Saturday, August 21, 2010

Every Picture
Tells a Story . . .
Springtime in the Arizona Desert just north of Phoenix. The temperature is in the mid-seventies, with very dry conditions. After all, it is a desert.
The green color of the hill side (the picture was taken early in the evening) will turn brown as the temperature rises to in late spring.
One Way Street Brings

Crowd to City Hall by Greg Walters

Willow Street between 70th Terrace and 71st Terrace should be called a lane rather than a street. It is paved. It is narrow. It has no curbs or ditches. When two vehicles going opposite directions meet on the street, one of the two drivers must pull to the side to let the other pass. (see aerial view of Willow Street below - 70th Terrace is the wide street at the top of the picture, Willow is the vertical street running the length of the picture)

It is a situation that the people who live and travel on the 995 feet of roadway expect and accept.

Recently, the city’s Public Works Department decided to turn the street into a “one way” roadway headed to the north. The decision has caused an uproar from surrounding neighborhoods.

Apparently, the only notification of the change was made to those who lived on Willow. None of the neighbors on adjoining streets or neighborhoods were asked their opinion of the suggested change.

Last Tuesday, twelve people addressed the Board of Aldermen on what they consider to be a poor decision by the Public Works Department. They have asked the Board to reverse the decision or at the very least, come up with a better plan.

Their arguments are reasonable.

Willow is used by area residents as an alternative route to the busy intersection of 70th Terrace and Raytown Road for many destinations, including local merchants, South Brooke Swimming pool, and a number of area churches.

Area residents told the Board that by changing Willow to a north bound street, residents are forced to use Raytown Road to for short trips to area merchants, churches and a local swimming pool (South Brooke Pool). This requires motorists to make a left hand turn and cross two lanes of traffic at the intersection of Raytown Road and 70th Terrace. The change increases traffic at an intersection (Raytown Road / 70th Terrace) that is prone to automobile accidents.

The one way designation also applies to children who use the route when riding their bicycles to the South Brooke pool.

There were no speakers in favor of changing the street to a one way designation. None of the members of the Board of Aldermen spoke to the issue.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Willow Street situation is scheduled for public discussion at the next meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen. That meeting will be held Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Raytown City Hall (10000 East 59th Street).

The public will be allowed to speak at this meeting.

On a personal note, I grew up half a block from the section of Willow Street under discussion. It was then and is still a popular short cut for youngsters on their way to the South Brooke pool and for events at the First Baptist Church. The alternative is taking a round-about journey along Raytown Road that adds an additional four blocks by vehicle or bicycle. - Greg Walters

Poor Communication Should be Addressed

Clearly, the ball was dropped by someone at City Hall in handling the Willow Street discussion. Neighborhoods affected by the change were not notified. Because of that mis-step, valid arguments from locals were not aired before the change was considered.

But the mishandling does not stop there.

A number of the speakers at the meeting complained that when they called the Public Works Department about their opposition to the change, they were told, “you’re the first or second person to call us about this”.

Tuesday night’s speakers quickly laid that falsehood to rest.

Equally disturbing is the fact that members of the Board of Aldermen, particularly the two Aldermen representing the people from the Willow Street neighborhoods (Jim Aziere and Jim Hamilton) did not address the situation.

Aldermen have the authority to bring items before the Board. At the very least a simple motion could have placed a moratorium on the change and removed the one way street signs until a reasonable solution could be reached.

Because the Board of Aldermen did not have any discussion nor make a decision, local residents must wait another two weeks before the situation is addressed.

The errors in how city hall managed the situation were not the fault of the neighborhoods. They should not have to wait.

Incidents like the Willow Street debacle shine a bright light on City Hall. In this case it exposed a not too pretty picture. The events in this situation could be used as a primer on how NOT to run a city.

The Board of Aldermen should investigate and correct what is clearly a misguided decision. It would also be appropriate to change the rules that govern there meetings so that taxpayers are not left waiting for solutions to simple problems.

Non-Resident Argument Re-kindled

Another issue not discussed at last Tuesday’s meeting, but just as viable, is how such an uninformed decision arrived at in the first place.

