U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Missouri > Kansas City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-15-2016, 08:19 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,158,985 times
Reputation: 1916

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
Well, you aren't part of the "we" either. You don't live along the streetcar line, do you? You aren't paying for the streetcar any more than I am.
Nope. I live in the proposed extension TDD, and support it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-15-2016, 08:24 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,158,985 times
Reputation: 1916
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Believe it or not, I'm going to side with luzianne on this one. The degree to which people view the Streetcar as a necessity, or a daily benefit, is the degree to which it will continue to succeed.
The degree to which it will continue to succeed is based not upon what people use it for, but whether or not they use it. Full stop. If people use it for work, great. I think that is one of the highest uses and purposes. But if people use it just to bounce around downtown, because they enjoy it, that is use as valid a reason to provide the service. It is an amenity, like any other. No one "needs" a library to get to work, nor a Zoo, or a park. In fact, people don't "need" sidewalks or paved roads. Humans lived for millennia without them (and still do). But a sidewalk or a road is valuable investment of community resources if people use it, no matter what they use it for.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2016, 10:17 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 989,567 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
The degree to which it will continue to succeed is based not upon what people use it for, but whether or not they use it. Full stop. If people use it for work, great. I think that is one of the highest uses and purposes. But if people use it just to bounce around downtown, because they enjoy it, that is use as valid a reason to provide the service. It is an amenity, like any other. No one "needs" a library to get to work, nor a Zoo, or a park. In fact, people don't "need" sidewalks or paved roads. Humans lived for millennia without them (and still do). But a sidewalk or a road is valuable investment of community resources if people use it, no matter what they use it for.
We are completely missing each other here.

If people are using it to "get around" for any reason at all, great! It is functioning as a mode of transportation, as it should.

However, if people are using it like they might use a roller coaster at Worlds of Fun, just to see what it's like to ride a Streetcar, those people cannot be counted on to continue riding. They would also be the first ones to bail if a fare (even a very modest one) was introduced.

So no, we don't need to distinguish between people who are using it to get to work, versus places of amusement. But we definitely do need to set aside those who are riding it with no destination at all. If that is a large number, then we should expect to watch ridership drop precipitously over the first year.

Again, I'm a supporter! Just trying to call a spade a spade.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2016, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,697 posts, read 1,796,648 times
Reputation: 2243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechthild View Post
KCMO wrote this on another thread titled "Where Kansas City Went Wrong":

"Not passing the two major city backed light rail starter line plans in the 90ís. The first one was a very basic line from the River Market to the Plaza. It was pretty far along in preliminary planning and design, had a very good shot of being mostly funded by the federal government. Mayor Cleaver basically killed it calling it "touristy frou frou" for not going to the east side. Had that line been built, the city would probably have several expansions by now, including the east side. The other plan came later after the city reversed the Clay Chastian plan that passed a vote. The city put out a well thought out starter system that was to go from south of Gladstone to Swope Park with two lines south of downtown (one to the plaza and another along 71). It failed. Again, had the city passed that, it would have put KC in a totally different league of cities. It would have connected downtown to the plaza, connected the east side to northland jobs, and there would likely be expansion to the suburbs or into Kansas by now. Instead the city is just now getting a streetcar line that only goes 20 blocks." [Emphasis Mechthild's]

I believe "KCMO" has hit the nail on the head with both posts. Participants in this Forum can moan and complain derisively about, horror of horrors, a first time writer (me) who lives in South Central Pennsylvania as pointed out by one of the erstwhile contributors to this Board. But, in my opinion, this only underscores the provincialism which has always been a hallmark (small "h") of too many Kansas Citians and one that has done a lot of damage to the City's reputation and progress over the years. It so happens I grew up in Kansas City and went to college there. I loved the City growing up but must say it has turned the corner to somewhere other than the place I knew. By the way, I roared with laughter at the accusation that I was Clay Chastain using an alias. Frankly, I felt somewhat privileged to be so characterized. So, in the words of the old Buddy Holly song, "Rave On!"
FWIW, Kansas City has toyed with reviving rail transit since at least the mid-1970s, when I was in high school there. Back then, subways were the flavor of the month - BART, the Washington Metro, and MARTA all opened for service in that decade - and the report I remember reading from the Mid-America Regional Council back then was exploring whether Kansas City should have one too.

