Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Light Rail: What part of "Yes" does the City not understand?

Light Rail: What part of "Yes" does the City not understand? Whether you love him or hate him, Clay Chastain finally succeeded in convincing the voters of KC to support his light rail plan, which passed with 53% of the vote last November. And it's still clear that the people of KC support light rail. Acc. to a KCTV 5 Survey USA poll, 71 percent would retain Chastain's plan while 28 percent would overturn it.

The City Council has neglected to really look at the cost and implementation of the plan up to this point, and while they recently stated that a repeal will not be on the november ballot, they refused to rule out a repeal measure on the February ballot. KC will need a regional transit system eventually, and if the KC Council follows Chastain's lead and starts implementing a system now, if will be far easier and less costly to taxpayers than 30-40 years from now, when KC metro area population is 2.5-3 million people. One of the reasons this is needed is due to the poor planning by city architects back in the late 1800s and through the early 1950s. The airport's distant and inconvenient location, the placement of Kemper Arena away from downtown, and the Zoo's location in south Kansas City complicates plans for tourists and visitors who are required to have access to a car and efficient GPS device to just find their way around town. Between Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS, and North Kansas City, MO and Kansas City North, it's a wonder that visitors even bother trying to partake in any of KC's regional attractions without succumbing to insanity. A regional transporation system would alleviate the ever-increasing traffic congestion on the I-35 "snail" corridor, augment the existing implementation of Sprint Arena and downtown revitalization, increase tourism and economic development, and aid residents in the close-in suburbs.

This is a cost and tax worth bearing now rather than later. Maybe the council will look to cities like DC, Chicago, and San Fransisco for ideas and realize that wasteful subsidization of a few unreliable bus routes is not the answer to the transportation woes of a major midwestern city.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

DC, Chicago and San Francisco also have buses. So does Paris. London. And so on... It's not a bus vs. rail battle; it's transit vs. no transportation choices.

Rail alone does not make a major metropolitan transit system. That'd be kinda like having highways but no local roads.