Downtown Merriam Project

a street view of downtown merriam with buildings on the left and right.


As follow-up to the work completed as part of the Comprehensive Plan 2040 and by the 5701 Committee, the City partnered with Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) in 2021 on a Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) grant to study bike, pedestrian, and vehicle travel on Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive through east city limits. The key objectives of the grant are:

  1. Equitably engage property owners and neighbors in meaningful and descriptive conversation about the future uses for Downtown Merriam.
  2. Conceptualize a multi-modal complete streets plan for Merriam Drive and its integration into adjacent multi-modal transportation networks.
  3. Develop an implementation strategy to create a robust multi-modal Merriam Drive.
  4. Identify and develop complimentary green infrastructure projects along the corridor that supports stormwater management and stormwater quality, place-making, urban heat island reduction, and buffers for multi-modal connectivity.
  5. Create a framework that best positions Downtown Merriam and surrounding neighborhoods to become a thriving and desirable place to live and conduct business.

This study started in early spring 2021. After feedback from residents, business owners, and community leaders, concept plans for a new street design include:

  • Changing the road from the current two, three, and four lanes to two and three lanes throughout.
  • Diagonal parking spaces in front of the Merriam Farmers' Market.
  • A shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Raised crosswalks with removable bollards for special events held downtown.
  • A new Merriam Marketplace entrance.
  • A gateway monument into downtown Merriam.
  • New LED streetlights.

Merriam City Councilmembers viewed the final design in April (watch recording on YouTube). The final draft for the plan is near completion and construction is scheduled to start in 2023.

View the Downtown Merriam Drive Plan(PDF, 27MB)

The City held a public meeting in December 2022 where design professionals provided a project overview of street improvements planned on Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive to 55th St. 

View Downtown Merriam Conceptual Video.

View the Entrance to Downtown Merriam Conceptual Video.

View Downtown Merriam Marketplace Conceptual Video.

View the Downtown Merriam PowerPoint Presentation(PDF, 18MB) (12/14/2022)

View the Downtown Merriam Drive Updated Renderings(PDF, 9MB) (4/20/2023)

Merriam Connected Corridor Plan

Merriam is also involved in a second MARC PSP grant in partnership with Overland Park, Mission, and Kansas City, Kansas. It's called the Merriam Connected Corridor Plan and focuses on transportation and street design from 51st St. to Southwest Boulevard. It also includes a study of the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail. Overland Park is taking the lead on this project. 

View the Merriam Connected Corridor Plan(PDF, 45MB)


Partnership with MARC and Overland Park

The Community Development is working with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) for two Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) projects. The PSP efforts work to advance detailed local planning and project development activities that further the creation of vibrant places that offer a mix of options for housing, jobs, services, and recreation; connected places with a variety of transportation options; and green places that support healthy living and a healthy natural environment.

The City of Overland Park is leading the first PSP program and is focused on the Merriam Drive corridor. The purpose of this corridor plan is to analyze the relationship between land use and transportation along Merriam Drive and make recommendations regarding appropriate land uses, internal mobility enhancements, and multi-modal opportunities along the corridor. The study is an opportunity to develop a cohesive development strategy for this historical corridor and connect the gateways of two communities (Downtown Merriam and Rosedale) via two other jurisdictions (Overland Park and Mission). The project will reach out and engage corridor residents, business and property owners, users, and neighboring jurisdiction in the planning process. 

The second PSP project will start mid-April and will is focused on Downtown Merriam Drive. This study will provide a detailed analysis of downtown Merriam’s redevelopment potential, building design, land uses, economic development potential, and transportation network.  The project will use the analysis to create recommendations for land uses, redevelopment, and most importantly, Merriam Drive street design.  The street design recommendations will utilize a “complete street” approach to provide for multi-modal travel on and along Merriam Drive. The project will reach out and engage corridor residents, business and property owners, users, and neighboring jurisdictions in the planning process.