This evening, I just jokingly said to a Sunset Hill classmate of mine (I'm Pem-Day '76) who I hope to see when I come back in September that I wasn't moving back until the subway opened, knowing full well that toying with the idea of a subway even back then was not what KC should have been doing - it's simply neither dense enough nor congested enough to make the enormous cost of one worthwhile.

I would, though, like to see a comprehensive regional system like the ones Clay Chastain - who used to live in KC himself too, don't forget - keeps trying to shove down the throats of those still living there. But those things usually get built in increments, as is happening in KC now.

I agree with my fellow KC-to-Pennsylvania transplant and with kcmo that the city blew some great opportunities by passing up the earlier proposals, and it's a shame the first one foundered on the East Side/West Side divide. In light of that, though, it's interesting to note that the East Side voted down the taxing district expansion in 2014, largely on the grounds that they'd be paying for something that didn't really connect most of the East Side to the rest of the city (that requires taking it down Prospect Avenue, as the new BRT line will do).

The proof of the pudding will be when the streetcar is extended south to the Plaza and UMKC. I say "when" because from what I hear, the West Side is ready again to vote in favor of expanding the taxing district as it did in 2014. That will turn the line from a downtown circulator to a potentially useful commuter route - in both directions, thanks to the growing residential population downtown and the concentration of offices as well as shopping on the Plaza.

As long as it's free to ride, there will be some difficulty estimating how much of the ridership is people using it for practical purposes ("practical" here meaning to get to recreational or other non-work destinations as well) and how much just riding for fun. Given the short distance of the line, I'd actually expect some of the practical riders to switch to walking too if where they're going is close enough.

As far as outsiders weighing in is concerned: Philadephia is my home now and has been for more than 30 years, but like so many expats I've met here on the East Coast, I too remain a Kansas Citian at heart. I think it's one of the loveliest and nicest places to live in the country, and more sophisticated than the coastal folk believe it is (and more sophisticated than that city 250 miles to the east on I-70 as well). But there's something I can do here in Philadelphia that I can't do in Kansas City, and that's drive when I want to, not because I have to. I can live here without a car. That's not yet possible in KC, as I learned on my return visit in 2014. The streetcar, IMO, has the potential for helping this along. So does extending faster light rail into the hinterlands, then planning for development that takes advantage of its strengths. But the track record for such development is mixed where this has been tried, including in Portland.

I'm looking forward to coming back home in September.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-17-2016, 07:51 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 989,567 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
FWIW, Kansas City has toyed with reviving rail transit since at least the mid-1970s, when I was in high school there. Back then, subways were the flavor of the month - BART, the Washington Metro, and MARTA all opened for service in that decade - and the report I remember reading from the Mid-America Regional Council back then was exploring whether Kansas City should have one too.

This evening, I just jokingly said to a Sunset Hill classmate of mine (I'm Pem-Day '76) who I hope to see when I come back in September that I wasn't moving back until the subway opened, knowing full well that toying with the idea of a subway even back then was not what KC should have been doing - it's simply neither dense enough nor congested enough to make the enormous cost of one worthwhile.

I would, though, like to see a comprehensive regional system like the ones Clay Chastain - who used to live in KC himself too, don't forget - keeps trying to shove down the throats of those still living there. But those things usually get built in increments, as is happening in KC now.

I agree with my fellow KC-to-Pennsylvania transplant and with kcmo that the city blew some great opportunities by passing up the earlier proposals, and it's a shame the first one foundered on the East Side/West Side divide. In light of that, though, it's interesting to note that the East Side voted down the taxing district expansion in 2014, largely on the grounds that they'd be paying for something that didn't really connect most of the East Side to the rest of the city (that requires taking it down Prospect Avenue, as the new BRT line will do).

The proof of the pudding will be when the streetcar is extended south to the Plaza and UMKC. I say "when" because from what I hear, the West Side is ready again to vote in favor of expanding the taxing district as it did in 2014. That will turn the line from a downtown circulator to a potentially useful commuter route - in both directions, thanks to the growing residential population downtown and the concentration of offices as well as shopping on the Plaza.

