Well-known urban planner Allan B. Jacobs turned his eye on Kansas City recently, and found a lot of room for improvement.
"Jacobs believed far too much space was dedicated to cars and not enough for bicyclists, sidewalks, streetscaping and pedestrians," columnist Kevin Collison explains in the Kansas City Star. "He calculated about 70 percent of the right of way was set aside for cars, far too large a share. Why not wider sidewalks and some room for bicyclists?" Also noteworthy: Not enough trees (an appealing an important amenity for encouraging pedestrian activity).
Jacobs, professor emeritus of city planning at the University of California-Berkeley who "helped shape the streets of San Francisco a generation ago strolled around downtown Kansas City last week and found room for improvement."
Said Jacobs: “In good downtowns, all have a shortage of parking, and there's congestion during busy periods. It's density, people living, people walking and people on streets … the more money you spend on solving traffic problems, the less livable your city is going to be.”