Metcalf Avenue is the street that is most clearly associated with Overland Park. It runs almost the entire length of the city and extends northward as Interstate 635 merges into Kansas City, Kansas, and southward as a major arterial into the unincorporated portions of Johnson County.
Creating a new vision for Metcalf allows the city to better define and reinforce a coherent image for the corridor, one that will differentiate it from other thoroughfares and reinforce its identity as the primary north/south artery through the community.
The Metcalf corridor includes the original "downtown" area that was built in the 1930s and 40s, an enclosed mall that was built in the late 60s, and an assortment of strip retail development, including some relatively recent redevelopment efforts. There also are several large office projects. In addition, the quality of adjacent development varies from well preserved areas to those that are showing the initial signs of physical decline.
The character of Metcalf Avenue roadway varies from the older, northern portion of the city to the newer, southern portion. In the northern part of the city, Metcalf has a narrower right-of-way, more frequent curb cuts, and fewer turn lanes. Further south, the right-of-way width is wide enough to allow more lanes and turning movements are more tightly controlled.
Vision Metcalf reinforces the city's efforts to strengthen its residential neighborhoods. Since 1990, the City of Overland Park has partnered with residents to maintain a strong character and quality of life in its neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Conservation Program is designed to help neighborhoods work collaboratively to build a sense of community in the city.