It is clear from the testimony from people as far away as three blocks in both directions that the street is regularly used by children on bicycles and parents who frequent a neighborhood swimming pool in the area. The one way streets forces both bicyclists and motorists to take a more treacherous route with at least two left hand turns across four lanes of traffic.

Would department heads who are a part of the community have recognized the local use of the roadway? Would they have insight as to why the change is not a good idea?

Raytown remains the only city in the metropolitan area in which all appointed senior members of the city staff are non-residents.

TO YOUR HEALTH! by Jenn Walters

Attack of the Mutant Garden Vegetables

I love summer for a number of reasons. The sun, the flowy dresses, early morning runs in the daylight, warm evenings with a Bomb Pop dripping down my chin…summer rocks. Maybe it’s the extra vitamin D or the warm weather, but I always drop 5 pounds this time of year (note: I always gain 5 in the winter, so it all works out). I also start saving significantly on my grocery bill. And it’s not because I eat less or stockpile coupons…it’s because my backyard becomes a produce department. Full of organic, pesticide-free veggies.

Now, I am no expert on planting a garden, but this year—our second attempt at developing a green thumb—our garden is ridiculous. In a 4-foot-by-24-foot strip, we managed to cram severaltomato varieties, numerous types of bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant and asparagus. Oh, and a few potted herbs,habanero and jalapeƱo plants. It’s a jungle up in here.

Turns out we have pretty good beginner’s luck when it comes to vegetable gardening, too. Check out this year’s first big harvest in the photo above, including one zucchini that definitely exceeds the “large” category and cruises right into the “mutant” category.

Going to the garden has become a thrilling ritual for me. It’s better than getting the mail when you’re eight. I crawl in the garden through an elaborate chickenwire fence my hubby made to keep our dog out (she can clear 4 feet, so it’s not a beautiful part of our yard, but I’ve stopped caring now that the space is feeding my grape-tomato obsession) and then lift the giant zucchini-plant leaves to see what new goodies are hiding. Every day I find some MASSIVE cucumber that I swear wasn’t there the day before. My neighbors must think I’m insane, as—like clockwork—I dive into my overgrown garden (the tomato plants are over 6 feet tall at this point) and then squeal with delight at what I find. Hey, it’s the little things.

The veggies are so big that I really wonder if someone sprinkled steroids or creatine over the soil. I know that compost is good and all, but I had no idea that composting our yard waste last year would be so fruitful this year. And healthy for us.

Now that we have all this produce laying around, even my husband sees the need to snack on raw veggies just to keep up with the pace of our little veggie factory. I’ve made veggie lasagna, pasta, pizza, soup, frittatas,burritos, salads…it’s all becoming a bit Bubba Gump. But, I love it. And once I can’t keep up (which is probably only weeks away as the big tomatoes are starting to get big and poppin’ red), I’ll happily share them with friends, neighbors, family and anyone who’s willing to try an organic mutant vegetable.

Now, I have little experience with gardening, and like I said before, am no expert. But, I have learned a few lessons that I’m happy to share.

Five Gardening Tips from a Non-Expert 1. Never plant more than one zucchini plant. You’ll be tempted to plant more when you first put them in the ground, but do…not…do…it. Resist the temptation.

2. Keep it closed. A fence around the garden keeps out critters large and small, domestic or wild.

3. If you like to cook, plant a crapton of expensive herbs. If I had to buy basil to make pesto, it would easily cost me $10. Instead, a couple of $1.95 plants last me for three months. THREE MONTHS OF TASTY PESTO. I wish I had the room to grow olive trees.

4. Space es bueno. Unless you want your cucumber vines attacking your bell pepper plants (and as someone with experience with this, believe me, you don’t), give your plants plenty of space to grow.

5. Cover the ground. I save time and water by covering the soil with grass clippings. It keeps the ground moist and gives me a legal place to dump my grass. Score!

If you’re looking for real tips by people who know what they’re doing, check out Martha Stewart’s gardening section on her website. It might make you feel inadequate (or maybe that’s just me…), but it sure does have some good advice for those looking to garden in a big yard, small space or containers in an apartment. And it has pretty pictures.

