I love this burg.
I grew up in Overland Park. Went to Shawnee Mission West High School. Then on to the University of Kansas. After that it was on to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 15 years. It’s a great town. Then I spent 3 years in Tulsa. Another real nice city.
But Kansas City is my favorite of the three. Just because I grew up here? Well, maybe. But this morning I was up in Gladstone showing a home. This afternoon I was in Olathe. In the DC area if I were to drive the 30 miles between the two I would most likely have to leave at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half. (It used to take me 1.5 hours to drive the 13 miles to my office during rush hour. 2 hours to make the drive home.) As I show homes around Kansas City I see that the planners have left plenty of room for parks and wide streets. Neighborhood schools abound.
Kansas City has enough urban to keep me satisfied and enough suburbs to keep the family man in me happy. Our economy is never as good as San Francisco or Washington, DC or even Boston. But we also do not have the crashes they have, the traffic congestion they have or crime they have. Tulsa was great but didn’t have the size to offer the sports and entertainment that people enjoy like Wizards soccer, Royals baseball and, need I say it, Chiefs football.
Housing is plentiful here. Because land is cheap. If I could change one thing about the Kansas City area it would be better land usage planning. Because land is so plentiful and inexpensive (comparably speaking) it is easier and cheaper to build new than to refurbish and revitalize the inner core. I’m afraid we may be cheating our future generations out of our natural habitat. They may have to drive many hours to see a rural scene. A real one, at least. Not a neighborhood of 5-10 acre estates.
I realize a lot goes into this. So many city governments here. It is hard to get one city to do something for the good let alone a whole metro area’s worth. And I’m not trying to sound like Al Gore and say we should count trees and put that towards the GNP. I’m just saying I would like to see better use of our region’s assets. Before it’s too late.