Light at the End of the Tunnel

lights in a long tunnel
Jersey Creek Tunnel Renovation, Photo Credit: Healthy Community Corridor

By David Richards

After the sun goes down, Jersey Creek Park in northeast Kansas City, Kansas, becomes quiet and sparse. The families and children retreat to their homes out of fear of injury and crime, noting the park’s broken sidewalks and lack of proper lighting as the source of their concerns.

This perception, however, is beginning to change since the Healthy Community Corridor project, led by the UG Parks and Recreation Department, started taking steps to change their built environment. Using established principles such as crime prevention through environmental design and innovative architectural design techniques, Jersey Creek Park is more inviting than ever.

One of the greatest achievements has been their Jersey Creek tunnel renovation project, which had to overcome many hurdles along the way. The ultimate goal was to wire lights throughout the tunnel, but because the tunnel is operated under different jurisdictions, it involved multiple stakeholders. Through the diligence of the Healthy Community Corridor team, the necessary permits and construction were completed.

Now, residents are encouraged to access the parks to reach their destinations, no matter the time of day. The Kansas City Star wrote about the community efforts to transform Jersey Creek Park.

Listen to the accompanying Healthy Communities podcast clip Episode 11: Healthy Community Corridor with Broderick Crawford, Executive Director of the NBC Community Development Corporation and Angel Obert, Recreation Manager for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Parks & Recreation.