Last Week’s Poll Results

What is the best zoning for the 2.1 acres located just east of Blue Ridge Elementary?

Singe Family 53%
Multi Family (high density) 36%
No opinion 9%
Someone found a way to load up votes on the poll question this past week. In the space of about three minutes 25 votes were added to one of the answers. To keep the validity and integrity of the poll intact I have used the results prior to when the bogus votes were cast. - gw


Andy Whiteman said...

At least Raytown is unique in remaining the only city in the metropolitan area in which all appointed senior members of the city staff are non-residents.

So everyone who complained about Willow was the first or second person to complain? I have heard many times that I was the only one to complain in an apparent effort to minimize the issue or to make me feel foolish. One employee at Bank of America finally told me that I wasn't the only one to complain. Well that brush off doesn't work with me. IF I am the only one, I still want my issue addressed and I will take it to the top. One issue went to a member of Congress before it got resolved.

Looking at the aerial view I am shocked how narrow Willow is there. I always thought of it as a more or less through street since it is a feeder street in one neighborhood. Even the feeder Willow is narrow for a feeder and unmaintained, the street itself being a safety hazard to both autos and pedestrians!

Making a street one way causes issues for many not just those living on the street. I lived in KCMO where the residential streets seemed narrow especially with cars parked on both sides. There is not enough room for cars to pass without one yielding. I had been gone 3 years and discovered the street I always took home from Burger King was one way after I went a whole block the WRONG WAY when I saw a "one way do not enter" sign. I saw no sign on the first block. So it caused confusion to some one who used to live in the area.

The Willow Lane issue could be resolved by reducing the speed limit to 5MPH, renaming
to "Willow Lane" and more important placing 2 signs:

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...


Google does limit the size of posts. Your's is the first (I know this sound ridiculous in light of current events) in which a comment has been kicked back.

All I can suggest is that you break the post into two parts and send as two separate posts.

Anonymous said...

I drove by where the Downtown Raytown flea market is held late yesterday. There is a bunch of junk and debris left over on the lot. Does anyone know if the city is aware of it?

It is just up the street from city hall across the street, just south from Bowen Apartments.

Lee said...

Andy, what makes you elitist is that you *assume* that apartments are going to bring noise, drug dealing, and crime. A position that has no basis in fact. Somehow owning a home makes you a better person, morally?

A survey by the Real Estate website showed that 27% of the Americans surveyed had no intention of ever buying a house. Does that make those 27% morally bankrupt?

BTW, any new housing in a market tends to be the premium property. A new complex would appeal to the upper income renters, not the lower ones. Although income is no indicator for criminal activity either.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen a city council meeting on t.v. lately?

Some of those guys need a dress code!

Pat Casady said...

"Equally disturbing is the fact that members of the Board of Aldermen, particularly the two Aldermen representing the people from the Willow Street neighborhoods (Jim Aziere and Jim Hamilton) did not address the situation."

Aldermen not addressing the problems of the people in their ward.
This should come as no surprise. For as long as I have been in Raytown
which is over thirty years, this is business as usual.
But, let some big box store or some devious developer come to town
and they fall all over themselves to make life better for them.
Please vote these people out.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of dress code, when you elect a "bunch of hicks" what do you expect? None of these guys and gals have ever ran a business, so again, what do you expect? Some of them can't even manage their own personal finances and some even fail to keep their own property up to code. So you really deserve what you get. You elected these people, maybe you will THINK before considering to RE-ELECT them next April. Time to vote them all out!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, The surprising part is Google allowed the preview with out the too long error message. I was shocked with the reject statement especially since my my post was not rejected during the PREVIEW OPTION. My post was not long so obviously Google has a flaw because the post came through. When I get an error message such as that, the post is lost. I post to FaceBook by placing a few lines or just the subject and put the actual post under comments to avoid that issue. I have an intense mistrust of Google and their information gathering.

Pat, Mayor Bower told the speakers that it is the policy of the board is not to respond or take action at that meeting but will consider the comments. Hence the inaction of the Aldermen from Ward 2 was appropriate.

7:21 AM, Have YOU called Codes with a complaint? You can't expect others to notice the violation and call. Maybe others didn't see it, don't care, or assumed you would call. If we ass/u/me someone will call, then no one calls.

