KC Light Rail

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Who’s funding the light rail campaign?

Here's quick look at who has donated at least $5,000 or more — the amount that requires immediate disclosure — to the light rail campaign:

- HNTB, engineering ($25,000)
- Hallmark Global Services ($15,000)
- Downtown Council ($10,000)
- Shook, Hardy, & Bacon, law firm ($10,000)
- Taliaferro & Browne, consulting engineers ($10,000)
- Lathrop & Gage, law firm ($8,000)

No funded opposition has appeared as of yet. On a side note, we were quite surprised to hear KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer refer to Oak Street as one of the downtown routes being considered during light rail Q&A on today's Up To Date (an obvious nod to Cordish, since Oak has never been vetted in any public meetings); Cordish is opposed to using Grand Avenue for light rail, which is the public right of way adjacent to their Power & Light District.

8 Comments so far

  1. northlander September 23rd, 2008 4:24 pm

    The opposition will be here sooner than you think. It’s time to get real.
    The feds are bailing out poor investment now and the money pool is shrinking.
    With $7 billion to do on water & sewer,and rising electric and home gas going up we have no reason to get light rail at such a high price. The better use of buses or streetcars would be far better. Would not have to build stations and buy unneeded property to move the 1% of the people that use transit.

  2. Dave September 23rd, 2008 4:39 pm

    the feds are bailing out mortgage-backed securities, which has nothing to do with construction financing for a municipal project. in fact, this might be a *more* attractive investment opportunity since the free market hasn’t done such a good job minding its own. regardless, the city is doing due diligence by preparing a 5-year financial plan to calm those who fail to understand that this is a collaboration with the federal government (they won’t fund a project built on shaky financials) and funded by a dedicated tax.

    the price tag on CSO is *not* $7 billion and it’s a 25-year plan that hundreds of cities are facing. streetcars are a half-ass solution for serving such a long distance and we already have buses that people don’t use.

    it’s time to elevate the entire system.

    we’re quite aware that an opposition group will emerge. when they do we’ll be quick to point out the same tired arguments that light rail opponents use in *every* city (they only have a handful of scare tactics, and none of them will be unique to KC… which means they’ll be quite easy to dispute).

  3. Brent September 23rd, 2008 5:00 pm

    Oak? Sigh. That’d be awful. Far too far away from the current primary entertainment/convention/living districts. I can certainly see JE Dunn loving that though if their East Village project takes off.

    HNTB is certainly interesting…as they would likely profit as much as anyone from the building/design of light rail.

  4. Kyle September 23rd, 2008 5:14 pm

    The ONLY street it makes sense on is Grand and screw Cordish if they don’t want it there. It would make getting to P&L and the Sprint Center much easier and if they can’t handle the 5 minutes an hour the railcar would be there, too bad. This isn’t your city Cordish - no matter what you might think with all the input you provide.

  5. Russell September 24th, 2008 6:32 pm

    Cordish doesn’t want to lose its precious parking revenue… The whole point of an urban center is to create a pedestrian oriented experience. Light rail (or I would prefer an El for the CBD and other high traffic intersections {or subway, but that’s kinda unrealistic}) would detract from that sacrilege to urban development called the P&L by introducing people to things that are outside of Cordish’s realm. Cordish wants you to only see it and nothing else that surrounds it.

    I like the fact that people are returning to the CBD, but other areas besides the P&L need to be discovered and put back into heavy use.

  6. northlander September 24th, 2008 10:16 pm

    So Dave if the streetcar and Light Rail both average 18-19mph from the Plaza to downtown how does that elevate the system? With the streetcar at $1.3 million and the Light Rail at $3.5 million what’s so special? Besides the cost. We could have more transit for the whole city not just a few,for less cost. Why do you want to spend $65-$70 million a mile when you could spend $12-$15 million a mile?

  7. Dennis October 9th, 2008 8:05 am

    Surprised to learn that Mark Huffer, General Manager of the ATA, is now saying Oak Street is being considered for the downtown route. I served on the Light Rail Taskforce and we did not deal with Oak Street as a route. Evidently, the opposition’s concern about the public not being informed as to the route is justified. So the question is where will it run? Whose property then will be taken by eminent domain? Evidently, this is not about transportation, it is about development. To many questions have been unanswered or not asked. The public is voting on a “Trust me” campaign. Sorry my trust level is gone. And clearly, nothing is in this for the south end of town.

  8. KC Light Rail » NKC’s pro-rail campaign? October 13th, 2008 1:35 pm

    […] at it, here’s the list of additional donors over $5,000 to the Citizens For Light Rail campaign we posted about last […]

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