Capping the Loop

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
alejandro46
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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby alejandro46 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:56 pm

North loop already is very dangerous and need of upgrades. Better to remove and re-develop than spend more money on it and developing a spaghetti interchange with the new 169 bridge.

Simple solutions to the loop were proposed in the most recent Beyond the Loop Report:

- Remove Grand onramp on 670
-Additional NB exit lane on I35 N offramp
-Re-striping sections of 670/35 interchange @ SE corner of loop to prevent major backups,
etc.

This is a very long term project but lots of these surveys, studies and so no need to be done now, as there are more immediate decisions that need to be made (ex. alignment and connections of 169 bridge with indep. ave or 70). North loop removal makes economic sense at the time it will be done, and can be incorporated into a larger-scale overall upgrade of the dt loop network, streetcar preping- Independence avenue, and increase overall traffic flow, despite what the Whine-en-dot UG or the KC star opinion page may state.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby Highlander » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:31 pm

I'd rather spend the money and cap the south loop from the convention center to the Sprint Center and leave the north loop as it is for now. Capping the south loop would have a huge benefit making downtown and the crossroads a single entity again and create badly needed public space in the most appropriate part of downtown.

I look at the north loop on google maps and it just looks logistically difficult to cap. From rim-to-rim, the north loop with it's sloping grass terraces is nearly twice as wide as the south loop which has vertical walls.

As someone has already stated, the south loop is only 3 lanes. That's pretty narrow as the primary mover through a major city and the sunken nature of the freeway through the heart of the vibrant part of downtown doesn't lend itself to expansion if needed in a future with no north loop. While I definitely do not think the north loop is needed for today's KC, the inability to increase capacity on the south loop could be an issue if KC ever enters a period of Nashville type growth.
Last edited by Highlander on Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby KCPowercat » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:06 pm

Different sources of funds...both can be done.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby WoodDraw » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:12 pm

Is there any disagreement on the south loop being done first? I've always seen the north loop more 1) aspirational and 2) making sure we don't do something to make it unfeasible.

Reconnecting the downtown grid is a good long term goal, and it's important to plan around it.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby Highlander » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:21 pm

KCPowercat wrote:Different sources of funds...both can be done.


I realize that but the south loop capping, which I believe is the most important of the two, comes with strings attached. Cordish funding almost ensures the capping will be less than hoped for in terms of scope and also restrictive in terms of usage. I'd rather see that done with public funds. I realize that is a lot to aspire to but its far better in the long run.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:42 pm

^ Is there a way for Cordish to pay for it but have it deeded back to the city after so many years?

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby grovester » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:54 pm

The plan isn't to cap the north loop, but eliminate it completely, hopefully with buried parking garages.

Truly capping the south loop, in the way that most think is too expensive, even with Cordsih. What would likely happen is some sort of sectional vented cap, not a tunnel.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby wahoowa » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:06 am

can we propose turning the north loop into a streetcar spur to KCK to get the unified government back on board and get me closer to tacos

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby DaveKCMO » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:50 am

wahoowa wrote:can we propose turning the north loop into a streetcar spur to KCK to get the unified government back on board and get me closer to tacos


That might actually work. It's the best way to get to KCK.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby normalthings » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:22 am

DaveKCMO wrote:
wahoowa wrote:can we propose turning the north loop into a streetcar spur to KCK to get the unified government back on board and get me closer to tacos


That might actually work. It's the best way to get to KCK.

Shouldn’t that be more of a LR Line?

Either ways, we could offer them a BRT from time of decommissioning till the time that we can get Streetcar or LR going.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby earthling » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:47 am

With battery technology allowing for hundreds of miles per charge and quick charging (40+ miles with 10 minute charge), LRT and/or a catenary wired streetcar system doesn't seem necessary anymore, especially given they are high maintenance and susceptible to storms/ice/etc. Fixed path transit is important to encourage TOD but it doesn't necessarily need to be rail based. True dedicated BRT path between KCK/downtown would be an effective lower cost solution. Modernized busses that look like modern streetcar with level boarding could attract 'bus haters', especially if free to ride. Could a TDD pass in KCK along the line if free to ride?

