Greenway Master Plan
Rock Island Connector
A comprehensive city-wide greenway master plan was developed by the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department in 1998 and approved by the city planning commission. The plan evolved out of a need for guidelines for trail and greenway development in a rapidly growing community. The objective was to maintain and protect open space as well as respond to the needs of recreational trail users such as bicyclists, hikers, walkers and other non-motorized activities. The 38-mile planned loop encompasses Lee’s Summit, Grandview, Kansas City, and other rural areas. Over 100 miles of neighborhood connector routes are planned along parks, roadways, stream corridors, and open space that will link to the planned 38-mile loop. Implementation of the plan has no specific completion date, however the goal is to complete between 4-8 miles of trail connector routes per year.
For more information on the contents of the report, contact LSPR at 969-1500.
A greenway can have a fairly broad definition. A greenway is a linear system of trails located within a natural corridor. A greenway can also be defined as an area of widened trail system that allows for passive and active recreational use. Greenways generally follow stream corridors to serve a multi-functional asset in protecting water quality and wildlife habitats. Greenways serve to connect important features and destination points within a community such as a neighborhood park to a residential subdivision.
Over the past several years, Lee’s Summit has seen unprecedented growth. Because of this, it becomes necessary to protect key open space corridors and natural areas. Essentially, this is what our greenway system is designed to do. It is also the responsibility of the community to provide the best in recreational amenities for its citizens. By having a framework in place, it becomes easier in the approval process to establish and protect both natural and multi-modal transportation corridors for recreational use. Greenways add to the overall quality of life for the citizens of Lee’s Summit. They also have an economic benefit to the community. Recent surveys have determined that the adjacency of greenways and trails enhance property values significantly and that home buyers confirm the desire to have ready access to hiking and biking facilities.
These areas are defined as multi-use trails and make up a portion of the overall greenway master plan. These trails are generally 10-12 feet in width, follow arterial street rights-of-way, and provide linkages to neighborhoods, parks, and other areas within the community. An example of one of these key segments is the 3.5 mile route along the west side of Ward Road from 3rd Street to Missouri Highway 150. Other multi-use trails along roadways include Scruggs Road from MO-291 to Legacy Park, Pryor Road from Chipman to 3rd Street, and Todd George from US-50 to Langsford Road, among others.
Continuing to develop multi-use trails throughout the community create a better distinction of trail usage and reduce conflict between multi-modal trails (off road) and high speed bicycle traffic (on road). The multi-use trails constructed with arterial roadway improvements provide a safe location for family level trail usage. Use of these trails is generally highest in areas of established residential development.
For serious bicyclists, the Longview Loop and the Lakewood Loop are the most popular. The 12-mile Longview Loop circles Longview Lake and riders can use the designated roadway and shoulder along the route. The route includes directional and “Share the Road” signage. The Lakewood Loop is a 7-mile route on residential streets and roadways. The loop is delineated with pavement markings, signage, and directional arrows. The newly completed Legacy Loop connects the new Legacy Park trails with multi-use trails along Colbern Road, Blackwell Parkway, Scruggs Road, and Todd George Road to create a continuous trail loop of approximately 7.5 miles. A trailhead is accessible on the northwest corner of the park at the corner of Colbern Road and Blackwell Parkway. More information on these routes is available from LSPR at 816.969.1500.
For low speed recreational riders, numerous multi-use trails are provided within the city. These interconnected trail segments create continuous loops that are also popular particularly for those not comfortable riding with vehicular traffic on roadways. These trails provide safe widths for passing and two way bicycle and/or pedestrian use.
High speed cyclists generally prefer the connectivity and circuitous layout of streets and roadways. High speed cyclists also travel 20 to 40 miles at a time and at a rate of speed at approximately 20 mph. While extensive, the multi-use trails along street and roadway corridors do not currently offer this level of connectivity or design speed. High speed bicycle traffic and pedestrian traffic on the same trail also presents a safety issue. (Imagine if you will, a 6 foot, 190 pound cyclist traveling at 25 miles per hour sharing a 10’ wide multi-use trail with your family out on an afternoon stroll?)
Major arterial roadways are also designed to support “Share the Road” with both bicyclists and motorists while the multi-use trails along the roadway are designed for lower speed bicycle traffic and other non-motorized trail activities.
Several public and private agencies fund greenway projects. Over the past eight years, greenway projects have been funded through partnerships with Lee’s Summit Public Works, recreational trail grants from state and federal agencies, through private donations, and through funds from the current 3/8 cent parks sales tax. Without partnerships and donations, much of the current greenway would not exist. The parks budget dedicates funding for greenway capital improvements annually. Those funds are dedicated to land acquisition, development and construction of trails, and maintenance and repair.
Currently the Parks and Recreation department is partnering on several multi-use trail projects that are part of Public Works roadway improvement projects. Several current roadway improvement projects that contain a trail component include:
The parks department is also working on a greenway project in the undeveloped area of McKee Park near Langsford Road and Todd George Road. This project received a $100,000 grant from the State of Missouri Recreational Trails Program. The project will add an additional 1 mile of streamway trail to the greenway system and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.
Yes. Over 2.5 miles of recreational trails and trailheads have been recently constructed for the 700-acre Legacy Park. The trails within the interior of the park connect to multi-use trails along Colbern Road and Blackwell Parkway creating a trail loop within the park of approximately 4.6 miles.
Many of Lee’s Summit Parks are popular for this activity and many people have their favorite walking park to exercise, enjoy the peace and quiet, and observe wildlife. In addition to the over 10 miles of trails inside several of Lee’s Summit parks, over 20 miles of walking and multi-use trails are available throughout the city. These areas are popular in that they provide connectivity to and from residential areas, parks, schools, and shopping areas.
You can get a copy of the greenway map at the Parks and Recreation main office at City Hall, 220 SE Green Street in downtown Lee’s Summit, or you can receive a copy electronically by sending an email requesting information to ParksAndRecreation@cityofls.net.
Every quarter, the Parks and Recreation Department publishes a newsletter on local and regional news pertaining to greenway development. To get on the newsletter mailing list or for specific questions on the greenway contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 816-969-1500.
The Parks Department holds regular meetings of the Greenway Committee. The Committee is responsible for establishing standards and mechanisms for the implementation of the greenway and making recommendations to the Park Board and City Council. For more information contact the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department.