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Old 08-10-2016, 12:38 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 985,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
Also, outside of conventions, I don't know if we are really supposed to be a "tourist" town. Sure we'll pull a bunch of people from the region, but nobody's flying to KC just to vacation outside of a sporting event or some other thing. That's not our lane...we may as well work within our lane...which is, providing a high-quality lifestyle and vibrant economy for residents. I think KC area overall does a good job of that.
People have gotten the notion that "tourism" is reserved for big cities, exotic locales, mountains and beaches. But if you'll look again at the four types of people I listed, it should remind you that this is a ridiculously narrow definition. Tourism dollars come from people in neighboring communities shopping at funky boutiques in Westport, buying vegetables at the River Market, attending a concert at the Sprint Center, taking their kids to Science City or grabbing a drink at the Power & Light district. Yes, there are the conventions, as you admitted, and I recognize that those are probably the only reason people will fly to Kansas City as a destination. But there are 2 million in the metro itself, and some 10 million people within reasonable driving distance. This is more than enough of a target market for Kansas City to take its "tourism" sector seriously.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:42 PM
 
990 posts, read 878,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I didn't say anything about the quality of life. I just don't think KC is very impressive outside the river crown plaza plus a few surrounding districts and suburbs. Metro KC is fine. It does have a lot of suburban blight and funky suburban/rural areas (KCK, far Southeast KCMO etc). JoCo is just so average and seems very dated to me compared to modern corporate suburbs of big cities. It really seems to have barely changed in since the 1980's. Nothing wrong with it, but I don't get the hype at all. They are trying with Leawood park plaza and lenexa town center, not a fan though because the surrounding area is just so blah. Northland is okay, can be pretty blue collar though at least in Clay County but also average suburbia at best. Zona Rosa, Downtown NKC, Downtown Liberty and Briarcliff are okay, I like the trees, hills etc of those, but they are smallish. Downtown Lee's Summit is nice and you have the lakes in Eastern Jackson. I hate the village west area of KCK. Just not my thing at all. So lots of places to live a nice suburban life, but anything to write home about in metro KC outside the city? Not in my opinion. Maybe Lee's Summit and maybe Lawrence.

When you go to KC, you visit Downtown, Penn Valley Park, Plaza, Westport, Nelson, River Market, Crown Center etc.

Oh and the Washington DC area has way more greenery than the KC area does. You can hardly see any development from most freeways in the region. It's not that I want to see everything built up at all.
I understand what you are saying but I am failing to make the connection between how that makes a city "great". I mean, 90% of people go to work, go do something with family after, then go home...they find something to do on the weekend...it seems like every city in America caters to this. We live near Park Place so we go there every once and a while, or the OP farmers market which is pretty awesome. What are we missing out on? Ocean? Well yeah we live in the midwest. Nothing to be done about that (besides, I hate ocean water). As someone who grew up next to a Great Lake, I do miss water though.

A lot of the buildings in the I-435 Corridor from about Holmes or State Line to Quivira are newer...they just built a bunch of buildings along College Blvd....so I am not sure all of it's "1980s buildings". Our company just moved to that area (Roe & College) and it's all pretty new. They also built out a bunch of new stuff on 435 along the western edge / Shawnee & Lenexa areas. There are some nice office buildings and developments out there. They are redeveloping a lot of Metcalf, and Johnson Drive through Mission looks WAY more lively in the past few years compared to when I first moved here 10 years ago.

And every city has "blue collar" areas. Not really sure why that's bad...a healthy city should have housing stock and areas for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. That's part of the problem with many of the East Coast cities...they price out lots of people.

My brother worked in the DC until last year. He is a Marine officer...and yet he couldn't afford to keep his family anywhere near DC so his commute was terrible. He lived in Manassas. It's a nice little town, but it's about on par for any suburb that we have to offer. Maybe it has more brick buildings...but you can't knock midwest cities for having been built in a different architectural era. DC is one of my favorite cities...but it would be silly to "chase" DC. It's a tourist city, along with having the benefit of being the seat of the Federal Gov't. That's not what KC is. Nobody should expect us to be like that.

Last edited by KC_Sleuth; 08-10-2016 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:41 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
East side blew their chance. Nothing will make them happy. And now with BLM acting so stupid, I think most normal people are going to want to work with areas like the east side less and less anyway. KCMO needs to concentrate on the city from the river to Brookside and make that part of the city thrive. It's really the only part of all of metro KC that worth much anyway. The rest of metro KC is pretty much blah.
You are absolutely right in everything you said here! The East side can rot for all I care, nothing will make them happy.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:45 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,914 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
All the talk to this point has been relevant, I believe. But there appears to be a vital element missing from the conversation.

