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Old 01-16-2014, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,008 posts, read 20,742,887 times
Reputation: 6048

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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
This thread is way down the classic KCMO rabbit hole of woe-is-me-KC-doesn't-do-anything-right, NOWHERE-else-has-these-problems, or if they do, they are NOWHERE NEAR AS BADDDD!!!! hyperbole and negativity.

For a guy that travels a lot, you sure do get sucked into your own vortex of lack of perspective quite easily.

Poor public schools, aging infrastructure, limited vibrant urban neighborhoods, suburbanization, population loss, resistance to transit, and all that are neither unique to KC nor particularly worse than its peers.

KC schools are absolutely no worse than DC schools, blowing your vibrant neighborhoods theory. Also, who in their right mind would compare a midsized regional city in the midwest to the Capital of the ****ing Country (or for that matter an old industrial city in the same metro) in the densest most urban region of the US. Why in God's name would they be similar in culture, amenities, neighborhoods or anything else.

KC parks are well-used, often teaming with people, Swope is the 39th most visited City Park in the country, The Trolley Track Trail is never empty in any weather, the suburban trails and parks are well used, Loose is a destination park for residents all over the metro, Mill Creek is constantly used, the Northeast parks are promenades for Hispanic couples and picnickers throughout the warm weather months, there are people in Rosedale Park, Waterworks, Antioch, Penguin Park, and Theis all the time. Are big, wild parks have great, well-used trails for bikes and hikers and wonderful topography and nature.

Many of the peers you listed have just as much trouble as KC, some more with certain issues, some less with others, but none of them are universally "doing things KC should be doing" except a few that aren't really peers at all (MPLS, Denver). And for every one of those, I can show you something KC is doing that they should be.

Cincy has of late had a little trouble with big, new ideas and their implementation if I'm not mistaken.

Columbus doesn't have any fixed rail transit or a good airport, either.

Charlotte is a poor comparison culturally, but evenso its not without many of the same suburban tendencies and wild examples of corporate welfare.

Austin is a particularly poor comparison, almost laughably so, but its as sprawling, suburbanized and poorly served by transit and vibrant neighborhoods (outside of the Texas-sized college-town pockets) as KC.

Nashville isn't doing a damn thing KC isn't or hasn't already done.

Ditto Indy, even less so in fact.

Minneapolis and Denver are exemplars of new-economy urban regional centers and are both quite a bit bigger than KC, and its not because of their airports or light rail. It's because of their demographics.

KC is a very nice regional center, has a great urban core, with lots of functional urban neighborhoods besides Brookside (in fact, better ones than Brookside). Its small, it suffers from its poor relationship with its suburbs, and its not a boomtown, it never will be, its stable, and most of the wild swings of fortune are mellowed by that civic conservatism, but its thriving, its losing less population in its core than most of its midwestern peers, its building rail transit, has done transformative things with its downtown and it shows, its neither sleepy nor bustling, its fairly mellow and its going to remain that way. Seems like your not really into that lifestyle, and that's cool. I never thought Annapolis was particularly bustling, vibrant or fun either, and the DC metro outside of Baltimore is one of the least interesting places in America to my mind. I'm sure many people feel the same way about KC, and that I can understand, but the idea that KC is exceptionally dysfunctional is just full-on wrong.
First off, I didn't bring up DC, I responded after somebody else did and I said there is no comparison. Quality of life etc is obviously a personal preference, I personally am able to overlook the negatives of a more crowded and expensive city because I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Traffic and what not does not bother me as much as it does some people. People like cities like KC for the opposite reasons (cheap, accessible, easy, laid back etc) But again, I didn't bring up DC and yes, it's a different world than KC. End of that discussion.

I also didn't say a single thing about KC being the only urban city with terrible urban schools. I said the main reason they are so bad is because KCMO's urban demographics are extremely poor and that will have to change first before the schools get much better. Although if you really want to drill down on that subject, you will find that in cities with more livable urban neighborhoods there are better schools and DC is no exception to that rule.

The schools ARE broke in central KCMO (they should at least function in areas like Brookside) and KCMO does not have that many full service urban neighborhoods. It has some, but it should have a lot more than it does. But as I said, that is changing it's just a very slow process. Very slow.

