OP takes creative approach to fixing up sidewalks - KCTV5

OP takes creative approach to fixing up sidewalks

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Overland Park is taking a unique and creative approach in fixing up one part of town.

People will soon notice the changes along 91st Street between Antioch Road and U.S. Highway 69.

It's a unique idea that's gaining traction. Supporters said it will improve the aesthetics of the neighborhood and help promote education at the same time.

The streets along 91st Street are 60 years old in some places. City leaders are addressing the issue with improvements and a sidewalk widening project with work already under way.

Now, one community leader is urging city leaders to think outside the box, hoping to add character to the area.

Michelle Niedens is the chairperson for the Library District and wants the city to inscribe quotes from children's books along the sidewalks.

"Children might read the quotes, find themselves interested and find that book. If they are walking with parents it may give dialogue about books between parents and children," she said.

Children flood the area, with several schools and a major library within walking distance. Niedens sees it as an opportunity to encourage reading and set her neighborhood apart.

"This is the Library District, we celebrate the written word. We want that to be a theme throughout the neighborhood," she said.

City leaders, including Councilman Paul Lyons, are already embracing the idea, saying it's exactly the type of community input and involvement Overland Park needs.

"My experience since I've been on the council is, the more engaged the neighborhood leaders, are the better we make the city. All of those things really bring the neighborhoods together and make this a better community for us," Lyons said.

The idea still needs final approval but, if city leaders do sign on, major work should begin this spring.

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