Lee, your response is in the last thread.

7:40AM, I didn't notice the atttire of board members. Since I am not rich, I don't waste money on cable TV. I was at the meeting and was paying attention to the dialog. Does attire determine ones judgement, mental ability, or leadership skills?

If I ran for mayor, I am sure someone would complain about my attire. One member of the public has already complained to me about my attire and frankly, I don't care.

Andy Whiteman

Robbie Tubbs said...

A couple of years ago, someone at City Hall got the bright idea to put a solid yellow line down the middle of 72nd Street, from Willow to Raytown Road. The street is wide enough for two cars to pass safely, but if a car is parked on 72nd Street, one must cross into the other lane to go around it.

Since it had been many years since I took drivers’ ed, I looked it up on the Missouri website. Sure enough, the solid yellow line means no passing, and the authorities have the right to issue a traffic ticket for those who cross it.

I called City Hall to ask if they were going to make the street a no parking zone. When told that there were no plans for that, I asked how I was supposed to go around the park cars legally. I was told that the solid yellow line was put in place to make the street safer, and that the police wouldn’t issue tickets for people going around parked cars. When I read them the State regulations, I was told I was over-reacting.

I must have been one of several to complain, because less than a week later, someone came along and used black paint to make the yellow line broken, which means pass with care.

I think that sometimes the folks down at City Hall come up with these ideas, but fail to fully think them through. How much time, effort, and money have been wasted?

JWDT said...

Before the City's goes to designating if the road should be a one-way or not, have they did any sort of traffic count?

I drive & walk the road occasionally since I live in Southbrooke. In the past Seven or so years of living in Raytown, I can only remember a very few instances of meeting a vehicle on this road while driving. Once it turned out the vehicle pulled into their driveway before I met them. The other time or two we slowed down and pulled over so each could pass.
I am sure someone has a complaint and depending upon which lense one uses they can justify it. My concern is the Traffic volume/patterns are not enough to warrant a one-way designation....especially since the City does not even seem to have the time nor resources to address other Street Problems i.e. potholes.
Justin Tomac

Pat Casady said...

I know it is right to think before you speak as in,
not jumping on the Willow St. thing but, it has been and still is
my feeling that most of our aldermen don't give a damn
about the people of Raytown. It doesn't take a scholar
to know this. Most don't want to talk to the people anytime,
and never ask the people that elected them what they think before
they make a decision that could and usually does cost the people
in one way or another.
There are a couple that I truly believe want to do right by and for
the people. Mr.Mock and Mr. Van Buskirk. The others? Let's
just say I have no respect for them as leaders.
My feelings on the Willow street thing, I feel the people who
live on that street should have a voice in how it is handled.
Not me not any one that doesn't live on that street.
If it is to become a one way street let them decide which way
the traffic will flow. Because if it comes down to our elected officials
I can tell you it will be wrong.

Andy Whiteman said...

As I told the BOA,
1) All in the neighborhood (not just those living on that street) should have received a letter of the change when it was proposed.
2) Obviously there should have been a traffic study.

I feel it was rushed into with little or no thought. I don't like making left turns across heavy traffic such as Raytown Rd. Possibly the city could face liability face liability if there is an accident for forcing someone to make a left turn.

Logically the street should be widened or it should be posted NO PARKING.

Obviously this issue could have been avoided with a little planning and thought.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Planning and thought!
OK, this time you have gone too far!
what's next, codes doing their jobs?

Anonymous said...

It is nice to read all the comments about Willow Street.

However, shouldn't we focus on issues like the lack of code enforcement that impacts all of Raytown and not one single neighborhood.

Raytown is loosing residents and businesses as it becomes the trash can of Eastern Jackson Country.

It is time the Board of Alderman and Mayor do something possitive to improve the image of Raytown and the quickest place to start is addressing the code violations.

However, we all known this would first mean addressing the issue of a department head that doesn't want to be proactive in cleaning up the city. As many on this blog have writen, those who don't live in the city have no interest in bettering the future of Raytown or it's immagie within Greater Kansas City.

Anonymous said...

