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BREAKING: Transportation Secretary LaHood in KC this week

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be in KC this week, as well as Los Angeles and Tucson. All three cities had downtown modern streetcar components in their TIGER grant applications. Grant winners were Congressionally mandated to be announced by Feb. 17.

It's likely that the appearance location will relate to a part of the application, which could include the Green Impact Zone, the riverfront, or Union Station (which would be on the streetcar route and conveniently makes a great photo op).

UPDATE: Here's an article detailing LaHood's Thursday appearance in Tucson.
UPDATE 2: The White House has confirmed that LaHood will be in Kansas City tomorrow, along with stimulus-related appearances by other cabinet members. Still no official word on where the KC event will take place, but we've received unofficial word that it will be in the Green Impact Zone, not Union Station.
UPDATE 3: MARC has just confirmed the event will take place at 10:30 a.m. CST at the Green Impact Zone offices, 4600 Paseo. Mayor Mark Funkhouser and US Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver will also be present.

9 Comments so far

  1. anonymous February 16th, 2010 12:48 pm

    Kind of related:

    you tweeted:
    After two bad budget years, KCATA has no funds for operating the streetcar either. Enter the TDD

    I guess I am a little confused about this. Can you briefly explain?

  2. Dave February 16th, 2010 2:07 pm

    re: bad budget years… declining sales tax revenue and reduced funding from KC’s general transportation tax have forced KCATA to raise fares and cut service two years in a row.

    re: TDD… the “transportation development district” is a tax overlay that allows affected residents or businesses to tax themselves to make a localized transportation improvement. one was passed in north kansas city a few years ago to help fund the light rail plan that failed at the ballot box. the TDD would generate enough revenue to cover the $2 million annual operating cost of a 2-mile downtown streetcar.

  3. Marcos February 16th, 2010 3:53 pm

    So what do you think they will announce tomorrow?

  4. Dave February 16th, 2010 3:56 pm

    the probability that the Green Impact Zone will win is high. as for the streetcar, it’s only $6 million for design and engineering so i can’t imagine getting stiffed for that, but strange things happen with rail projects in this town, especially when Cleaver is involved.

  5. anonymous February 16th, 2010 11:02 pm

    How much of a shame would it be if KC got the 6 million and went nowhere with it? Probably would happen…

  6. Dave February 16th, 2010 11:21 pm

    actually i think it’s far more likely for us to get nothing. regardless, i wouldn’t discount the ability for mike sanders to make his commuter rail plan happen… which will drive the need for the streetcar at some point.

  7. northlander February 17th, 2010 6:51 pm

    If MARC is to oversee this and it will take a vote I don’t look for much to happen.They will go for 5-6 foot of digging so light rail would happen and the cost will go up.

  8. Kite Singleton February 17th, 2010 7:10 pm

    Too bad KCATA went after the streetcar from River Market to Crown Center instead of the BRT lines to Independence and Gladstone connecting at the Green Impact Zone with those that got funded from there to Overland Park and Legends…looks to me like Kansas City might have gotten a bigger TIGER grant if KCATA had recognized the greater probability of proposals that reached the Green Impact Zone.

  9. ronmclinden February 17th, 2010 9:14 pm

    the downtown streetcar was in the marc request only because russ johnson insisted on it. i think marc made the call to exclude the north oak and independence brt lines because planning was not as far along. also, they don’t cross the state line, and thus wouldn’t bring additional congressional support.

    we came out ok. missouri’s per-capita share of $1.5 billion is $30 million and kansas city got $50. or $30 million if you charge the state avenue and metcalf/smp brt routes to kansas. not bad.

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