Planning for Greenline Downtown Recreational Trail Makes Progress

The proposed Greenline would be similar to the 22-mile BeltLine in Atlanta, a recreational loop in a former rail corridor that draws 2 million visitors a year. (Image from BeltLine website)

By Kevin Collison

The proposed Greenline recreational trail loop around downtown has received significant funding to help plan its eastern and southern legs, and advocates are hopeful it will land  $750,000 in additional federal assistance soon.

“There has been some good and exciting momentum on some of the sections,” said Jared Campbell of the Downtown Council. “We’ve come from a conceptual idea to engaging with property and other stakeholders on the route.”

The Greenline idea was first proposed more than three years ago by Vince Bryant, a developer active in the Crossroads.

The estimated $80 million endeavor calls for a 10-mile downtown trail loop from the Kansas City Terminal tracks on the south, east along The Paseo, north along the riverfront and west along Beardsley Road.

It’s been compared to the The BeltLine in Atlanta which transformed 22 miles of former railroad corridor land into bike and walking trails that attracts 2 million visitors annually.

The proposed Greenline recreational trail would be a 10-mile loop around downtown connecting the Crossroads, The Paseo corridor, riverfront and West Bottoms. (Map from Greenline website)

So far, the Greenline proposal has received $479,000 from the city through the Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) program for planning.

Campbell said an application for $750,000 in federal funding through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program appears promising. It would be used to further planning for the south leg of the Greenline.

The plan also has received $1 million in federal infrastructure funds for The Paseo route. Port KC also is seeking a $150,000 grant to plan how the east leg would utilize Lydia Avenue and safely cross its railroad tracks to the riverfront leg of the plan.

“Port KC wants a grant to look at the Lydia crossing because with the Kansas City Current stadium and additional growth on the riverfront, they want to make it safe for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles,” Campbell said.

While there’s no date for completion of the Greenline yet, but Campbell said the project is making solid progress.

“I feel we’ve made a lot of good headway and getting multiple sources of funding which is positive,” he said. “We’re looking good going into next year and plan to ramp up funding for the south and east legs.”

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