC and $10,000 from KCMO, guided the steering committee through the process of establishing goals for the study during the July 12 meeting.

Independence Avenue Street & Pedestrian Improvements

Independence Avenue Street & Pedestrian Improvements

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the city’s heaviest traveled pedestrian areas is on its way to getting a face-lift, but they’re not starting with the sidewalks where people walk.

Instead, the focus for Bobbi Baker-Hughes and the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District is the streets.

“Every day it gets busier. Every day there are more people on the Avenue. It’s really becoming more of a walkable community,” Baker-Hughes said.

The CID is using grant money given to Kansas City to improve the five-mile long business corridor.

“Independence Avenue has one of the highest rates of pedestrians of any place in the city,” Baker-Hughes said.

The CID had a meeting earlier in July, and soon the area will see wide lanes made narrow by better marked street parking. Plans also include the addition of concrete strips that become like safety islands for those crossing the street.

“They can get halfway across the Avenue to a safe zone and take a minute and check the traffic coming from the opposite direction,” Baker-Hughes said.

People who live and walk nearby and business owners say the streets are the place to start.

Alex Huynh runs a grocery store.

“We have a lot of families that live around the neighborhood and they go shopping on foot,” he said.

He said one-third of his business comes from people who walk in and out of his store.

Brian Cullen lives a block off Independence Avenue.

“I have seen what the city is trying to do and I’m encouraged by it. It’s going to be an improvement. It’s a good community,” he said.

The speed limit on Independence Avenue is 35 MPH. The CID will host another planning meeting in August to seek public input.

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