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Old 08-18-2016, 06:34 PM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 230,173 times
Reputation: 209

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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooksider2brooklyn View Post
So that one little line gets about 1/4 the ridership that Pittsburgh's light rail gets every day? Pittsburgh has 26 miles of rail. Impressive. KC needs to build light rail now to South KC and Independence.
It's impressive. I wish it was down by the Plaza already, but that's years away. Other than some Northland council members, the city council didn't seem to have any objections to an extension other than the idea more time should occur before it's extended. With respect to them, I kind of wonder what they're thinking since a 2.2 mile line downtown is just a starter and for it to be really useful it needs to go places. And I'm not sure how a TDD expansion will hurt a city infrastructure bond election.

Kansas City Council members fear the push for streetcar expansion could hurt next year
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:33 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Where is gentrification even occurring in Kansas City? There are a few very small areas with very slow growth that I guess you could call gentrification, but compared to most large cities right now, I don't think this is even a thing in KC.

Beacon Hill might just catch on. Right now, I wouldn't call it gentrification because there is almost nothing there now. However if the area does begin to build out, the popularity of living in newer neighborhoods close to downtown and crown center could start to effect other east side neighborhoods.

For the record, as somebody that grew up on the east side, I do support redevelopment of the east side. I also support expanded transit etc over there. I was on the buses campaigning to every day bus riders about the city backed light rail proposal that would have put a major light rail line right down the middle of the east side. You would not believe the lack of support it had. Everybody out there was just NO NO NO. They didn't want to pay for it even though it was the rest of the city that was actually paying for it, not the low income east side residents. No matter what was proposed, it was somehow only for white people or for downtown. The thing could have started at 18th and Vine and ended at 75th and Troost and I still think people would think it's for white commuters and urban yuppies. The eastside voted down the streetcar extensions by like a 2:1 ratio, so in order for KC to expand the streetcar, they are going to have to do it without the east side. Right now poor black communities seem to be spiraling out of control in most major cities with violent crime and hate against whites, police etc, so I think that will make it even more difficult to create transit connections to areas like the east side. Again, I am the least racist person you will ever meet, but it is what it is.
I work with a lot of east side residents, to them, as they "understand" gentrification is a bad word their churches preached against and other elected officials: gentrification to them is any constructions, improvements, rehabbing that will bring in residents from the suburbs, or working class people relocating to KC. To them, those that I talk to, the only "improvements" the city should be making (and making only for them) is bus service every 5 minutes that will stop at their doorsteps, and grocery stores on every corner (whether or not the grocery stores can make a profit or withstand theft-it doesn't matter) a grocery store on every corner for them. Anything else, light rail/streetcars, new construction, jobs, anything to bring in new residents/tourist; doesn't matter and is not necessary and a waste of tax dollars and expense that could be spent for their benefit. In a way, it's sad hearing them discuss matters in such childlike/simple manners.
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:49 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
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 correct, I've not always agreed with you much, but on this you are correct. If Cleaver or Freedom Inc. started saying that KC needs streetcars/light rail, a new airport terminal, more hotels downtown, etc. You could believe the votes, initiative, drive would be there pushing the city to take action and do them. So many of votes necessary for KC to pass ballots are driven by "churches, a national politician and community organizations that see so many issues only through black/white prism glasses, which is unfortunate and sad in the 21st century.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,661 posts, read 1,770,490 times
Reputation: 2200
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekcmo View Post
I work with a lot of east side residents, to them, as they "understand" gentrification is a bad word their churches preached against and other elected officials: gentrification to them is any constructions, improvements, rehabbing that will bring in residents from the suburbs, or working class people relocating to KC. To them, those that I talk to, the only "improvements" the city should be making (and making only for them) is bus service every 5 minutes that will stop at their doorsteps, and grocery stores on every corner (whether or not the grocery stores can make a profit or withstand theft-it doesn't matter) a grocery store on every corner for them. Anything else, light rail/streetcars, new construction, jobs, anything to bring in new residents/tourist; doesn't matter and is not necessary and a waste of tax dollars and expense that could be spent for their benefit. In a way, it's sad hearing them discuss matters in such childlike/simple manners.
Minor point: most of the folks on the East Side are working class themselves.

