City of Shawnee

Johnson Drive Pilot Project

In both the Imagine Shawnee Strategic Plan, adopted by the Governing Body in March 2020, and the Achieve Shawnee Comprehensive Plan (currently ongoing), the community expressed support for Downtown Shawnee and the need to continue to improve pedestrian access and safety. Additional discussions and concerns have been raised specifically related to traffic speeds and pedestrian crossings on Johnson Drive.

The City has also heard from many people that there is a demand for more readily available public parking downtown. The City continues to pursue enhancements to downtown that provide ways to support our established vision and goals for a diverse, economically sustainable, unique, pedestrian-oriented, connected, and identifiable district where people and businesses thrive.

Based on the noted concerns and the City’s continued commitment to invest in Downtown Shawnee, the City tested a pilot project concept for traffic calming on Johnson Drive beginning in November 2021. The pilot project included modifying signing and striping of Johnson Drive between Flint Street and Goddard Street from 4-lanes/5-lanes to 3-lanes, with one through lane in each direction and a dedicated center turn lane. The reduction of lanes allowed on-street parallel parking spaces to be added and modified some existing on-street parallel spaces to angled parking.  There were no changes to driveways or sidewalks, and curb lines did not have to change with the exception of added striped curb extensions at intersections.

Johnson Drive

Anticipated and Actual Project Results:
  • Reduced speeds through downtown Shawnee on Johnson Drive. Studies have shown that for every one-foot reduction of drive lane width, the traffic speed drops three miles per hour.
    • 85th Percentile speeds were reduced from 39 mph to 35 mph
  • Increase total on-street parking count from 81 to 107
    • Final parking count increased to 100 on-street parking spaces
  • Increase walkability, vehicle and pedestrian safety and comfort within downtown
    • Crash rate decreased from 1.875 crashes per month to 1.75 crashes per month
    • Mixed feedback from businesses and users
  • Enhance business vitality
    • No reduction in Average Daily Trip counts on Johnson Drive
    • Addition of on-street parking spaces
    • Mixed feedback from businesses
  • Emphasize downtown as a destination location instead of a pass-through route.
    • No reduction in Average Daily Trip counts on Johnson Drive
    • Increased visibility based on reduced vehicle speeds

Staff presented the project metrics and community feedback to the Governing Body on March 28, 2022 to consider the final lane configuration for Johnson Drive in downtown. The Council Committee voted to revert to the former 4-lane configuration. Johnson Drive will go back to four lanes as part of the annual Mill and Overlay Program. This is anticipated to occur once school is out for the summer, pending schedules. 

If you have questions or thoughts on the project, please send us an email at john[email protected].