If what I suspect is true it is a disgrace. I am sure Mayor protem Joe Creamer has a wad of chew in his mouth during council meetings. I have listened how he talks and it sure sounds that way to me. If this is true sham on him. Our council certain could improve their apperance alot. Joe you wanted this position now grow up and do the position justice.

Andy Whiteman said...

12:26 PM, Yes Willow St. is one block of Raytown. The real focus here is not Willow, but why and how Willow became a one way street with no notice to the neighborhood and no traffic study.

How would you like to go out one day and find that your street is one way. If it can happen to Willow, it can happen to your street.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...


The city where I grew up one day without notice decided to make parking on only one side of the street one, which we lived. The reason was the gy who lived about 15 houses up the street was an elected city official and he didn't like people parking on the street.

It took a lot of talk but the rest of those on the street got the signs down about 3 weeks later.

So it appears some things never change. The great thinkers of the world decide to do things they want before speaking with those impacted.

By the way the full in our city was a Republican and as I understand there are not Democrats on the city board, which has me wondering if this is the underlining issue.

Lee said...

Andy, I posted my response on the previous thread, with the comment it was replying too. I don't know why it's duplicated on this thread.

And FYI, I've hit the size limitation with blogger once before too. I guess I'm too verbose... Same symptoms; preview was fine, posting returned an error, but the post showed up. Apparently Google has some sloppy code in Blogger.

Greg Walters said...

Interesting story from the KC Star about what happens when local government does not take care of business.

Jackson County pays $270,000 to settle pothole lawsuit

by Michael Mansur,

Derek Jackson was riding motorcycles last summer with friends on eastern Jackson County blacktop roads — until he plowed into an arm’s-width and more than ankle-deep pothole.

It’s now cost Jackson County taxpayers $270,000.

The wreck resulted in Jackson being taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. Scott Hofer said his client suffered multiple injuries, including head trauma.

On Monday, the Jackson County Legislature, without discussion, approved payment of $270,000 to settle Jackson’s litigation against the county.

The case was headed toward trial in April.

Hofer said that discovered documents revealed county officials had been notified twice in the 39 days before Jackson’s accident of a dangerous pothole.

County officials declined to comment on the case or settlement. But Dan Ferguson, county spokesman, said, “We take these issues very seriously, and we’re working hard to make sure such things don’t happen again.”

Anonymous said...

Do the math.
Wal-Mart gets a tax break so Raytown won't get a dime
in tax income from them for over twenty years. That's millions of
dollars gone. New business coming in get tax breaks,
more money not coming in.
Then add in all the businesses W-M ran out of town, more
lost income.
It doesn't matter if you have the streets lined with new businesses,
if you are not collecting any tax money from them you are going downhill fast.
Maybe putting up a couple one way signs on Willow is all this bunch can afford.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Raytown will payout at some point for the lack of a police presence in Ward five and the on going failure to address the gang issues.

Andy Whiteman said...

10:22 PM, I think something similar happened on my street. When I bought my house, the seller told me parking was not allowed on the street. I told her ther were no signs. She said that is is an unwritten neighborhood regulation so that those who don't belong in the area can be identified. Sounds ridiculous to me but at the other end of the street is a "SNOW ROUTE NO PARKING" sign and this is not an arterial or even a feeder street! I spoke with a Police Lt. several years later and he happened to tell me the sign was there because one house at that end of the street conducted Sunday church service. Some of the congreation was parking on a lawn instead of the street (probably a narrow street issue when both sides are parked), hence the sign. I questioned why not a "no parking in yard" sign? The officer agreed it would be logical but couldn't answer.

I did see the Jackson County $270K pot hole steelement in in Red Star. It seems to me the county could have saved both money and prevented serious injury with a little maintenance. Raytown could be faced with the same issue. I wonder if Farmer's insurance will willingly pay the claim without Raytown's insurance rates going sky high the city's insurance rates going sky high? One key point is the government entity must have knowledge of the issue but failed to act.

