One way the leadership of Lee’s Summit obtains information about the expectations of residents is through Citizen Advisory groups. I am a member of one such group, called the Livable Streets Advisory Board.
What is a Livable Street? Do we have these in Lee’s Summit? If we do have these, how does this help anything? As winter gives us its last shots of 2013, one thing we probably all would agree upon is “Get this snow off my street, please!” or “What about this ice?” would be a livable street issue. This is something we all feel. Life is, indeed, more livable when we can get out of the driveway.
But what else matters? Even if we agree Lee’s Summit is a great place to live (that is why we live here) there is always something that could be made better. What about the person that does not drive, and lives five blocks from a grocery store? Should they be able to use a sidewalk all the way? What about places frequented by youth? Should there be a bicycle rack there? What if a residential street has no sidewalk on either side? Where do the kids play? Should we put a sidewalk there? When we plan for the future, can we accommodate space for walkers, bicyclists, joggers and strollers at the same time as Lee’s Summit adds houses or business buildings?
Approaching the same topic from a more subjective direction, what is the value of Art along public throughways? Is a decorated street a more livable street? Vision and viewpoint must also be important or we would not care if the throughways were trash littered. (Clearly, some of us don’t, but most of us must, because we keep cleaning them up).
Finally, perhaps a safer street is a more livable street. How can I get across M-291 highway, U.S. 50, Colbern Road, or M-150 Highway? Does this throughway need a bike lane or would it be better somewhere else?
As a member of the Board, I am interested in each of the items outlined above. With my team members, we collectively keep searching for ideas, alternatives and cooperative partnerships with the single idea of making the streets component of life here in Lee’s Summit more livable.
Perhaps you have an idea? You can share these through the City Web Site, www.cityofls.net.
Bob Busby is a member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board, a Mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable,” safe and accessible for all of our citizens.