Ward Parkway named 1 of America's 'Great Streets' - KCTV5 News

Ward Parkway named 1 of America's 'Great Streets'

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If anyone enjoys their walk, run or drive along Ward Parkway, they have a good reason after it was named one of the 10 greatest streets in the country.

The American Planning Association, a nonprofit organization, made the announcement Wednesday.

The organization judges streets by highlighting the role planning can play in adding jobs and improving economic growth in a community. They also noted Ward Parkway's scenery that was designed by George Kessler.

The parkway was designed to move traffic but also keep a "city within a park feel."

Ward Parkway begins its 12-mile stretch at the Country Club Plaza, which is the nation's first auto-oriented regional shopping center. 

The Plaza opened in 1922 and features more than $1 million in public art. Its iconic J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, along with several others, contributes to Kansas City's reputation as the city of fountains.

"[We are] extremely satisfied we are recognized in this way. This provides a sort of outside confirmation of what we also knew about this particular boulevard," Director of Kansas City Parks and Recreation Steve Lampone said.

Ward Parkway is in good company in this top-10 list. Other cities include Fifth Avenue and Wall Street in New York City.

The parkway is maintained thanks to benefactors and a 1-cent capital improvement sales tax.

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