That said, then the answer is education and buy-in, not writing an entire swath of the city off.

I do suspect that, as rwiksell intimated, the kind of gentrification I see in Philadelphia neighborhoods like Point Breeze, East Passyunk, Brewerytown and Francisville is not happening in KC, at least not yet. But if and when it does, places like Ivanhoe and Oak Park need people like Penelope Giles, the head of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation in Philly. (Shoot, they could use someone like her in Point Breeze too, but that's another story.)

Renters DO get screwed by gentrification, and to make matters worse, rents are sticky; that is, when there's a downturn in the housing market, rents tend not to fall or to fall far less than house prices do. But improve the quality of the jobs the renters hold or can qualify for and the damage lessens a good bit.

Everything else is, or can be, a net positive.

The disconnect I see here is in understanding how businesses form and transit lines are placed. That can be fixed with education.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:54 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Minor point: most of the folks on the East Side are working class themselves.

That said, then the answer is education and buy-in, not writing an entire swath of the city off.

I do suspect that, as rwiksell intimated, the kind of gentrification I see in Philadelphia neighborhoods like Point Breeze, East Passyunk, Brewerytown and Francisville is not happening in KC, at least not yet. But if and when it does, places like Ivanhoe and Oak Park need people like Penelope Giles, the head of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation in Philly. (Shoot, they could use someone like her in Point Breeze too, but that's another story.)

Renters DO get screwed by gentrification, and to make matters worse, rents are sticky; that is, when there's a downturn in the housing market, rents tend not to fall or to fall far less than house prices do. But improve the quality of the jobs the renters hold or can qualify for and the damage lessens a good bit.

Everything else is, or can be, a net positive.

The disconnect I see here is in understanding how businesses form and transit lines are placed. That can be fixed with education.
You are right about rents not falling. They are also incredibly high for KC standards. A lot of working people, myself included here, would love to live in the city, and close by streetcar line if rents were more affordable. I work downtown and don't know of anyone who lives downtown or in an apartment rental in the city. I have read stories of a lot of "empty nesters" from the suburbs who are renting these "high" price apartments downtown for weekend getaways into the city. That's all fine and good in and of itself that people are renting them and coming into the city for their weekend getaway, but what about working class people working downtown who would like to live in the city and not have a car and ride the streetcar as transportation. A little off topic of course here. GO KC STREETCAR! to get myself back on topic.
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:57 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
I walked down to 8th and Main St stop for the streetcar, rode down to Minskys for my to go pizza. Walked to the stop for streetcar in Rivermarket to ride back to 8th and Main. Well, at the Rivermarket/Minsky's stop was a young couple I started talking with, they were both off work and drove down here from St Joseph. They wanted to ride the streetcar. They had parked in the market area, told me they had ate lunch at Cascone's and were going to ride the streetcar and get off and walk around downtown before they would ride it back to the river market and drive home to St Joe. They were in their 30's, had never been in downtown KC before, the reason why was they didn't want to drive the streets or park in downtown. So now because of the streetcar they could explore downtown. So in a way, the streetcar is becoming a tourist attraction for people who would never be stepping foot in downtown. My mom's going with a seniors group next month for the day, they are going down to the market, going to have lunch at Winslow's BBQ and ridge the car down to Union Station and back for the day. It's amazing that the streetcar is becoming an attraction/driving force for bringing people downtown. I can just imagine the success the streetcar would be if they ever got it south to UMKC or possibly all the way to Waldo/SKC.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:39 PM
 
48,897 posts, read 39,392,211 times
Reputation: 30554
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooksider2brooklyn View Post
So that one little line gets about 1/4 the ridership that Pittsburgh's light rail gets every day? Pittsburgh has 26 miles of rail. Impressive. KC needs to build light rail now to South KC and Independence.
The streetcar is free and the ridership is based on a couple months of good weather during tourist season and you're going to have people jumping on and off repeatedly, tourists checking it out etc.

I'm not sure how you can equate that to something that would truly be a fee-based commuter transportation method.

