KC Light Rail

Your source for news and information on Kansas City’s light rail progress

Archive for November, 2007

Today’s Light Rail Ordinance

The full City Council will hear a new light rail ordinance today that is chock full of interesting details. First and foremost, we find some relatively directive language — "consultants shall proceed immediately to Phase II of the Alternatives Analysis" — and some new twists on route and connectivity. It's important to note also that the ordinance directs the City and KCATA to enter into discussions directly with the City of North Kansas City, which will host a small, yet critical, segment between the Missouri River and I-29. The ordinance also provides $200,000 in additional funding for light rail planning. Here's the section that lists routing and connectivity considerations:

In its efforts to determine future alignments and connections to the entire city and region, the City and KCATA have taken into consideration the following alignments and connections:

(1) The alignment identified by Citizens Light Rail Task Force for the first phase light rail.
(2) An East-West connection along the alignment of Trumann Road.
(3) An East-West connection along the alignment of Linwood Blvd.
(4) Connectivity to the area in the general vicinity of Bannister Mall.
(5) Connectivity to the area in the general vicinity of Metro North Mall.
(6) Use of the existing Bruce R. Watkins highway corridor.
(7) Use of the existing Harry Wiggins Trolley Track corridor.
(8) Use of the existing US-169 highway corridor.
(9) Connectivity to the airport
(10) Connectivity to Clay County and Liberty

Watch the City Council live online or on Channel 2 (KCMO only) at 3 p.m. CDT today.

UPDATE: The Council unanimously passed the ordinance today. Per Councilman Ed Ford, answers to the route, technology, and funding questions in the ordinance will be taken up "after the first of the year." Earlier in the day, the Council agreed to have a special business session on Dec. 13 to start diving into the details as a full group.

No comments

“The Ballad of Clay Chastain” (b/w “The Compromise”)

If you don't get the headline, you're too young.

We'll admit that we've been intentionally avoiding the public rantings of Clay Chastain lately because, well… they just seem so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things (sort of like the blogosphere's constant nagging on Mayor Funkhouser). The Council legally repealed the original plan and a new one is in the works, okay? However, one of our least-referenced local news sources — KC's alternative weekly, The Pitch — brought us the most irresistable piece folk tunage to clog our high-speed interweb tubes: The Ballad of Clay Chastain. It makes us pine for the days when we would record Dr. Demento on cassettes. So while we're on the topic of Chastain, we'll also mention that he delivered a way-too-belated compromise to the Council (and voters) today. Release your venomous comments, local bloggers!


Charlotte welcomes 100,000 free riders

Normal daily service started today on Charlotte's new light rail line after topping 100,000 rides over the free inaugural weekend. You may recall reading about Charlotte's transit drama here and in The Star, primarily as a cautionary tale about cost overruns and anti-transit politics. Now it appears all of that has melted away — at least temporarily — over the holiday weekend as residents experience the new line not just out of curiousity, but out of necessity (significant bus route changes to feed the route also take effect today). Here's what advice others are offering the light rail newbies.


November ‘08 is the date

February is out. November is in.


City Attorney issues legal response

KC City Attorney Galen Beaufort issued a statement today in response to yesterday's announcement of a legal challenge to last week's council repeal of the voter-approved light rail plan. Basically, his reasoning is that it was a constitutional action and the legal challenge should not impede the repeal ordinance taking effect. Thanks to Prime Buzz, we offer this precise quote:

The filing of the lawsuit does not automatically stop Ordinance No. 071130 from going into effect. Ord. No. 071130 is the ordinance passed by the Council on November 8 which repealed Ordinance No. 060931, As Amended, commonly referred to as the 'light rail ordinance.'

In short, the case should get dismissed.

1 comment

The First Legal Challenge

A south Kansas City resident has filed the first legal challenge of the City Council repeal of the voter-approved light rail initiative. Opposition from south Kansas City was expected because all proposed routes don't directly pass through that part of the city.

The "life-long" resident, Rose Marie Gunter, claims she is "disenfranchised" by the council's actions, even though they also approved a resolution to provide a replacement plan to voters in 2008. Puppet or pawn? Too early to tell, but Prime Buzz noted there was opposition forming in the southland last week, and it was south KC residents that formed the harshest opposition to the 2001 city-backed light rail plan that failed at the ballot box. Some have claimed that an expected legal challenge (and subsequent veto of the repeal) is all part of the Mayor's grand scheme to put a damper on light rail completely until a regional plan is funded.


Next Page »