Summary of Gardner Destination Downtown- a Placemaking & Mobility Enhancement Project


Contact Information

Organization: Gardner
Contact person: Jen Jordan-Spence
Phone: 913-856-0928
Organization address: 120 E. Main
  Gardner, KS    66030

General Information

Project title: Gardner Destination Downtown- a Placemaking & Mobility Enhancement Project
Project description: Gardner Destination Downtown builds on the vision and recommendations of the recently adopted Gardner Main Street Corridor Plan and Southwest Johnson County Transit Plan (PSP projects). This project is a focused drill down of priority recommendations from the Corridor plan. It includes evaluation of existing conditions and synthesis of more specific community input, and results in ground-level visualizations and typical cross sections for all public improvements, probable costs, details of necessary partnerships and agreements, and an implementation plan/schedule. The focus area is a portion of the Downtown Core Subarea. During the development of the Corridor Plan, the community indicated that Gardner’s downtown currently lacks a central gathering place or “heart”. The plan visualized opportunities to develop new multi-use civic greenspaces flanking City Hall. These spaces are envisioned to provide a flexible and interactive commons to promote social inclusion, civic identity, and an improved connection to the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Further supporting the vision of a civic heart is a redesigned Main Street within this study area to reduce vehicular speed and increase pedestrian safety while maintaining the functional service of the corridor. This vision includes creating a more pedestrian-orientated streetscape on Elm St, which is the major north/south pedestrian connection through downtown, and providing for future transit stops or mobility hubs with amenities. The project also furthers implementation of bike boulevards per the bike network map and support of the regional trail network (Historic Trail Retracement). The project will involve observing and analyzing pedestrian and other non-vehicular activity, observing and analyzing parking patterns, engaging the community in developing the master plan for streetscape improvements and concept plans for the two civic spaces, and addressing potential public improvements to facilitate increased use of public transportation and other modes of transportation. Impacted property owners will be engaged directly to ensure the concept plans are achievable. Deliverables include concept plans and visualizations for public infrastructure improvements, including typical cross sections of street improvements, identification of community-supported design elements and amenities, and a cost and implementation schedule. Primary impacted user groups include residents who are walking or biking through Downtown to get to nearby recreational attractions or public services; visitors to the Chamber of Commerce, public library, County fairgrounds, and Downtown shops and services; Downtown workers (including local and regional employees of City Hall); transit users, and users of the highway vehicular corridor.
Project Type: Project Development
Project Contact: Jen Jordan-Spence
Project Location: Gardner, Johnson County KS. Eight block area of the Downtown core bounded by Center St, E. Washington St, Sycamore St and E. Warren St, including neighborhood connections and the US-56 corridor
Project Scope: Evaluate existing conditions: • Pedestrian/non-motorized activity inventory and analysis – evaluate existing mobility patterns indicating primary circulation routes and frequency • Public and private parking inventory, indicating level of use • Right-of-way configuration/conditions. Engage the community to discover preferred streetscape theme elements to communicate civic identity, preferred uses and amenities for the two planned civic spaces, and needed mobility improvements: • Citizens as leaders and stewards – Utilize project champions from the Steering Committee for the Corridor Plan to lead the public engagement activities • Citizens as experts – Create a local placemaking team to assist in observation, gathering data, doing historic research, and evaluating initial options • Citizens as advocates – Engage a representative of the mobile home park residents (environmental justice population outside the study area) to facilitate input, and engage local ADA advocates to represent the interests of the disabled population • Hold multiple public meetings • Hold multiple private discussions with property and business owners regarding potential agreements to implement civic spaces and transit elements • Gather, analyze, and respond to online input. Create the following deliverables in a detailed plan with budget and phased implementation schedule/timeline for adoption into CIE/CIP documents (CIE, Capital Improvements Element, is adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan, and the CIP,Capital Improvements Plan, is reviewed annually for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan): • Streetscape master plan for the study area and nearby pedestrian connections o Design concepts, visualizations (renderings) and details for the planted median, bike boulevard, and streetscape amenities (location/type of furnishings, lighting, signage, landscaping, street trees) o Typical cross sections detailing pavement re-striping, stormwater BMPs, crosswalk improvements, bump-outs, ADA accessibility and sidewalk improvements and recommendations for signal modifications • Public/private parking reconfiguration and management recommendations • Design renderings, activity/amenity narrative and anticipated cost structures for the civic spaces, including any recommendations for implementing new small-scale, temporary public gathering areas such as parklets to prepare the public for permanently transformed spaces • Optional locations, configurations and feasibility analysis for planned transit station/mobility hub to serve multiple modes of transportation including walking, biking, bus and on-demand services, including any recommendations for implementing limited, temporary transit facilities while preparing to implement permanent facilities • Recommendations for property acquisition or owner agreements for implementation

Project Financial Information

Total Cost: 90  (Thousands of $)
Federal amount 72  (Thousands of $)
Minimum Funding amount 18  (Thousands of $)
Match amount: 18  (Thousands of $)
Source of Local Match: City General Fund- Economic Development Budget

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Submitted comments

Kelly Woodward said...

