KC Light Rail

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Public input meetings tonight, tomorrow

The ATA will be hosting two meetings to gather public input on future light rail plans in Kansas City.

The public meetings will be facilitated by the KCATA’s Alternatives Analysis team and include hands-on activities designed to give KCATA and HNTB Corp., the KCATA’s lead consultant on the light rail project, valuable insights into the community’s priorities related to light rail.

Meeting locations and times:

South: Monday, August 20th
Mohart Multi-Purpose Center
3200 Wayne
Kansas City, MO 64109

North: Tuesday, August 21st
North Kansas City Community Center
1999 Iron
North Kansas City, MO 64116

The schedule for each evening will include:
5:30 p.m. Doors open
6:00 p.m. Meetings begin with a general presentation
6:40 p.m. Question and answer period about light rail planning to-date
7:00 p.m. Hands-on activities and community input
8:00 p.m. Adjourn


Mr. Chastain Presents

Clay Chastain, author of the approved light rail ballot question, will make a presentation at this week's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting (see the Agenda). Take a long lunch or set your DVR to Channel 2 at noon!


URGENT: KCATA to host Light Rail forums

According to today's Star, the KCATA will hold two public forums on light rail next month. We'll post times as they becomes available.

  • Monday, Aug. 20, Plaza Library, 4801 Main (use MAX or #57 bus routes to Plaza Library MAX stop; from the east, use #39 or #47 to Plaza then walk to 48th and Main)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21, North Kansas City Community Center, 1999 Iron Street (use #133 bus route to Armour and Iron)

If you must drive, free parking is available at both locations.

Separately, the KCATA also expects to have some initial engineering and route options to discuss at these sessions. According the Business Journal, the full Alternatives Analysis from HNTB and others will be ready in "early 2008″.


Funk and Chastain to meet, swap LRT recipes

Just kidding… but the two will be having a light rail "summit" (Steve Penn's words, not ours) during Chastain's July visit to KC. We hope — based on each man's excessive use of first-person singular pronouns — that they bring their wives along to diffuse all of the Type A talk that's sure to ensue. We offer our own advice to each:


  • Give your regards to (and give up on) Broadway. The last group you want to fight is a neighborhood association. Let the city go with Main/Grand, as most people who have an opinion on the matter are no longer concerned with the precision of the ballot language.
  • Listen. Mayor Funk is a very smart man. Stay on topic and be reasonable, or he will intellectually crush you like a Swallowtail Butterfly.
  • Relax. Dave Helling is the only one that's really out to get you. Everyone else just wants to build consensus.


  • Pause the insistence on regionalism. Note we didn't say "give up" or "screw Kansas", but unless you've visited Topeka lately, we suggest (again) giving the locally-funded starter route a shot. Not only would it be leverage with Chastain for changing other specifics, but it stems the tide that's growing against you on the issue.
  • Listen. Chastain is an insistent and battered man. People are continually trying to cut him down on a personal level to try and make him go away, but that only makes him more tenacious.
  • Relax, and bring Ed Ford, too.

Dump The Pump Day

Thursday, June 21, is National Dump The Pump Day. This is your opportunity to walk the walk and give what transit we do have in the KC metro (KCATA, The JO) a chance. There's no chance for rain and your employer will probably accommodate one day of flexibility so you can align with bus schedules or a carpool. Believe it or not, you can actually walk or bike to work in Kansas City, just wear a helmet if you choose the latter. We'd love to hear about your experiences, especially first timers!

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Funding: Not just a light rail problem

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County recently confessed that they're going to come up short on funds for public transportation very soon. A front page article in today's Star exposes a very real side of the issue — getting people in economically-depressed areas (Wyandotte County) to jobs where they can make a living wage (Johnson County). No support for buses means no one's lovin' it or havin' it their way.

Separately, the JO is hosting a feedback session today on their 5-year strategic plan. Buried in the fine print is that there is no dedicated, long-term funding source for any suburban transit improvements — the #1 impediment to increasing ridership, according to community surveys. To illustrate the point, you can take a JO bus to this very meeting, but you'll have to walk or take a cab home because almost all JO service ends by 5:30 on weekdays. Currently, most routes focus on commuters to downtown KCMO. Very little service is available for getting around within the area. This presents a serious issue for an aging Johnson County population.


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