Advisory: Parking/traffic impacts for Armour Blvd related to completion of bike lane project.

Starting the week of Monday, June 11th, parking and traffic impacts will occur on Armour Boulvard to make way for work related to the completion of the parking-protected bike lanes on Armour Boulevard. Crews will begin permanent striping activities from Broadway to Main and continue to work eastward. As a result, lane reduction and on street parking impacts will occur in block by block sections.

The City asks that the public obeys the “No Parking” signs that will be placed along the corridor in advance of the work. The work will be completed by July 30th.

We have appreciated your patience and understanding as crews waited for the new street surface to cure before permanently striping the roadway. The new road configuration includes bike lanes in both directions, on street parking lanes and one travel lane in each direction for motorists. The bike lane is located between the parking lane and curb and motorists should not park in the bike lane.

We appreciate your patience with this temporary inconvenience as we improve the roadway and make it safer for you and your neighbors!

To see a rendering of the new streetscape set up and for more information on the project, please visit kcmo.gov/bikekc.

Municipal Court improves online payments

New online payment vendor and convenience fee start June 4

Paying your Municipal Court tickets online is about to become even more convenient. Starting Monday, June 4, customers will be able to go online to pay multiple tickets in one transaction.

The court is switching to JetPay, which already handles all other online City payments, so the upgrade should be seamless. JetPay will charge a convenience fee of 2% of the total amount due in addition to a 25 cents transaction fee that applies whether you’re paying one ticket or several at once.

The convenience fee goes directly to JetPay and is not retained by Municipal Court or the City. Online payments can be made with a credit or debit card. There is no fee to search for cases, court dates, bond information or to request a continuance online.

To pay Municipal Court tickets without incurring the convenience fee you may either:

  • Pay in person Monday through Friday at Violations Bureau on the first floor of the courthouse at 511 E. 11th St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.You may pay with cash, check, money order, or credit or debit card.
  • Mail a check or money order for the amount payable to “Municipal Court” to P.O. Box 219381, Kansas City, MO 64121-9381. Please write the ticket number(s) of the ticket you are paying in the memo field.

The Court does not accept payments over the phone. Partial or installment payments must be made by mail or in person and cannot be made online.

For more information, contact Benita Jones, public information officer for the Municipal Court, at 816-513-6711 or Benita.Jones@kcmo.org.

City improves pedestrian safety in Brookside Neighborhood

New HAWK signal makes crosswalks easier to navigate

The City is upgrading a popular crosswalk. Since many people walk, run, and bike across 63rd Street near Brookside Plaza, the City has installed a HAWK signal to make the crossing safer for all.

A HAWK (high-intensity activated crosswalk signal) helps control vehicular traffic at mid-block crosswalks. The signal is equipped with a voice-command system to aid the visually impaired. Pedestrians can push the button to activate the signal and proceed when a walk sign is displayed, just like a regular traffic-signal crossing.

Here’s what drivers crossing at a HAWK signal need to know:

  1. Flashing yellow begins – slow down
  2. Solid yellow – prepare to stop
  3. Solid red – stop and stay stopped
  4. Flashing red traffic signal – stop, then proceed with caution if no one is present in the crosswalk

There already are several HAWK signals strategically located around the City. A few locations include 37th and Main, near Children’s Mercy Hospital on Gillham Road, and on Meyer Boulevard east of Troost.

The upgrades include new ADA curb ramps and improved sidewalks and are funded by 6th District PIAC dollars. The City’s Public Works department will monitor the new signal and make any needed adjustments.

For more information, please contact Public Works Public Information Officer Beth Breitenstein at Beth.Breitenstein@kcmo.org or by phone at 816-513-2612.

City Auditor’s Office recommends strengthening sustainable maintenance of Parks Department’s natural resources

The City Auditor’s Office released an audit of the Parks and Recreation Department’s environmentally sustainable practices for parkland maintenance. The audit focused on whether the department maximizes the use of environmentally sustainable practices to manage its natural resources.

Auditors concluded that the department has a few sustainable practices to preserve and restore parkland ecology. These practices include the planting of some native or regionally appropriate species, the removal of invasive species, pest management in parkland, and environmental planning for natural areas. Beyond these practices, the department’s park landscape maintenance activities largely focus on park aesthetics in the form of ornamental annual flowers and turf grass, both of which are not environmentally sustainable. Auditors determined that the department does not incorporate sustainable practices into many of the activities required to maintain these landscape features including watering, fertilizer and pesticide use, and mowing activities. In addition, although the department has incorporated some environmentally sustainable practices in its policies related to pesticide application, it does not always follow them.

Auditors also determined that the department does not have measurable goals to guide sustainable management of parkland. Most parkland does not have an environmental resource management plan to guide staff and contractors in the sustainable maintenance unique to a park or park type. Additionally, the department’s operations and maintenance manual does not incorporate sustainable maintenance practices.

The audit includes recommendations to strengthen the department’s sustainable maintenance of parkland natural resources. Management agreed with the recommendations.

View the complete report online at http://kcmo.gov/cityauditor/.

For more information, please contact Douglas Jones, City Auditor, at cityauditor@kcmo.org or (816) 513-3300.

KCMO City Council pushes for clean energy initiatives

Who needs the Paris Climate Agreement?

Kansas City, Missouri, is known for its green initiatives built into established programs to help produce a positive effect on the environment and maybe even the bottom line.This environmentally-conscious approach takes center stage during the Business Session on Thursday when the City Council receives a 26-page report highlighting measures to enhance this mission.

The “Feasibility of Clean Energy Initiatives” report was generated after councilmembers last August passed a resolution directing City Manager Troy Schulte to evaluate the implementation of certain methods to advance the City’s environmental goals related to the Paris Climate Agreement (known as the Renewable Energy Now Resolution).

