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October 28, 2007

Comments

Andrew

If the east-west route was 39th street, I would sell my car as well. One can only hope.

Brent

Andrew,

While 39th street makes some initial sense because the 39 is one of the more popular bus routes in the city, the reality is that 39th street is generally quite narrow and would create some significant problems with accommodating rail along with vehicle traffic. My personal preference would be Armour to accommodate the huge number of apartments (many that are designated Section 8 and have residents that don't have vehicles)along that stretch of road -- however, Armour becomes 35th street east of The Paseo and becomes a very narrow street at that point. Linwood seems to be the best East/West route due to width of street between Independence Ave and Cleaver III. Linwood also has some pretty major needs from a redevelopment standpoint that I think rail could really help.

garrett

I definitely like the photo for sure, right next to our bulding!

Please pardon my ignorance but I only from time to time reach out to see what the progress is with the light rail. How close is this to actually happening, really?

Brent

Garrett, it's a bit of a mess. We have an "approved" rail proposal that everyone passed last November. It's not workable, and that vote will have to be repealed (either by the voters or city council). There is a committee assigned by the mayor that is putting together an alternative option -- that is quite similar to the Star's plan (in fact, almost all of the Star's ideas are based on their reporters sitting in the committee meetings and taking credit for the ideas that came out of it). The final proposal will be done soon and likely go onto a ballot for voter approval sometime in 2008 (they're pushing for November, but my gut tells me that citizens will demand it come up before then). Then it'll be about 3 years or so before it's built. So you're looking at being able to grab the line somewhere off the Plaza and getting dumped off at curbside of the office...which wouldn't be too shabby.

garrett

Cool, thanks for the brief! I should be more responsible and know this stuff but I tune out a lot of times when I hear its years away. Its sad they cant get this moving any faster. I realize these things take time and it needs to be done right. However, there seems to be a large disconnect from the citizens who are ready for this now, and the representatives who dont appear to have any sense of urgency behind this. You know this but this would not only help current residents but also attract people to KC who only think of KC as a hillbilly town.

Michelled

If you read over at www.TheKansasCityPost.com it looks like the Star came up with a plan in such a short time because they stole it from the Light Rail task force! I do wish they'd put as much research into the rest of the news they "report".

Poncho

The city is making progress. The light rail citizen's task force is close to making recommendations. I attended the light rail public meeting Monday night and was quite informed by the event. I know the meeting was the night after this piece was posted but the informed author certainly knew the meeting was occurring.

The reason The Star can create a plan in "1/10" the time as the City is b/c The Star is not accountable to anyone. No community buy-in is necessary, there are no Federal rules to follow to be eligible for funding, and as you said their plan is vanilla. Can you imagine the uproar in Hyde Park if the City quickly slammed a plan down the throat of the public without any process or public input?!? This blog would be on fire with outrage and indignation. Beth's and Jan's phones would be lit up and heads would roll.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

paul

If the 'Rail' does not go
south near the triangle, why should South K.C. people pay anything for it?

Brent

Paul, I don't know the best way to answer this...at the end of the day, people down South are going to have to determine whether it reaching them is a bigger determining benefit, or whether the indirect benefits of the rail line are big enough to support it. We have to start this thing somewhere, and realistically, it needs to start in the central business district area, and connect with the places that future rail lines will tie into. This means the approximate route they're looking into. It isn't probably very realistic in the short term for us to run a line from Grandview all the way up to the airport. It'd be great, but probably not terribly realistic. However, getting a good start on a line, that can eventually be tapped into from througout the metro will be very, very good for the city. Every one of us pays taxes for things that we receive no direct benefit for. I don't have children, but I pay for schools like the rest of tax payers. And I should, because having schools provides a benefit to everyone in the city, whether they directly use them or not. If rail can make the city as a whole more vibrant and increase density and tax revenue that comes with that density, then we all benefit...whether or not we ever set foot on the train. At the end of the day, the people in the Southland are probably looking at whether or not they perceive the indirect benefit and potential future benefit to be worth the cost. I would still vote yes...but that's just me.

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