As long as it's free to ride, there will be some difficulty estimating how much of the ridership is people using it for practical purposes ("practical" here meaning to get to recreational or other non-work destinations as well) and how much just riding for fun. Given the short distance of the line, I'd actually expect some of the practical riders to switch to walking too if where they're going is close enough.

As far as outsiders weighing in is concerned: Philadephia is my home now and has been for more than 30 years, but like so many expats I've met here on the East Coast, I too remain a Kansas Citian at heart. I think it's one of the loveliest and nicest places to live in the country, and more sophisticated than the coastal folk believe it is (and more sophisticated than that city 250 miles to the east on I-70 as well). But there's something I can do here in Philadelphia that I can't do in Kansas City, and that's drive when I want to, not because I have to. I can live here without a car. That's not yet possible in KC, as I learned on my return visit in 2014. The streetcar, IMO, has the potential for helping this along. So does extending faster light rail into the hinterlands, then planning for development that takes advantage of its strengths. But the track record for such development is mixed where this has been tried, including in Portland.

I'm looking forward to coming back home in September.
I like the tone of your post, as well as your message.

However, the reason I think KC was wise to avoid ambitious light rail plans is because I don't see a single other city in the country, comparable to KC, which has made it work. Portland is pretty similar in size, but it's a booming hipster mecca, which gives it an edge regarding transit. Denver and Minneapolis are larger, and more progressive. St. Louis is larger (for now) and has always been ahead of KC, for one because it's way older.

Cincinnati, in my mind, is the most comparable to KC, and they're pretty much doing the exact same thing we are, with the Streetcar.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2016, 03:19 PM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,158,985 times
Reputation: 1916
Over 550,000 trips. Average weekday ridership is well over 6,000. Weekend ridership is through the roof. And ridership has been climbing for the last month, not tapering off as some of the haters hoped.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2016, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,697 posts, read 1,796,648 times
Reputation: 2243
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Cincinnati, in my mind, is the most comparable to KC, and they're pretty much doing the exact same thing we are, with the Streetcar.
Then you might find this bit of historical trivia interesting:

Cincinnati was well on its way to getting a subway when the Crash of 1929 stopped the project in its tracks.

The city had identified a former canal bed as the route. In the city core, the canal was covered with a surface boulevard and a two-track subway tunnel built beneath the street.

Beyond the core, the line ran either in the canal bed or on an embankment.

The tunnel was complete and most of the rest of the right-of-way graded when the city ran out of money in 1929.*

The line was never restarted, not even with WPA or PWA money. Interstate 75 runs in the above-ground right-of-way now, and a water main runs through one of the subway tunnels.

*The Newark City Subway in New Jersey (1933-35) was built in just about the same fashion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2016, 08:46 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 989,567 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Then you might find this bit of historical trivia interesting:

Cincinnati was well on its way to getting a subway when the Crash of 1929 stopped the project in its tracks.

The city had identified a former canal bed as the route. In the city core, the canal was covered with a surface boulevard and a two-track subway tunnel built beneath the street.

Beyond the core, the line ran either in the canal bed or on an embankment.

The tunnel was complete and most of the rest of the right-of-way graded when the city ran out of money in 1929.*

The line was never restarted, not even with WPA or PWA money. Interstate 75 runs in the above-ground right-of-way now, and a water main runs through one of the subway tunnels.

*The Newark City Subway in New Jersey (1933-35) was built in just about the same fashion.
I was aware of the Cincinnati subway story: an interesting one indeed. I'd never heard of the Newark project though.

It's crazy to think what our cities might be like if not for the Depression followed by WWII. Possibly more like Europe's?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2016, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Kansas City MO
209 posts, read 184,771 times
Reputation: 311
We rode the streetcar last weekend, it seems to be the new thing to do on the weekend, we saw quite a few people that seemed to have ventured out of their Leawood/OP zones to come and try it out. It was actually better than I thought it would be and well worth paying a fare for, if it went further south.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2016, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,828 posts, read 39,541,088 times
Reputation: 48654
Kansas city's streetcar is counting crazy high ridership
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Missouri > Kansas City
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top