So today I took a cold and windy walk down Troost. For the past couple of weeks, KCP&L has been installing some of the new, large, metal lutility poles along Troost from 47th street to about 18th street.
We've known for awhile that the light poles were coming, but it is still painful to see them go up along a couple of stretches in front of historic buildings along Troost. As most readers know, Troost has become the commonly thought of racial dividing line in the city. While many who live along the corridor, including the folks that founded the Tulips on Troost project, have longed for, and tried to help with, the redevelopment of businesses along the Troost corridor -- with the hope that the beautification of Troost, along with thriving businesses, could help make Troost a meeting place vs one of division. The ugly metal poles aren't helpful in that goal -- but aren't a deterant either.
The Tulips on Troost project, along with some of the streetscape improvements planned for the Troost BRT line (with major streetscape renoovations scheduled for intersections at Linwood, Armour, Brush Creek, Emanuel Cleaver, Manheim, 31st, 39th and 63rd streets, will definitely make the streetsscape more viewer friendly -- along with better transportation along the route, will really help.
From my talks with KCP&L people, it was pretty inevitable that these poles needed to go up (although, I never got a good explanation of why using the new Troost BRT construction couldn't have been used to burry the heavier lines along the route).
Meanwhile, the poles also serve as a reminder that KCP&L also has plans to put a new electrical substation up along the route.
Initially, KCP&L had proposed a location for their new sustation -- smack in the middle of one of the more viable retail areas along Troost and butting against historic homes.
However, after neighborhood leaders rejected, and several public hearings, KCP&L met with a committee of neighborhood leaders to help determine a couple of better locations for the substation. The committee chose two potential locations. While one location has already been eliminated due to their inability to reach a purchase agreement with the current owner, they have now moved on to the group's second favorite choice (at the corner of 30th and Harrison). This corner is currently empty -- and has industrial mostly surrounding it. There is one home, literally right across the street from the site that is far from ideal. But this site is certainly better than the previously proposed location (although I do hope there could be some compensation for the owner of that home).
I'm sure I'll post more as the substation talks progress.