Despite former mayor Cleaver's dismissive "touristy frou frou" label, regarding light rail, the tourism aspect is actually an important reason to create a strong spine for a regional transit network. Imagine you're one of the following people:

1. A Convention-Goer from another city
2. A Business Traveler with an afternoon off
3. A 20-something planning an evening of bar-hopping
4. A Johnson Countian spending a day "out on the town"

Once the Streetcar is extended to the Plaza and UMKC, all four of these people can easily occupy themselves entirely within a 4-6 block radius from a streetcar stop. Will ANY of these people take the bus? Maybe (maybe!) the 20-something, but it's not likely. There are several reasons why not, but a major one is that they are "outsiders" to the local bus system. They don't know how to pay, they don't know where the busses go, they don't know whether there are friendly people riding them, and they're not motivated to find out for the sake of one afternoon or one night. And why should they be?

However, if you give them a sleek ride, with a a zero-point entry, and a simple route that hits virtually every point likely to be of interest to them, bingo! Make it free and you've sealed the deal.

That being said, I think the Streetcar is also a valuable asset for locals, as the spine of a regional system. But we can't overlook the importance of the Convention & Tourism sector of the Kansas City economy. We tried to overlook it for awhile, but we've finally started to claw our way back, and there are two major jewels in that crown: the Streetcar, and the hotel-building boom. I guess you could say Kansas City is on the right track ::eye roll::
Cleaver didn't do much good for the city as mayor. 71 Highway stoplights and his touristy frou frou for light rail has stuck with the east side sheepeople. They all complain about the stop lights and it's because of him they are there. If he were to say in an interview with "The Call" paper, KC needs light rail/streetcars everywhere, his people would be protesting outside city hall demanding a streetcar line on every street on the east side.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,666 posts, read 1,776,951 times
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Had it been up to me, and others like me - and there were plenty of us - there wouldn't have been a Bruce Watkins Drive at all.

A lot of East Siders opposed the South Midtown Freeway, which, like the Southeast Freeway before it, ripped up a lot of decent black middle-class neighborhoods while leaving white ones untouched.

That freeway passes three blocks to the west of my grandparents' property at 55th and Agnes, in a small pocket of Southeast KC that had been deeded for black settlement by the owner of the land decades before the covenants fell and the color line at 31st Street with them. You could tell when you entered this area prior to about 1969 because the streets suddenly turned to gravel lanes with no curbs or sidewalks. (My grandparents' block remains that way to this day.)

The road would have split the neighborhood in two. As it is, with the signals at 55th and 59th streets, it's a wide boulevard but still a gash. Further north, it does split neighborhoods in two. And it has certainly drained the life out of Prospect Avenue by drawing most of the north-south traffic away from it. Any solution for that street has to bring the traffic and the life along it back.

But at least there's still a neighborhood there, even if Oak Park now has beautiful trees along Benton Boulevard covering rundown houses. A lot of the old historic core of the city's black community, near the Jazz District, has been completely depopulated. If 18th and Vine swings at night, it's because people have to parachute in. And I hear that not enough do.

Sorry, but whatever may bug us on the East Side, I'd no more recommend writing us off than I would tell someone here to just let North Philadelphia go hang. Bothered talking to the residents? Something I've learned over the years is that a lot of the misunderstanding and discord arise from people refusing to see, refusing to listen, and refusing to consider that there may be other perspectives grounded in life experiences different from one's own. Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" may be no more visible now than when he wrote his masterpiece in the late 1940s.

It still puzzles me how someone would compare a streetcar extension with Jim Crow, and I understand from a conversation with one of the backers of the streetcar extension that a lof of East Siders didn't see things that way. But they didn't show up at the polls. Maybe I can learn some things on my next visit that will help me see more clearly too. But you all are right there, and all you have to do is cross Troost.

Shifting gears: As for greenery, I visit Washington frequently, and I agree it's a very green city, its northwest quadrant in particular. But I'd put KC's park and boulevard network, and most of its residential streets, up against DC any day.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:40 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,233 times
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The streetcar is not exciting to me. I would like for KC to have an elevated train system similar to Chicago's.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:04 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Had it been up to me, and others like me - and there were plenty of us - there wouldn't have been a Bruce Watkins Drive at all.

A lot of East Siders opposed the South Midtown Freeway, which, like the Southeast Freeway before it, ripped up a lot of decent black middle-class neighborhoods while leaving white ones untouched.

