By Kathy Feist
A temporary barricade has been installed at the intersection of 133rd and Inverness Rd, which leads to Walmart and Lowe’s and other retail shops in the SouthMarket Shopping Center.
Those who have taken the shortcut through the New Castle neighborhood are not happy. They must now travel through a few stop lights on 135th Street to get to their destination or travel a half block east along Blue Ridge Rd and then through congested shopping center traffic.
The temporary barricade was installed on November 11 after New Castle residents met with members of the KCMO Public Works Department and 6th District City Councilmen to voice their concerns over increased traffic. The meeting was put in place by the subdivision’s newest neighbors, QuikTrip, as a goodwill gesture. QuikTrip will be constructing a new convenience store/gas station at the former Applebee’s at 132nd and State Line Rd in May.
New Castle Homeowners Association President Tommie Lampe says she had been trying for years to get the city’s and even state legislators’ attention regarding the traffic and litter happening along Inverness.
“Hundreds and hundreds of people pass through here daily,” she says. “And they are not always respectful of city property.”
According to Lampe, residents in the 20-year-old development have picked up trash left behind by travelers. The HOA has paid to replace landscaping at the two round-abouts when drivers miss their mark. “It’s a safety issue as well,” she says.
Many on Facebook chat groups and NextDoor.com have accused the subdivision, which consists of 234 homes, of hijacking a city street paid for by taxpayers for the benefit of a few.
“We’re not trying to be an elitist group or create a private street,” she counters. “As a whole, New Castle residents pay taxes also. It’s OK for us to have a voice. It’s OK for us to enjoy walking along the street without someone throwing trash out.”
She points out there are ample opportunities for drivers to enter the shopping center off Blue Ridge Rd, State Line Rd, and 135th Street. “It just takes a little extra step… and it is a little step,” she says.
For now the experimental barricade will remain up until May, when Public Works will have a better idea of traffic patterns and neighborhood reaction. And when QuikTrip will begin construction.
“We are currently soliciting feedback about the temporary closure at 133rd and Inverness and have received around two dozen responses, both in support and opposition to the closure,” says Maggie Green. Public Works Information Officer. A public meeting is in the works. In the meantime, you can email Maggie.Green@kcmo.org to express an opinion.