I mentioned other city's positive aspects as places KC should improve on. I NEVER said Indy or Columbus or Nashville or Baltimore is better than KC overall. Never said that. There are things about and things in KC that all of those cities would LOVE to have.

And yes, cities like MSP and Denver and Seattle are really in a different tier than KC and so it's not always fair to even compare them, but I always have. Why?

Because I have always looked for ways to improve and make a city better. I wouldn't compare KC to Denver if I didn't think it had the POTENTIAL to take itself to the next level.

Now I know that the vast majority of people in KC have zero interest in how KC can improve. Every time you even mention things like light rail, new airport terminal, or street cars (don't kid yourself, most people in KC think that streetcar is a waste of money) or any other major civic project that might cost money, the people in KC have always turned into this old fart stubborn mentality and get all angry and defensive. "KC IS JUST FINE", "WE ARE KC, WE DON'T NEED ALL THAT", "KC IS TO SMALL, TOO POOR, TOO..." "WE DON'T WANT TO BE SOME OTHER CITY" "WE DON'T CARE WHAT OTHERS THINK OF US" and a bunch of other BS negative thoughts.

I honestly think we are on the same page as far as what KC offers. I think you know that I know and promote KC's positives all the time. But I also am very loud about what is wrong with KC and I try to give scenarios of how those things can be improved using other cities as examples. If it were not for people like me, KC wouldn't have what it has today to be proud of. From the Nelson to the Kauffman Center, it takes forward people saying negative things and pushing sensitive buttons to get things done, especially in a city like KC where it's so difficult to get anything done.

KC's parks are not busy nor utilized well. You can cherry pick Mill Creek and Loose all you want. And swope has attractions making it a destination, it barely functions as a true urban park. Penn Valley and Berkely should be bustling parks like Forest in St Louis. That needs to change and yes, I know the city has made improvements to PVP, a great start. PVP has the potential to be one of America's greatest true urban parks. Swope will never be that due to location and its vast mostly undeveloped size.

KC needs a new airport terminal. Maybe not a 1.5 billion dollar terminal, but the airport needs a major overhaul and or replacement and it will be expensive no matter what is done, so try to do it right the first time. At what point do you stop putting 200 million dollar band-aids on a 50 year old airport? And why not at least try to give visitors a good first and last impression of the city while you are at it?

KC needs better transit and the city is FINALLY starting to see some progress on that. But a 1 mile streetcar line needs to be expanded using a regional tax so that the entire area (including KS) side is part of the system and helps fund it and so that sales taxes along the limited routes are not 15% in ten years.

KC needs better recreational infrastructure. Build up all those river levees with trails, build some iconic pedestrian bridges over the rivers or restore old ones (ASB, Lewis & Clark etc) and connect the parks together with seamless well marked and well lit trails.

Downtown KCK needs attention. Strawberry Hill should be one of KC's most desirable neighborhoods, downtown KCK should have a small fraction of the corporations poached from KCMO using all that corporate welfare. If Kansas is going to do that, then why not use it to rebuild downtown KCK rather than build an office park at 135th and Nall.

Speaking of a wasted opportunity of corporate welfare, is there no pressure at all to leverage a project like the Cerner complex at Bannister to do a little more than a bunch of office boxes and a zillion acres of surface parking? I mean, the city and state are contributing like 1.8 billon to the project. Why is it too much to ask for a little urban planning so it can actually help the south kc area rather than just be another walled off drive to your job office park?

Why are these questions and many other so difficult to bring up or ask in Kansas City?

KC has plenty of good things about it, but you never improve if you don't also address the negatives.

Back in the 90's I was the same way and many of the things I was constantly ripping on KC have been addressed. Rebuilding Downtown was my personal pet project dating back to my high school years and back when I was constantly screaming about how bad downtown KCMO was, I got the same responses. We can't fix downtown, it's too gone, it's too crime ridden, kc is not like other cities bla bla bla.

Luckily there was enough people with passion and progressive thinking to get that ball rolling. I was one of the pioneers of getting that ball rolling when most everybody else in metro kc and even kcmo couldn't care less about downtown.

It's okay to think a little bigger kc. It really is.