There is a section of Willow (back to the Willow issue) that is unsafe to pedisterians and/or people in wheelchairs. It has been like that several years and I have notified the city several times. If anyone is injured, I will gladly testify in court that I have notified the city. It should be in the BOA minutes if those details were transcribed. IT should also be on video.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Google did it again:

Request-URI Too Large
The requested URL /comment.g... is too large to process. "

One thing I dislike about Google is they have no live human customer support!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8:27
Remember that I/2 cent sales tax increase we voted
in as a safety tax? I'll bet the people on and around
87th and Elm are wondering what happened to all that
money. Especially that 58 year old man that was attacked
by three thugs August 11.
Let's see, we voted a new 1/2 cent tax increase for street overlays.
The tax for "safety" and I haven't seen any improvements.
Have any of you people?
Come on you that think the city can do no wrong, where did our
money go?

Come on "Big Brother at City Hall enlighten us, please.

Andy Whiteman said...

8:27 AM, Are there still gang issues? I don't live in that area. Maybe I was wrong in assuming that the residents would come back to the BOA if the issue was not resolved.

1:54PM The Public Safety sales tax also goes to EMS. I have watched new police officers be sworn in and EMS purchase equipment. Obviously the money is being used as intended. It was never stated that crime would cease. I think we reasonable can expect better enforcement hence less crime.

The plain fact is the Police may act only after a crime has been committed. It is illegal to profile and arrest a person because they look like the MIGHT commit a crime.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Let that county lawsuit be a lesson to all governmental entities.... it is their job to keep the infrastructure maintained at all times. If you cannot afford to do that, cut back on the retreats and the paid studies. Use that money for the infrastructure. Tighten your belts, or we the people will!

Lee said...

There are times I wouldn't mind if there were no parking signs in front of my house. Like many streets in Raytown, my street is narrow with no curbs. People tend to want to park in my yard (I'm looking at you, mail man). But there is also either a spring or leak in the water main (near my meter), so the ditch is always wet. Which means that on many occasions I've had people visiting neighbors pull into may yard and sink to their axles. I'm working on a 8 inch deep rut from an Explorer right now. But this is just another sign of city leadership that isn't focused on maintaining/improving infrastructure. Where other (smaller) cities are installing storm sewers, widening streets to standard widths, and putting in curbs, Raytown is building concrete parking lots.

Greg Walters said...

I received an email the other day that asked when the bogus votes were cast on last week's poll regarding the zoning question for the 2.1 acres just east of Blue Ridge Elementary.

It is a question I thought others would be interested in knowing the answer as well.

The votes were cast just before midnight last Saturday.

Apparently someone has little to do late on a Saturday night!

Andy Whiteman said...


I was unaware of gang activity until I received 2 issues of a local media source which I have difficulty obtaining. On reading the crime reports, the description of the perp in several crimes was almost identical and probably fits 10% of the metro area population unless he wears the same clothes again in public.

Greg, I think it took more than one person to cast the bogus votes so several have nothing to do. I discovered that when I vote, a cookie is set that allows only one vote from that puter. I can vote once again on my other puter then a cookie is set. I voted the 2nd time in the past thinking I hadn't voted but I after I realized what happened, I vote only from one puter. So either you are looking for several people or a geek using one puter.

Lee, Why don't you ask your mailman if he could park in a different place? I know the PO tells them where to park to conserve gas, but if you ask him/her, he/she can change the location slightly like either the cross street if you are on a corner or the next or previous house.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The other small towns have elected people that care
about the town, not to make a name for themselves
by saying things like "I brought in Wal-Mart" or
"those monuments are courtesy of me."
Our elected people should have already made the streets
better and law enforcement better with all the tax increases
we have voted for and not got.
The safety tax was just for police and emt's. We were promised
none would go into the general fund to be spent on other things.
We were lied to! As we were on the street overlay tax. That money
went to the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Makes you proud to support city hall doesn't it!
City hall should have a slogan that states:
"Better perks and T.I.F's with your tax dollars."
Or " let them eat pot holes!"

Lee said...

In case anyone missed it, 470 is reopening today. 19 days early. The contractor is getting a $760k bonus. Looks like carrot and stick contracts really do work. 225 ft of new bridge in 35 HOT days. I guess they can be happy they were pouring concrete and not asphalt.

