Hilltop Drive Sidewalk and American’s with Disabilities Act Improvements
The Hilltop Drive Sidewalk and American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvements project was focused on meeting ADA compliance. To meet this goal, the Affinis design team ran sidewalks along Hilltop, connecting the local neighborhoods to the library and commercial districts. The grade varies greatly along this stretch of roadway. It is very steep in many places, which made it challenging to meet the requirements amid the area’s many slopes and embankments. In some areas along Shawnee Mission Parkway (SMP), this was not achievable, and we used the exceptions to follow the slope of the road. In other areas, we moved the sidewalk closer to the road to maintain the cross slope to minimize the need for retaining walls.
Pedestrian crossings were another important component of the design. Reducing costs was top of mind, as we developed our solutions. To maximize the budget, we added pedestrian signals to existing signal poles.
Within the project site, Hilltop Road crosses a busy section of SMP, making it difficult for pedestrians to cross. To boost safety, we took advantage of the median to provide a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the SMP crossing. This allowed people to cross half of the road and then, have a place to wait before making the full journey. While there, they can use a push button to activate the signal.
While improved safety was the primary objective, this project helps to move Shawnee forward by supporting local businesses and providing better access to amenities for local neighborhoods.