Traffic Improvements a Gift for Holiday Shoppers

HolidaysRoad TransportationTransportationTravelHealthJohn Powell

Traffic is flowing a bit smoother near the busy shopping area near Independence Center in eastern Independence thanks to the completion of a new roadway project, and holiday shoppers say that the timing of the Jackson Drive project couldn't have been better.

Even though the official start of the holiday shopping season is still a week away, Linda Chicks and thousands of others are getting a jump this weekend in Independence.

"We're just having fun, kinda getting a few things for the holiday," said Chicks.

But along with the shoppers comes the holiday traffic. The Independence Public Works Department says more than 4,000 to 5,000 cars will use the newly-renovated Jackson Drive with the numbers increasing daily.

"Any change is good," said shopper Stacy Thomas. "I mean it has to help."

Before the renovation, many drivers traveling through the Independence Center area had their complaints.

"That it was narrow, and that it would back up on weekends and on the holiday seasons," said John Powell of the Public Works Department. Now the road way which travels north and south is four lanes instead of two. It also has more traffic lights and sidewalk space.

"It provides good access for residents to get to the hospital and the commercial district and connection onto Interstate 70," said Powell.

Independence resident Bob Webb just bought his home right off Jackson Drive near Holke Road. He says it also makes a great alternative to using Highway 291. He says that although that makes Jackson Drive busier, it's also taking traffic off the highways.

"I think it really takes it off of 291, especially for some of the ambulance traffic that we've seen," said Webb. "I think they've been taking this route, missing 291 to get to the hospital, and it's getting busier all the time, but it's really been a great help."

Shopper Linda Chicks agrees.

"I think anytime that you can open traffic and make it safer and more accessible the better off we are," said Chicks.

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