Last edited by kcmo; 01-16-2014 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 24,425,620 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
Vibrant is a new catchword kcmo learned since moving to DC. If "vibrant" means urban, I don't want it!
Which is probably why I left KC 25 years ago. It just doesn't seem to change much, and I prefer both urban and vibrant. To me, that means a dense urban core that's walkable, has great ammenities, decent public transportation, nightlife, people actually living and walking around, and a sense that you're in an actual city. KC is overall, just too slow a pace for me. But I can see why people like it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:16 PM
 
182 posts, read 257,913 times
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IMO renovating the current airport is the best bet. Location is very important to having a viable airport as well as amenities and KCI is in a pretty good location. Here in Minneapolis we had a similar situation to KC in the early 90's. Back then our airport hadn't been updated since the 60's and it was becoming increasely dated. The state legislature nearly approved a plan to build a new airport from scratch in a exburban location of the metro which would've been a disaster. The airport was and still is in a perfect location right in the center of the metro, 10 miles from both DT Mpls and St Paul and right next to the Mall of America and Bloomington which is a major job center.

Thankfully the leaders here realized that and instead decided to approve a $3 billion, 13 yr plan to extensively remodel and expand the current airport in the mid 90's. When you go to MSP now it's a completely different airport, ultra modern and swanky. A new terminal was built, several new concourses opened, a airport mall was built, dozens of new restaurants opened, and an underground LRT station was built which connects the airport with DT Mpls and MOA. What's crazy is that they're planning another major expansion of the airport over the next several years. I think KC can easily have an airport just like MSP. There just needs to be the will and desire to do it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,008 posts, read 20,742,887 times
Reputation: 6048
Quote:
Originally Posted by FierySun View Post
IMO renovating the current airport is the best bet. Location is very important to having a viable airport as well as amenities and KCI is in a pretty good location. Here in Minneapolis we had a similar situation to KC in the early 90's. Back then our airport hadn't been updated since the 60's and it was becoming increasely dated. The state legislature nearly approved a plan to build a new airport from scratch in a exburban location of the metro which would've been a disaster. The airport was and still is in a perfect location right in the center of the metro, 10 miles from both DT Mpls and St Paul and right next to the Mall of America and Bloomington which is a major job center.

Thankfully the leaders here realized that and instead decided to approve a $3 billion, 13 yr plan to extensively remodel and expand the current airport in the mid 90's. When you go to MSP now it's a completely different airport, ultra modern and swanky. A new terminal was built, several new concourses opened, a airport mall was built, dozens of new restaurants opened, and an underground LRT station was built which connects the airport with DT Mpls and MOA. What's crazy is that they're planning another major expansion of the airport over the next several years. I think KC can easily have an airport just like MSP. There just needs to be the will and desire to do it.
KC is not looking to build a new airport. I agree, the location of KCI is fine, actually it's great as it's a nice growing suburban area and pretty convenient to a good portion of the metro (only south suburbs tend to be far).

KC just needs a new terminal building just like MSP did. While MSP didn't build a new terminal from the ground up, much of it was built from the ground up and the remodel was quite extensive. KC's existing design makes no sense to throw 3/4 billion dollar at it to "renovate" it. But I'm about 95% sure that's exactly what they will do and KC will be stuck with a renovated airport that still doesn't work quite the way it should for the next 50 years because they won't be able to walk away from such a mistake like they have in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Which is probably why I left KC 25 years ago. It just doesn't seem to change much, and I prefer both urban and vibrant. To me, that means a dense urban core that's walkable, has great ammenities, decent public transportation, nightlife, people actually living and walking around, and a sense that you're in an actual city. KC is overall, just too slow a pace for me. But I can see why people like it.
Yea, I love KC, it's home and I will always hope for the best there, but after moving away, I'm not sure I could ever go back to the very slow pace and suburban mentality there. I actually like nice suburbs, but I want a VIBRANT city too. KC just seems way too sleepy to me now when we visit like there is just very little activity compared to most major cities. The plaza is about it most of the time and it's like three blocks long. KC is a cheap, comfy city that has plenty to offer though.

