A colorized image of Main Street looking south from 7th around the year 1893. The street scene is vibrant with varied buildings and storefronts on both sides of Main Street and cable car tracks down the center of the road. A building highlighted in pink shows the location of a building that's still standing.
A present day view from 7th and Main, showing a turn lane onto highway frontage road and the north loop highway. In the background, a still-standing historical building is highlighted in pink, corresponding to the image on the first slide.
Perspective of 7th and Main with redevelopment and a flatiron-style building, similar to the historic Main/Delaware junction

We're coming together as neighbors to build a better future.

More than 70 years ago, Kansas City committed an act of self-sabotage by deliberately destroying wide swaths of our downtown. The first of these freeways was the Intercity Freeway, now known as the North Loop.

We are a coalition of neighbors advocating to remove the North Loop and restore the thriving neighborhoods it displaced. We're still building our coalition, and we need your help. Will you join us?

Join the North Loop Neighbors

Why the North Loop?

More Housing and Neighbors

An image of modern, mixed use infill housing with thoughtful use of historic materials like brick and steel.

Removing the North Loop is an opportunity to replace a highway with more of the neighborhoods we love. Increasing the amount and diversity of housing will allow more people to live downtown and for our neighborhoods and the Kansas City region to thrive.

Stronger Neighborhood 

A map of the existing and proposed transit lines that are centered in the North Loop area, including the Bi-State corridor, streetcar, and streetcar extensions to places like UMKC and North Kansas City.

The Main Street Streetcar, Riverfront Extension, and bi-state corridor intersect in the North Loop. Stronger east-west connections via Independence Avenue would build upon the progress with the Paseo Gateway and restore a lost connection to the Historic Northeast neighborhoods.

How would it work?

Diagram showing the current highway circulation through downtown Kansas City.
Diagram showing proposed highway circulation in Downtown Kansas City. I-670 would serve as the new mainline highway and be designated as  I-70.

Fewer, Better Highways

Modest adjustments to the downtown freeway network would result in better overall mobility for downtown and the region. Today, I-70 and I-35 use the North Loop. Short, frequent ramps and awkward interchanges with other highways greatly diminish the capacity of the highway and the overall system and cause frequent incidents, leading to unreliable traffic. In our vision, I-70 and I-35 would use the southern leg of the downtown freeway loop. Independence Avenue and 6th Street would still enable convenient local circulation to and from the region's highway network, and traffic passing through to other destinations would use alternate and more direct routes.

Our Vision

Vision Plan

Our vision for the North Loop incorporates feedback from neighborhood conversations with the River Market, Downtown, Columbus Park, and Paseo West. Of course, more extensive engagement would be incorporated into any future official plan.

This plan restores the grid that pre-dates the north loop. It blends infill redevelopment with parks and public space designed to match the character and scale of nearby areas. The plan also anticipates infill redevelopment opportunities outside of the footprint of the north loop itself.

Proposed Development Character

Infill development and public spaces would vary throughout the North Loop area. Infill near Columbus Park would feature dense rowhomes, similar to many existing homes. Neighborhood-focused parks and community spaces could respond to the needs of families and people in all walks of life. Taller and denser infill development would be likelier toward the core of downtown. The neighborhood would be stitched together by Independence Avenue, which would feature high capacity transit, a cycle track, and a generous promenade that could move thousands of people per hour.

New uses for the (former) I-70 Trench

Our proposal for the North Loop doesn't involve an expensive freeway cap or have the need for expensive fill. Instead, the cut created by the construction of the North Loop can be used for cheaper below-ground infrastructure, like utilities, parking, stormwater detention, or other uses.

Restoring historic character

The demolition from highway building and urban renewal destroyed massive swaths of our city. The Intercity Freeway and Northside Urban Renewal Area were among the first such projects to impact Kansas City more than 70 years ago.

While short of inventing a time machine, the proposed infill development of the North Loop area aims to bring back the historic character and scale that once filled this part of downtown.

Join the North Loop Neighbors

We're serious when we say we need your help to pull this off. Join the movement by filling out this form with your contact preferences, and let us know what you'd like to see instead of the North Loop highway. We'll follow up with opportunities for engagement and advocacy.

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