12th Street Reconstruction – Gage Blvd. to Kansas Ave.

A map of the roadway to be repaired.

12th Street – S Kansas Ave. to Gage Blvd. Reconstruction Project Open House is Scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Topeka/Shawnee County Public Library, SW 10th and SW Washburn

  • Watch a conceptual fly-through of what 12th St. will look like when finished
  • Review design plans with the design team
  • See exhibits about Complete Streets and the History of 12th St.
  • No formal presentation. Come and go as you please.

Project Background

The City of Topeka is currently in the design phase of reconstruction of 12th Street between Gage Boulevard and Kansas Avenue. 12th Street is an important roadway for public transit, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. This project is the first that the city will undertake using the Complete Streets Design Guidelines which aim to consider the needs of all users of the transportation system.

This project will:

  • Fully reconstruct and “right-size” the roadway to fit the neighborhood
  • Upgrade curb and gutter
  • Relocate utilities as needed
  • Improve transit and pedestrian accessibility and safety
  • Improve intersections where possible
  • Provide a bike facility along the corridor

Traffic Count Projections

The following two maps are based on a regional transportation models for what the traffic counts are projected to be in 2040. The focus is 12th Street and Huntoon Street from S Kansas to SW Gage.

The first map shows projected traffic counts for two through lanes, which is the same as today. The second map projects the traffic counts for one through lane, which is what the plans are right now for 12th Street. The one-lane model may show slightly lower traffic volumes on 12th Street. Some of those trips are diverted to other east/west streets.

SW 12th Street and Huntoon St. – S. Kansas to SW Gage – 1 lane scenario
SW 12th Street and Huntoon St. – S. Kansas to SW Gage – 2 lane scenario

Besides the traffic counts, the level of service is designated by colors. The colors range from highest service level to lowest service level are green, then yellow, then orange, then red. The level of service means there may be a bit longer delays. However, while red is the lowest level of service, it is still in an acceptable range in terms of a volume (number of vehicles) to capacity ratio (the number of vehicles the street can carry). In other words, the delays may be longer but still in an acceptable range.

Notice on the one through lane map the level of services moves from green to yellow in the stretch between S. Kansas to SW Washburn. Also note the level of service moves up one category from orange to yellow from MacVicar to High.

If you have any questions, please email David Bevens.

Project Progress & Presentations

The City is working with Bartlett & West, a Topeka-based engineering design firm, to develop the design alternatives for the 12th Street Corridor, analyze the existing and future traffic conditions, and to coordinate the relocation of utilities and construction of the project.

The City of Topeka and the design team have held several public meetings. Kicking it off in March, a large public meeting was held to take input from those in attendance. Soon after, a questionnaire was published online, asking readers to weigh in on what was most important to them. Safety was mentioned in two of the top five priorities. Pedestrian and bike facilities were also in the top five priorities.

The team has held individual meetings with the Tennessee Town, Elmhurst, College Hill, and Westboro neighborhoods; businesses along the corridor; and other groups wanting more information about the project to collect additional public input. To schedule a presentation, contact David at (785) 368-1642.

Out of those meetings came several constructive questions and comments. All of the suggestions have been considered, and many have been incorporated into the current design. Those that were unable to be implemented have been addressed in the project’s FAQ section.

Public contributions include:

  • Adding slightly raised and wider crossing zones to and from the employee parking area at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield building to improve pedestrian safety
  • Constructing a 6 foot wide sidewalk on both sides of the road between Washburn and Gage. The initial concept called for a 10 foot wide sidewalk on the north side of 12th St. and a 5 foot wide sidewalk on the south side. However, narrow right-of-way the close proximity of homes to the road, and driveways that connect directly to 12th St. in that section limited the ability to safely include those elements. Six foot wide sidewalks allow for greater flexibility to negotiate those obstacles and will ultimately be less intrusive to adjacent homes.
  • Straightened out the curve at Boswell by shifting the through lane from the north side of the street east of Boswell to the south side of the street south of the intersection to improve intersection sight distance and flow
  • Added turning lanes at Gage, Oakley, MacVicar, Lane, Washburn and Topeka
  • Continued reviewing of traffic counts and other traffic data

Next Steps

Most major decisions and design elements will be determined by mid to late November. Once the plan is complete, it will be shared during a second citywide public meeting.

Check out our Frequently Ask Questions section. If that doesn’t answer your questions or you would like to provide more input, please fill out a comment form.

Existing & Proposed Typical Sections

The proposed design concept includes one through-lane and one lane for parking, bus loading and deliveries. In addition, a shared use path separated from the roadway by a green buffer will be provided for use by pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, bicyclists and other users.

Existing Road Configuration

Diagram of existing street conditions

Proposed One Through Lane Road Design

Diagram of proposed street conditions

Anticipated Project Schedule

View the anticipated project schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

View the frequently asked questions.

We Want to Hear from You!

It is important that we hear from you, the people who live along this corridor and those who drive, walk, bike, and take transit along this road regularly. Join us at a public meeting to learn more about the project and to provide feedback on the design alternatives. We will have city staff and consultants available to share project information and design ideas, answer your questions, and learn more about community priorities.