Kansas City's sprawl is so unmanageable it spans two states: Missouri and Kansas. Despite a vibrant downtown that features a heavy heaping of arts and culture to go along with all of the barbeque options, the people of this city have been moving farther and farther away from the center of town over the years. While the city's population grew by 29 percent over two decades from 1970 to 1990, its land consumption grew by a whopping 110 percent during the same period [source: River Network].
Of course, all those people spread across all that land need a way to get around. K.C. is now home to the most freeway lane miles per capita among metro areas with more than 1 million residents, boasting about 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) of road for every thousand residents [source: Urbanophile]. It appears that city officials intend to hold on to this distinction. The $600 million Johnson County Gateway project will expand a number of major interstates and the flyover sections where they come together in an effort to accommodate more commuters coming into the city from farther away. Not everyone is a fan of the massive undertaking: The Kansas City Star recently dubbed it "the project from hell, supposedly paved with good intentions" [source: Abouhalkah].