I hope you support Gardners application to implement the recommendations of Gardners Sustainable Places Plan that was adopted by the City this year. So many engaged citizens and property owners devoted themselves throughout 2017 to creating the vision for new public spaces and more diverse transportation options Downtown. This funding will help continue that momentum for real change, so that this plan doesnt just collect dust! This will get us one step closer to creating new public spaces for a variety of activities and people, and linking Downtown with other activity centers through the bike boulevards and transit enhancements. The streetscape improvements will help welcome all the new people who are calling Gardner HOME. Thank you for your continued support!

6/28/2018 4:54:40 PM

Michael J Blanchard said...

Please support Gardner Destination Downtown application. The Downtown corridor projects has received a lot of public support and the additional funding will go a long way to help ensure the success of Gardners Downtown revitalization.

6/28/2018 5:48:56 PM

David Roland Rhodes said...

Please support this plan for Gardner. As a long time local developer in Gardner we see this as a valuable step in the continued Growth of Gardner. Doing as much Due Diligence to insure the best plan for any community can never be under estimated. Gathering input from Developers, Builders, Businesses, and Residents helps shape what we all can be Proud to call Gardner.

6/29/2018 9:07:20 AM

Jason Camis said...

This is a great opportunity for Gardner to continue shaping its downtown for the next 25-50 years. Gardner has grown so quickly over the past 20 years and really hasnt done a lot related to its downtown. A project (grant) like this will continue the progress that has already been made. As a representative for the business community, I can say that we are fully behind the project.

6/29/2018 10:28:09 AM

Adam Cox said...

A tremendous amount of effort has been put into planning this project to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Gardner. It will provide an accessible Downtown for all our residents.

6/29/2018 1:07:40 PM

Kari Harper said...

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinions. I was on the Board of the Downtown Association, in Saint Joseph, MO. I had a great love of our downtown and always volunteered in a public awareness capacity. It is truly my belief that the downtown of a city, is the heart. With a healthy heart, comes a healthy city. I feel the plans set out above, will bring the town together. As an active community member and business owner, you have my complete support. Thank you for all of your work on this project.

6/29/2018 2:29:51 PM

Kiva Simmons-Lee said...

Please fund the Gardner Destination Downtown application. Gardner is a small town that values its residents and is striving to revitalize their community.

7/2/2018 3:47:55 PM

Joyce OConnor said...

As a resident of Gardner for over 50 years, Ive seen lots of changes. Weve tried to keep up with those as they relate to safety, traffic, the overall well-being of our community. At this point, safety is an issue along with continuing to create a livable, walkable and "bikeable" downtown area. Community gathering spaces are difficult on 56 highway, our Main St. however, Main Street and Elm Street, as described in this project of improvements will create a people-friendly area for our families to enjoy for years to come. Please consider and support funding our application and get us one step closer to a safe and dynamic,future gathering space.

7/5/2018 4:53:54 PM

Steve Shute said...

As current Mayor of Gardner and former Council President, I have been intimately involved in the dramatic planning changes that have taken place in the last four years. The most recent Downtown Corridor study and plan was the culmination of over 18 months of significant work by many people in the community, from businesses to civic groups to city staff. We now feel that we are not only ready, but committed to transform our downtown area. MARCs endorsement of our effort in the form of this grant is critical to make this happen, and I hope that this bid will receive serious consideration - our citizens deserve nothing less. Thank you in advance for your support!

7/5/2018 6:58:40 PM

Greg Martinette said...

As the area economic development agency professional, I have been actively involved in the downtown revitalization process that has been underway over the last several years. Having been involved in many similar projects in many communities over my career I can tell you that I have never seen such commitment from community, city staff and leadership as in Gardner. They are very focused on seeing this through and truly being a community driven success story. We are already seeing new investment in the corridor due to this undertaking and inquiries are increasing. The additional support from MARC is instrumental in snowballing the success we have already witnessed. Thank you for your continued support and recognizing communities that are truly on the move.

7/6/2018 8:56:19 AM

Tim Miller said...

Please support Gardner Destination Downtown application. The Downtown corridor projects has received a lot of public support and the additional funding will go a long way to help ensure the success of Gardners Downtown revitalization.

7/6/2018 9:37:56 AM

Sheri Christine Barber said...

I hope that you will support Gardner Downtown Destination project. Lots of folks worked really hard to bring this project to life, and we would all like to see that it is fulfilled as planned. This project will definitely make Gardner a better place to live. Thank you for your consideration!

7/6/2018 10:09:32 AM

Adrianna Meder said...

As Chairman of the Gardner Planning Commission during the development and approval of the Downtown Corridor Project, I can say without a doubt this is a finely tuned and solid plan. Gardner Kansas deserves an enhanced downtown corridor and this plan is a fantastic guide to navigate the course. It was an honor and a pleasure to serve on the team during the consultant interviews, final consultant selection, the workshop process, public presentation and then the formality of Planning Commission discussion and recommendation of adoption to City Council. I look forward to being a part of future planning teams as the downtown corridor project comes to life.

7/6/2018 12:21:45 PM

Kevin King said...

I urge you to support the Gardner Destination Downtown – a Placemaking and Mobility Enhancement Project. This is a very worthwhile and needed project for the city that hosts the annual Johnson County Fair and parade.

7/6/2018 4:38:33 PM

Shirley Brown VanArsdale said...

The project for revitalizing our downtown is a great step forward for a growing community. Gardner is a very historic town with the town being the only place in US where the 3 trails divide. Our citizens have supported this new plan and will benefit from the vision of this development.

7/6/2018 4:51:25 PM


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