The report contains information that was assembled over a seven-month period. It includes input received from local, state, regional and national sources who volunteered their time to participate in many discussions related to clean energy initiatives.

“The report on evaluating significant clean energy initiatives in Kansas City has positioned us to make major progress in achieving the goals in the City’s climate protection plan and in promoting social equity, environmental quality, and economic vitality for the benefit of all our residents,” said Councilmember Scott Taylor, one the resolution’s co-sponsors.

All of the initiatives are feasible, but some will require additional staff time and effort, with continued assistance from many of the sources that provided contributions to this evaluation, according to the report.

For more information on the report, contact Dennis Murphey at 816-513-3459.

KCPS 2018 Teacher of the Year

Kansas City Public Schools has selected Central Middle School math teacher Arjun Ravindran as its 2018 Teacher of the Year! Central Middle School is the zoned middle school for Hyde Park, as well as other neighborhoods in midtown, to the east, and south of Brush Creek. Central serves all students in grades 7-8 who live within their boundaries. Read more from KCPS by clicking here.

Mr. Ravindran teaches middle-level math and Algebra I at Central Middle School, where he has developed a positive reputation as a caring and challenging instructor who helps bring the best out in his students. As a runner-up for the 2017 Teacher of the Year Award, he used his prize money to help launch a National Junior Honor Society at the school.

It was the impact of teachers on his own life that convinced Ravindran to enter the profession.

“I believe teaching is one of the most important callings a person can have because transformative teachers empower their students to succeed. Shining a light on the successes of my students is something I set out to do every day,” he said. “Positive reinforcement is not only an important educational motivator. It also provides young people with a foundation of pride and self-worth, which they carry far beyond the walls of the classroom. My goal is to empower my students, enabling them to be a force for change in the community and the world.”

As the 2018 Teacher of the Year, Ravindran received a $5,000 instructional grant, a traveling trophy for his school, a personal trophy, a customized ring and his name added to a plaque at the Board of Education building. He will go on to represent KCPS for the Missouri Teacher of the Year Award.

Leaf and Brush Pickup

Leaf and Brush Pickup is next week, April 23-27 for Central Kansas City.

Residents who live in CENTRAL Kansas City (south of the Missouri River, north of 63rd Street, but not including residents who live east of Blue Ridge Cutoff) will receive curbside leaf and brush collection from April 23 – 27. Curbside collection will take place on your regularly scheduled trash day. Leave yard waste by your curb on your regularly scheduled trash day. Leaves must be in paper sacks available at hardware, warehouse and other stores. Branches must be bundled. Read the complete collection rules at www.kcwaterservices.org/programs/leaf-brush. If sacks and bundles are not collected on the scheduled trash day, call the 311 Call Center within 24 hours. For questions or to report service-related issues, please call 311 or 816-513-1313. Collecting lawn debris beautifies Kansas City neighborhoods; helps keep storm drains clean; helps prevent flooding in streets and basements, and helps protect creeks, streams, and rivers. Thanks for keeping waste out of street gutters, catch basins, and storm sewers, and for keeping Kansas City neighborhoods looking great!

Show-Me Green Tax holiday

Major appliance purchases exempt from sales tax during Show-Me Green Tax holiday

Now is the time to get serious about the financial benefits of going green. At least that’s the case for folks looking to upgrade a refrigerator or cash in on a great deal for a new washer & dryer or some other energy-saving appliance.

April 19-25 is Missouri’s Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday, and it’s a nice opportunity for Kansas City residents to save money and stimulate the economy. This is one of several sustainability efforts the City supports to incorporate green programs into a broader approach that simultaneously promotes social equity, economic vitality and environmental quality.

ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances purchased during this window within KCMO, located in Jackson County, are exempt from state and city sales tax. In addition, purchases made in the portions of Kansas City, located in Clay, Platte, Jackson and Cass counties are exempt from city, state and county sales tax.

The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday exempts state sales tax on retail sales of qualifying energy star certified new appliances, up to $1,500 per appliance, during a seven-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 19 and ending at midnight on April 25.

The following energy star certified appliances qualify for the holiday:

  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Trash compactors*
  • Dishwashers
  • Conventional ovens*
  • Ranges*
  • Stoves*
  • Air conditioners
  • Furnaces
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Heat pumps

(*According to the Energy Star website, trash compactors, conventional ovens, ranges and stoves do not receive an energy star rating.  Therefore, although the statute anticipates that someday they may receive the energy star rating, tax will continue to apply to purchases of these items during the upcoming Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday.)

Public Meeting: Midtown Complete Streets

April 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The City of KCMO is studying several streets in Midtown for Complete Streets improvements, which could include things like bike lanes, sidewalk upgrades, road diets, and more.

It’s an exciting opportunity to improve the quality of life in Midtown and prioritize the safety of people walking and biking over cars. We need your voice added to those who support Complete Streets.

For more information, visit the BikeWalkKC website by clicking here.

Public Meeting on Tuesday, April 17th

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Westport Presbyterian Church
201 Westport Road, KCMO

Free Child Immunizations for Kansas City Residents

The City of Kansas City, Mo, Health Department (KCHD) is offering childhood immunization shots. For those children meeting Federal Vaccine for Children (VFC) guidelines, all childhood immunizations are free of charge for KCMO residents!

Child Immunization clients are seen on a walk-in basis during normal clinic hours. Clinic hours are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday | 8am – 11:30am and 1pm – 4 pm.
  • Thursday 8am – 1pm (registration closes at 12:30pm on Thursdays).
  • Except holidays. There is a full list of our programs and their hours of operation listed as well.

For more details please visit the KCMO Health Department Immunization Clinic website.