Denver has always been one of my favorite cities. Incredible urban core, very nice suburbs, recreation galore, regional pride and cooperation and an extremely progressive chance taking city/metro that seems to get things done. I love the DC area and the Pacific NW would probably be my second choice, but Denver would be right there too.

Last edited by kcmo; 01-20-2014 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:08 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 16,645,184 times
Reputation: 16750
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Yea, I love KC, it's home and I will always hope for the best there, but after moving away, I'm not sure I could ever go back to the very slow pace and suburban mentality there. I actually like nice suburbs, but I want a VIBRANT city too. KC just seems way too sleepy to me now when we visit like there is just very little activity compared to most major cities. The plaza is about it most of the time and it's like three blocks long. KC is a cheap, comfy city that has plenty to offer though.

.
Wow. A couple of weeks ago you said you planned to move back to KC to retire, maybe even to a suburb.

Sorry Kansas City isn't VIBRANT enough for you. LOL. Why didn't you figure that out 20 years ago?
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,008 posts, read 20,742,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
Wow. A couple of weeks ago you said you planned to move back to KC to retire, maybe even to a suburb.

Sorry Kansas City isn't VIBRANT enough for you. LOL. Why didn't you figure that out 20 years ago?
I might have said something about the possibility of moving back to KC when I retire, mostly to be close to family though. But that's when I retire, I'm a long way from that, if I ever actually "retire". When I'm old, I probably won't care as much about living in a city. Plus central KCMO is more slow paced and laid back than most suburbs, including most of KC's suburbs. If I do move back to KC, it would not be to the suburbs unless you consider Brookside suburban. And once again, I have nothing against suburbs. The suburbs around KC don't interest me though especially if I don't have school aged kids. So whatever point you are trying to make, I'm not sure you are making it.

And KC is not a bad place. I just prefer a slightly larger, more progressive and yes "vibrant" city .
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:44 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 16,645,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I might have said something about the possibility of moving back to KC when I retire, mostly to be close to family though. But that's when I retire, I'm a long way from that, if I ever actually "retire". When I'm old, I probably won't care as much about living in a city. Plus central KCMO is more slow paced and laid back than most suburbs, including most of KC's suburbs. If I do move back to KC, it would not be to the suburbs unless you consider Brookside suburban. And once again, I have nothing against suburbs. The suburbs around KC don't interest me though especially if I don't have school aged kids. So whatever point you are trying to make, I'm not sure you are making it.

And KC is not a bad place. I just prefer a slightly larger, more progressive and yes "vibrant" city .
The point I am making is that you yourself said you will probably move back to KC and maybe even the suburbs of KC. I didn't say it, you did.

Vibrant is your new catchphrase. You are kind of overusing it. "progressive" and "vibrant" -
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,008 posts, read 20,742,887 times
Reputation: 6048
Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
The point I am making is that you yourself said you will probably move back to KC and maybe even the suburbs of KC. I didn't say it, you did.

Vibrant is your new catchphrase. You are kind of overusing it. "progressive" and "vibrant" -
I'm overusing it on purpose. It's working
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:31 AM
 
2,202 posts, read 2,558,188 times
Reputation: 1969
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
This article seems to be just for fun, but the statistics are interesting.

A radical idea: Build the new KCI in Johnson County - KansasCity.com
KCI new airport study is out, including a breakdown of where in the region passengers come from:

63% are from Clay, Platte and Jackson.

35% are from the Kansas side, including Wyandotte.

Maybe moving the airport closer to the cars in the parking lot wouldn't be the best idea after all.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:39 AM
 
99 posts, read 90,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
And KC is not a bad place. I just prefer a slightly larger, more progressive and yes "vibrant" city .
KC has a pretty vibrant scene already...it's just a bit more diffuse and scattered than most east coast cities. I have lived in east coast cities...the great thing about KC is you get a lot of the vibrancy (especially when it comes to sports-related and music-related things) without all the crowds in one place. Trust me, there is nothing more miserable than trying to cram into NYC or Boston subway car in the dead of winter and having so many people trying to pack in that you can barely breathe. I really don't like to deal with enormous crowds in one place, and that's one of the big perks about KC. You can find your vibrant scene in almost any nook/corner of the metro area without having it being too popular.

KC is probably the best place I have lived...except sometimes I miss Orlando-area weather.
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