KC Light Rail

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On Tour with Clay

City and KCATA leaders took a ride with Clay Chastain yesterday along the official proposed light rail route that voters approved last fall. There's a lot of nay-saying, as you might imagine, but what is most troublesome is that we will have all of these issues regardless of where the route goes after it leaves the area between the Plaza and the Missouri River.

Just think about the last time you were able to make a straight shot all the way through town. Brookside? Nope, gotta wiggle down Brookside Boulevard, risk homeowner revolt by using the Trolley Trail, or shuffle over to Wornall or Oak. North of the River? There isn't one river crossing that will accommodate light rail today. The east side? Well, okay… the 2001 plan had a partial line that went down Troost, although Troost is covered in the new plan between UMKC and 63rd Street.

Regardless, the irony here is that the hems and haws over these details will be downplayed when the KCATA pitches their own revised plans beyond the River-Crown-Plaza corridor that will experience all of these issues and more.

4 Comments so far

  1. Brent July 19th, 2007 10:31 am

    My biggest complaint with the Chastain plan isn’t what happens after it passes the plaza, but before it gets there…I’m no fan of the Broadway line and think Main/Grand would be far superior. While I think continuing through Brookside on the trolly track would be ideal, it doesn’t make sense at this point to plow under one of the best used inner-city trails. Seems like going from the Plaza, down Cleaver III to Troost and then South would be the best option at this point…

  2. Dave July 19th, 2007 11:54 am

    i think we all agree that there is consensus on using main or main/grand, but anyone who voted for the plan as it was written — such as myself — has to live with the *remote* possibility that broadway might be used. if you voted no because you disagreed with the details, that’s great.

    of course, many have forgotten that the 1990s proposal that cleaver called “touristy frou-frou” went down both broadway AND grand (see “A Splended Ride”, p. 196).

    i can’t find the reference, but i’m sure the KCATA spent $2 million to acquire the trolley trail ROW (plus a couple million in annual maintenance) for a future transit use, not solely as a walking trail for brooksiders.

  3. northlander July 20th, 2007 7:19 pm

    The big boys on broadway won’t let the light rail on their street, it will go to court before that happens.
    Has anyone figured out how many Light rail cars will be needed and electric buses and the cost for each?

  4. Dave July 21st, 2007 5:43 pm

    without knowing the route length, it would be impossible to determine how many light rail vehicles would be needed. it’s unlikely the electric shuttles will be in the revised light rail plan presented to voters next year.

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