Newsletter - Summer 2021

• LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The council issued a Proclamation declaring June,2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month during our June 1st meeting. The Proclamation urges residents to recognize the contributions made by members of the LGBTQ+ community and to actively promote the principles of equality, liberty and justice. The full Proclamation can be seen on the city’s website.

• Large Trash/ “Big Trash” Pickup. Our annual pickup for large items is scheduled for Saturday, August 14th. Items must be at curbside by 7 A.M. Construction materials and hazardous waste materials are not eligible to be picked up.

• 2021 Paper Shredding & E-Cycle Event. This will be held on Saturday, September 25th from 9 A.M. to noon at the KU Medical Center parking lot at Rainbow and SMPW.

Island plantings. A special thanks to Tara Light for working with Michael Ludwig to refresh our Spring plantings. 

• City Website. We have contracted with GovOffice to upgrade our website with a focus on improving the ease of use by our residents, increasing the content on our website and make it more mobile-friendly. The contract was signed in May and work will begin in the near future. Lauren Aleshire and Chris Brent are leading the project.

• Connected Community Sidewalk Project. We have received support for the project from all the property owners along the proposed route north of SMPW from Rainbow to State Line and north of State Line to 50th Terrace. The next step will be to apply to various organizations for funding in the 1st quarter of 2022. We should have a good idea of the funds available to us midyear 2022. The new sidewalks would promote walkability, increase safety and improve sustainability in our city.

• The Intersection of Mission Woods Terrace and SMPW. The city’s stone wall was hit again last month by a car traveling south on Rainbow and failed to stop or turn at SMPW. This has been a reoccurring problem and presents a safety hazard for our residents living on that corner. There has also been an ongoing concern for the safety of pedestrians crossing SMPW at that intersection. As a result, the council supported contacting Continental Consulting Engineers to determine what improvements/changes can be made to the intersection to address both of these concerns. Selina Bur and I had an initial meeting with Continental Consulting on June 4th. We will keep everyone informed of our discussions as we move forward with this project.

• New City Street Lights. In March, Evergy replaced our city streetlights (with the exception of one island and the lights on SMPW) with a newly designed fixture that had been approved by the council in 2019 after input from residents. A model of the new light was installed on Mission Woods Rd in 2019 and residents were asked their opinion of the new fixture. A majority of our residents voted in favor of the new lights. After the lights were installed, I received several complaints of the 360 degree light pattern they give off and they are simply too bright. I believe the residents that supported the new fixtures made their decision based on how the fixture looked and did not observe the
360 degree light pattern given off and impact the lights have on yards and the interior of houses. I contacted Evergy and the lights used do not have field adjustable output and there is no way to “dial down” the lumen level. Evergy’s solution is to install 180 degree shields that they state will cut down on almost all the backlight. We have asked that shields be installed on three lights that have been most disruptive to residents. Once the shields are installed, we will make an evaluation of their effectiveness and if the light pattern is acceptable. This project has shown there is an inconsistency in the placement and number of streetlights in our city. For example, Mission Woods Terrace has only
one streetlight. Once we get a light that is acceptable, it is the opinion of the council to hire a lighting consultant to review the number and placement of streetlights in our city.

• Mission Woods Comprehensive Plan. A Community Comprehensive Plan is a guide for private and public development decisions within a city. Our plan was developed in 2005 and 2006 and approved by the council in 2007. The plan is 15 years old and the council feels it is time for it to be reviewed for changes that would more accurately reflect the current status of our city. More news on this in the months ahead.

• City Council meetings. Our meetings will start again in person July 6. We have been meeting virtually on Zoom since April,2020. The council meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7 P.M. in the Community Meeting room at Westwood City Hall.


Mayor Darrell Franklin