That freeway passes three blocks to the west of my grandparents' property at 55th and Agnes, in a small pocket of Southeast KC that had been deeded for black settlement by the owner of the land decades before the covenants fell and the color line at 31st Street with them. You could tell when you entered this area prior to about 1969 because the streets suddenly turned to gravel lanes with no curbs or sidewalks. (My grandparents' block remains that way to this day.)

The road would have split the neighborhood in two. As it is, with the signals at 55th and 59th streets, it's a wide boulevard but still a gash. Further north, it does split neighborhoods in two. And it has certainly drained the life out of Prospect Avenue by drawing most of the north-south traffic away from it. Any solution for that street has to bring the traffic and the life along it back.

But at least there's still a neighborhood there, even if Oak Park now has beautiful trees along Benton Boulevard covering rundown houses. A lot of the old historic core of the city's black community, near the Jazz District, has been completely depopulated. If 18th and Vine swings at night, it's because people have to parachute in. And I hear that not enough do.

Sorry, but whatever may bug us on the East Side, I'd no more recommend writing us off than I would tell someone here to just let North Philadelphia go hang. Bothered talking to the residents? Something I've learned over the years is that a lot of the misunderstanding and discord arise from people refusing to see, refusing to listen, and refusing to consider that there may be other perspectives grounded in life experiences different from one's own. Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" may be no more visible now than when he wrote his masterpiece in the late 1940s.

It still puzzles me how someone would compare a streetcar extension with Jim Crow, and I understand from a conversation with one of the backers of the streetcar extension that a lof of East Siders didn't see things that way. But they didn't show up at the polls. Maybe I can learn some things on my next visit that will help me see more clearly too. But you all are right there, and all you have to do is cross Troost.

Shifting gears: As for greenery, I visit Washington frequently, and I agree it's a very green city, its northwest quadrant in particular. But I'd put KC's park and boulevard network, and most of its residential streets, up against DC any day.
71/Watkins drive, was the south freeway planned decades ago while it was still a "white" community if you will. The city needed a north/south freeway, and now, with of of the abandoned/blighted/derelict homes/neighborhoods/streets on the east side, there could be more north/south freeways going through and it would clean the area up. A streetcar line running on the east side (Indep Ave, 12th/18th street, Linwood) would have helped the east side, but those residents could care less about improvements or better quality of life.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,666 posts, read 1,776,951 times
Reputation: 2210
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekcmo View Post
71/Watkins drive, was the south freeway planned decades ago while it was still a "white" community if you will. The city needed a north/south freeway, and now, with of of the abandoned/blighted/derelict homes/neighborhoods/streets on the east side, there could be more north/south freeways going through and it would clean the area up. A streetcar line running on the east side (Indep Ave, 12th/18th street, Linwood) would have helped the east side, but those residents could care less about improvements or better quality of life.
In general, I don't think cities and freeways play nice with each other; from an urbanist standpoint, I regard them as a necessary evil. That may be one reason I live in an Eastern city that's not laced with them. But Kansas City does have just about the lowest traffic congestion of any large city in the Western Hemisphere. Many attribute this to the freeways, but I attribute it more to the arterial street network, especially the boulevards. The only time I used a freeway on my last visit in 2014 was to get to the hotel my brother managed near KCI, where we were staying; that meant getting on Watkins near my cousin's place on Olive off Emmanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. Getting around the city proper was a breeze without ever using a freeway.

A streetcar for the East Side needs to go down Prospect. Period. I don't know whether it might have been that that animated the opposition. I'll learn more when I'm back in September.

Clayre Huxtable: If you read my debut column in 435 (it's online now), you will learn that one of the reasons I live in Philadelphia and not Kansas City is because Philadelphia has a subway and KC doesn't. But I'm realistic enough to understand that, as I wrote in that column, KC simply has neither the level of traffic nor the density to justify the added expense of building "heavy rail" rapid transit, even an all-elevated system (which I would want to see buried in certain corridors if one were built).
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:41 AM
 
Location: IN
20,173 posts, read 34,515,073 times
Reputation: 12514
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
I
And every city has "blue collar" areas. Not really sure why that's bad...a healthy city should have housing stock and areas for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. That's part of the problem with many of the East Coast cities...they price out lots of people.

.
Larger West Coast cities are actually the most expensive in the US now. SF metro area has surpassed NYC in COL.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:51 AM
 
519 posts, read 468,914 times
Reputation: 325
If I were Mayor, I would cut back as much Bus Service to the east side as possible, make those people pay for voting down streetcar expansion to their side. Cut bus service and bus stops off as much as possible. Make those people walk, drive car or call cabs for transportation. Doing some tuff love to the east side residents might get them on board to see about improving the quality of life.
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