KC Light Rail

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KCDC: ‘It’s not a plan’

KCDC's Daniel Serda presented the urban design competition results today to the City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure committee weekly session. Serda reiterated that his organization's interest in the light rail issue is not to propose a new plan, but to open the discussion on the impact light rail would have on Kansas City's urban fabric. We presume KC is an unwieldy bolt of gently worn burlap looking for a hot wash and lengthy tumble dry.

Serda reviewed the top two proposals — by BNIM and Gastinger Walker Harden — but ended his presentation by encouraging the committee to lead the way and to view light rail as more than just a transportation system, but a way to transform the urban core.

For the record, the RTA's Kite Singleton — a major proponent of connectivity to Union Station and present at today's session — endorses the BNIM concept of extending Union Station to Grand to connect with a proposed alignment there. Since the extension would run along the terminal tracks and below street level, it could easily serve as a future commuter rail platform for service to Johnson County.

As reminder, all committee meetings are carried live on KCCG Channel 2, available on city cable systems and online. The Transportation and Infrastructure meetings are held at noon on Wednesdays. The public is also welcome to attend in person.

Meanwhile, MARC and KCATA stay busy allocating funds for ridership forecasts and Mayor Funkhouser ruffles feathers as he restates his intent to cast the wide net of regional funding.

11 Comments so far

  1. thepaintman May 30th, 2007 9:06 pm

    Gastinger Walker Harden design on the Market Place is a dumb idea. This is where eminent domain will be playing the part of “out with the old and in with the new.” If the city does one area with eminent domain what makes you think it won’t stop there. It’ll continue what you or the yuppies know-it-all on kcskyscrapers think what areas are considered blight for re-development.
    For BNIM, I don’t think Harlem will ever become a reality. Kansas City will run out of money by the time construction approaches that area. We’ll have to vote on yet another tax.
    I can’t wait for the figures on cost for the lightrail project and where the park and ride hubs will be placed.
    This is so exciting.

  2. Joe Medley May 31st, 2007 5:44 pm

    I think you missed the point, thepaintman. One of the premises behind the design competition and the BNIM proposal in particular was to make the light rail pay for itself through economic development along its route. As the BNIM proposal points out a Main-Grand route has more economic potential than a Broadway alighnment.

    Now eminent domain is a different issue. If you want to talk about how to curb the abuse of that, I’m right with you.

  3. thepaintman May 31st, 2007 10:28 pm

    I not missing the point Joe. When the city had their plan down Main Street. Their park and ride hubs consist of economic development in that area. Take for instance 39 and Main. The city was going to place a park and ride hub there and then the city had several circles surrounding the hub for economic development. So I do know what I’m talking about.

    If you live near lightrail , property taxes will be higher. Now why would I want that?

    On Main, between 39 and linwood there is a Pawn Shop, adult video store, several check cashing places, 2 laundro mats, 2 car washes, several run down apartment buildings. I smelling eminent domain.

    Hey Joe , when the ATA and the city was talking about bringing MAX down Main Street they had meetings where they were telling us the MAX buses were going to be fuel efficient and smaller in size than a city bus.
    To me they look like a city bus with MAX written on them. Can you tell the difference?

  4. mainstream June 1st, 2007 5:22 am

    Is the MARC-commissioned study meant to serve as our feasibility analysis which is required for Federal funding, or will the feasibility analysis be conducted in addition to this study?

  5. Dave June 1st, 2007 7:48 am

    The MARC/KCATA study will determine ridership forecasts and is a required part of the FTA’s New Starts funding program.

  6. thepaintman June 1st, 2007 10:45 pm

    I’m shocked . No come back from Joe

  7. thepaintman June 1st, 2007 10:46 pm

    Hey Dave are they going to use the forecast of ridership from the city buses and MAX ? Or is there another way of doing it?

  8. Dave June 2nd, 2007 10:18 am

    i assume since they’re paying *more* money for a consultant that this will be an entirely new ridership study. i would make sense, however, to use the MAX counts in their analysis.

  9. northlander June 23rd, 2007 5:03 pm

    Seems to me we should fined out how full the buses[or empty]are to use the system better.Looks like a lot of buses have 4-10 people most of the time, up north 3-5 people on a large bus.

  10. Bill Roush July 3rd, 2007 9:57 am

    Would something like this meet the need and fit into the plans?
    Personal rapid transit is landing at Heathrow next year. If it flies, cities will never be the same.
    By Chris Morrison, Business 2.0 Magazine
    June 19 2007: 4:42 PM EDT

    (Business 2.0 Magazine) — Tomorrow’s public transit could look very different from today’s if Martin Lowson’s $20 million project at Heathrow Airport in London is a hit. Starting in 2008, Lowson’s company, Advanced Transport Systems, will be whisking passengers between Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 and a parking lot a mile away in tiny driverless vehicles that run on an elevated concrete track.

    Unlike buses or trains, Lowson’s “pods” are private — about the size of a taxi, fitting as many as four adults — and arrive on demand, within five minutes after passengers press a call button.

  11. Bill Blix July 19th, 2007 9:09 pm

    I think the thepaintman is a coward and a thief.

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