Andy, I discussed it with the mailman. Basically there is no place else he can park. The houses across the street have graveled up to the road, but always have cars parked there. My mailman comment was more tongue-in-cheek. Since I have talked to him he is careful not to pull over any more than is necessary for our narrow street. It's visitors to my neighbors than tend to do the damage because they want to get their whole car out of the road.

If it weren't for the ditch I'd see if the city would issue a permit for me to pour a curb. But without the storm sewers there is no point. I'll probably put a couple feet of gravel all along the street when I widen my driveway. And then I'll see if I can find some 'landscape features' to put IN the ditch to discourage pulling into the grass.

Raytown should really come up with a plan to bring all the roads in the city up to current standards (24' wide, curbs and storm sewers), then go for a property tax levy to cover bonds specifically designated to it. But then again, after the safety tax they may have lost all credibility. Obviously what residents got wasn't what they thought they were voting for.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say our town, like this nation, is broken.
We can thank city hall and most of our elected
losers for that too. They are out of touch with the people
and what the people want.
They have given away tax income
and run off so many businesses that there isn't
enough money to fix the streets let alone widen or
curb them. But hey! We got some mighty fine
gateways and monuments. And, let's not forget
the high paid department heads that don't care
how this town is. Add in a codes department that doesn't
enforce codes. And neighborhood safety is out the
window too. Somebody said you can't post a policeman
on every corner. That's true but, when you have an area
where crime is an everyday happening, this town could
watch it closer. Otherwise maybe the good people could
use that right to carry and conceal.

Andy Whiteman said...


The first night after I moved to Raytown, I was walking the dog and fell into one of the ditches. I thought Raytown resembles Mexico with open sewers! I recently pointed out to Beth Linn that the "FOR SALE" painted on the building at 59th and Raytown Rd looks like Mexico.

Over the last few years the city has been putting storm sewers in the ditches in my area. They look better and are safer.

I have a cutb and gutter at my house that ends at the property line. I contacted the city and was told that my developer did the curbs and gutters. My subdivision ends at the property line hence the neighbor has no curb but their ditch was filled in after I complained about another issue.

My understanding is the streets were installed by the developer and deeded to the city. Narrow streets may have been standard at that time and it is unlikely the city will bring them up to today's standard. I am having an issue at my new house with no shut-off at the gas meter and was told by the gas company that at the time it was build, code didn't require shut-offs and was grandfathered.

Andy Whiteman

Lee said...

It doesn't matter who built the streets, they belong to Raytown now. You wouldn't be happy if they said they weren't going to maintain streets they didn't build. City officials need to be proactive rather than reactive. They need to have a plan for continuously improving infrastructure. Not waiting for bridges to become unsafe and then pray for federal money.

The question about widening streets and building storm sewers is a case of priority. Putting up one-way signs on narrow streets doesn't solve a problem, it simply re-directs it. There is a lot of talk here about things lowering property values; quality, usable streets raise property values.

Of course if you really want to raise property values, encourage someone to buy those foreclosures in your neighborhood. None of them are selling at market value, and the sooner they are gone the sooner sale prices will return to normal. Simple supply and demand. BTW, I paid half the 2008 assessment for my house. That would have caused a momentary dip in values (since recent comparable sales are used for appraisals), but now neighbors don't have to compete against it when they want to sell.

KMCCLA said...

There are other streets that have their problems as well, and the city arbitrarily making changes. You might say, that indirectly, I am the reason James A Reed is only 25 MPH through Raytown. About 40 years ago (give or take), the city suddenly had raised the speed limit to 35. My parents, after contacting their alderman, who told them to get a petition, and get it notarized. My father also did a line of site profile, and found that there is a limited sight distance. They then went to the BOA meeting, and presented the petition and the facts. The Public Works guy had said that he had driven it at 25, and at 35, and found no difference, but if he lived on the street, he would what it 25. James A Reed has been 25 ever since. Part of the reason is we have a lot of pedestrian traffic, there are no curbs (except a small section) or sidewalks. People speed enough as it is, and being a busy street we have enough traffic as it is. When they do something like this, stand up and be heard. There are many streets that need attention, James A Reed is one of them.