Greenline Route

Greenline KC Update: An Urban Trail Looping Around Downtown Kansas City

Greenline Route

The vision of Greenline KC is to create an urban trail that loops around greater Downtown Kansas City connecting neighborhoods, showcasing art, and encouraging discovery. That vision is quietly becoming closer to reality thanks to some recent activity happening along the route. When fully built-out, the Greenline will be a 10-mile urban trail loop that will connect the abundant amenities and attractions enjoyed by residents and visitors throughout greater Downtown.  

We have seen how similar trail systems, such as The High Line in New York, the BeltLine in Atlanta, and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, have helped add to the urban fabric of those cities with new greenspace, jobs, and development. Those on the Greenline Advisory Committee think the Greenline has the potential to do the same for Kansas City. So much so that it was included as a Catalytic Project when the Downtown Council released our Imagine Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan two years ago.

Southwest Corner and Western Leg of the Greenline Loop

One of those attractions is the Rock Island Bridge. This project, exciting in its own right, will anchor the southwest corner of the Greenline loop. When America’s first entertainment district on a bridge opens in 2024, it will serve as the key trailhead on the western leg that will connect two states and two cities. Immediately north of the bridge, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS is building a trail on top of the Kansas River levee system to the Union Pacific Bridge. Ultimately, that trail will continue north in a future phase and extend all the way to connect with the Riverfront Heritage Trail that runs under Interstate 70 completing the western portion of the Greenline loop.

Eastern Leg of the Greenline Loop

Not to be outdone by their counterparts on the Kansas side, officials with the City of Kansas City, MO are working to design and build the eastern leg of the loop which will run parallel to The Paseo. As part of the Paseo Gateway project, the city and KC Parks will include a trail along Paseo from Admiral Boulevard to the south and connecting with the Cliff Drive Connector on the north as it exits Cliff Drive Byway in Kessler Park. This Northeast corner of the Greenline will also benefit from the current study underway by Port KC that is exploring a safer passage for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the train tracks over Lydia Ave.  

This is an important connecting point not only for the Greenline to help users get to Berkley Riverfront Park, but also to everyone moving between Columbus Park and the riverfront, which will continue to be in greater demand with additional development planned including the KC Current’s stadium set to open in Spring 2024. 

In order to get to Lydia Ave. from the Cliff Drive Connector, city officials are working with the Housing Authority of Kansas City to build a trail between Dora Street (where the Cliff Drive Connector exits under Interstate 29/35) and NE Industrial Trafficway. The city will also soon contract to have a trail designed along The Paseo that will run from Admiral to 18th Street and connect to the new pedestrian plaza that will welcome visitors to the 18th & Vine District in time for the World Cup in 2026.

Northern Portions of the Greenline Loop

In addition to the activity happening with the western and eastern legs, conversations continue with stakeholders along the southern and northern portions of the Greenline. For example, with half of the northern leg already having trail access with the Riverfront Heritage Trail, discussions are ongoing as to how the trail could continue west of the Town of Kansas Bridge all the way to Liberty Street in the West Bottoms where it could then connect back up with the trail under I-70.  The southern leg will highlight iconic landmarks such as Union Station while also incorporating exciting new developments such as Pennway Point with KC Wheel, a 150- foot-tall ferris wheel.

So many exciting things are happening in and around greater Downtown KC

Greenline KC will be the tread that connects them for pedestrians and cyclists. The Greenline will be more than just a trail, but we need your help to make it a reality.

Supporters of the Greenline welcome conversations with potential corporate and philanthropic funders. We welcome additional attendees to future Greenline Advisory Committee meetings. Finally, we welcome future community outreach with the residents and neighborhoods along the trail to discuss ideas for amenities, art, programming, and sharing the character of those areas. The future is bright and only looks to get better for Downtown KC!