I like light-rail in general but I've watched it struggle to keep enough ridership in parts of Chicago over the years and the closure of some lines. I don't personally think KC has enough traffic nor population density to support it but I'm open to hear alternative views.

I saw it last time I was in Denver, I wonder how it's doing there since it's certainly more comparable than comparing it to a free streetcar IMO.

But given the level of taxpayer subsidy it's totally up to the voters that would be impacted and I respect whatever decision they choose.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,498,983 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
The streetcar is free and the ridership is based on a couple months of good weather during tourist season and you're going to have people jumping on and off repeatedly, tourists checking it out etc.

I'm not sure how you can equate that to something that would truly be a fee-based commuter transportation method.

I like light-rail in general but I've watched it struggle to keep enough ridership in parts of Chicago over the years and the closure of some lines. I don't personally think KC has enough traffic nor population density to support it but I'm open to hear alternative views.

I saw it last time I was in Denver, I wonder how it's doing there since it's certainly more comparable than comparing it to a free streetcar IMO.

But given the level of taxpayer subsidy it's totally up to the voters that would be impacted and I respect whatever decision they choose.
You can't compare KC's streetcar to Chicago. Chicago doesn't even have light rail or streetcars, they have METRA heavy commuter rail and CTA heavy EL/Subway. Other than having track, there is almost nothing in common between those types of systems and what is essentially an urban trolley or local people mover in KC.

There really is every little in common between KC's streetcar and Denver's very comprehensive full blown light rail system which outside of downtown functions more like heavy rail.

KC's streetcar is doing exactly what it is designed to do. It's an urban trolley system very similar to what you see in dense, but smaller European cities. It's not for commuting (although some urban dwellers will use it for that). It's to move people short distances on modern, comfortable, high capacity (mostly standees) vehicles in a very urban area. Getting on and off and using it for very short trips is exactly what it's for. Once it goes to the plaza, it will get more commute use by people "in the city" as well as more people using it while in town for conventions etc. It's only going to get more popular as KCMO finally starts to develop an urban fixed transit corridor in the core of the city connecting the two major business and cultural centers of the city together.

Portland is really the only thing KC can compare to but even that is difficult because Portland also has light rail and their streetcars meander with lots of turns etc. KC has a very straight and simple streetcar line really makes getting around greater downtown simple for anybody. KC is far outperforming new streetcar lines in cities like Atlanta.

Even if there is somewhat of a bump in use because it's free or because the weather is nice, so what. It has been very successful and worth the money to build it because it has added so much vibrancy to the city and will ultimately connect all he dots of urban KCMO.

KC does not need commuter rail. Commuter rail does almost nothing for economic development and very few people ride it even in American's biggest cities. I have always said that if KC can't build full blown light rail down the I-70 corridor, similar to Denver's I-25 line , then it should not do regional rail at all. No other rail makes sense in metro KC except maybe I-35 to Oalthe, but both MO and KS are incompetent when it comes to transit planning and funding. Run coach buses to KCI and other suburban areas.

Other than that KC needs to concentrate on urban core transit and fund it with those that will use it (central jackson county). That's what they are doing and so far, so good. A 15 mile local urban trolley system will do more for KC than 500 miles of expensive and barely used commuter rail or more expensive and poorly designed light rail. Running full size light rail trains down city streets rather than in a dedicated right of way is dumb and that's all KC has ever proposed.

This is one thing KCMO is doing right and they should expand it as much and as quickly as possible. KCMO could become a roll model of how to implement modern urban transit in America.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,361,269 times
Reputation: 48613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post

I like light-rail in general but I've watched it struggle to keep enough ridership in parts of Chicago over the years and the closure of some lines.
What light rail have you watched struggle in Chicago?
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:32 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,181 times
Reputation: 325
I was at Westport a couple of saturday nights ago, people at the bar were talking about the streetcar. The wishlist I heard people talking about in regards to the streetcar were that, it w.ould go down Main all the way to Waldo, another streetcar line from the downtown airport/Broadway ending at the plaza, a line going east west on 39th street from KU Med Center to Troost and another east west line on Armour from Broadway to Troost. Nice wishful thinking
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