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normalthings
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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby normalthings » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:05 pm

IIRC In MO, TDD can not be used for bus operations. Would be important to see how that works in Kansas.

I don’t think not using diesel was ever the big driver of rail. It has always been its ability to run faster with higher capacities, to serve as a a transit backbone. Thus, battery powered busses don’t seem as big of a deal to me. Do note: VW settlement is providing MO with a few million to purchase electric buses. Hopefully KCATA gets a few.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby DaveKCMO » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:17 pm

normalthings wrote:IIRC In MO, TDD can not be used for bus operations. Would be important to see how that works in Kansas.

I don’t think not using diesel was ever the big driver of rail. It has always been its ability to run faster with higher capacities, to serve as a a transit backbone. Thus, battery powered busses don’t seem as big of a deal to me. Do note: VW settlement is providing MO with a few million to purchase electric buses. Hopefully KCATA gets a few.


Correct. Of course, the TDD law could be changed again but the Republican push back against bus operations was pretty intense.

Benefits of battery electric buses:

- Reduces driver fatigue (and lower NVH for everyone else, too!)
- Reduces localized pollution (except for tire dust)
- More energy efficient
- Instant torque for smoother acceleration
- Ability to fuel with solar power
- Allows KCATA to eliminate aging diesel fueling infrastructure
- Back seat of the bus isn't a sauna

The other unique benefit of our rail system is 100% low floor interior (step free). There aren't any buses that have that, anywhere. Level boarding can be done with bus and will debut late next year with Prospect MAX.

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normalthings
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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby normalthings » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:30 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
normalthings wrote:IIRC In MO, TDD can not be used for bus operations. Would be important to see how that works in Kansas.

I don’t think not using diesel was ever the big driver of rail. It has always been its ability to run faster with higher capacities, to serve as a a transit backbone. Thus, battery powered busses don’t seem as big of a deal to me. Do note: VW settlement is providing MO with a few million to purchase electric buses. Hopefully KCATA gets a few.


Correct. Of course, the TDD law could be changed again but the Republican push back against bus operations was pretty intense.

Benefits of battery electric buses:

- Reduces driver fatigue (and lower NVH for everyone else, too!)
- Reduces localized pollution (except for tire dust)
- More energy efficient
- Instant torque for smoother acceleration
- Ability to fuel with solar power
- Allows KCATA to eliminate aging diesel fueling infrastructure
- Back seat of the bus isn't a sauna

The other unique benefit of our rail system is 100% low floor interior (step free). There aren't any buses that have that, anywhere. Level boarding can be done with bus and will debut late next year with Prospect MAX.


Do you think battery busses will replace rail?

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby DaveKCMO » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:52 pm

Let me just say I don't think KC will build any more new rail than River to UMKC. It's unlikely the benefits of battery electric bus will outweigh the existing capital investment and benefits of rail, but I'm sure it will happen somewhere. Even Chicago has defunct elevated rail lines.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby earthling » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:02 pm

^Commuter rail shared with existing freight through burbs could still be in play in future but it is hard to envision new rail after River/UMKC extensions. KC needs to embrace dedicated true BRT paths as it should entice near same level TOD (transit-oriented development) as fixed rail, especially if free to ride. Obviously much cheaper to deploy/maintain per mile. As a regular bus rider the difference between bus/streetcar/rail is zero to me if all same right of ways but bus gets a bad rap and if it looks and feels and functions like streetcar, it could gain same level of acceptance. Level boarding, sleek modern appearance would help - or like a tram on wheels.

Could MO TDD law change (or be bypassed) more easily if dedicated BRT paths/operations are part of the Streetcar Authority and separate from KCATA? Apologies, I've never been clear on the differences in structure/operations. That is, categorize dedicated BRT as electric streetcar on wheels, not buses. The TDD could then allow for potentially free fare service like existing streetcar but lower deployment cost/operations and ultimately lower tax rate along line.

Maybe these related posts should be moved...

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby Highlander » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:52 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:Let me just say I don't think KC will build any more new rail than River to UMKC.


Is that because of the recent election that dictated that all of KC vote on future rail lines?

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ToDactivist
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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby ToDactivist » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:24 pm

Was told first step was swapping 670 and 70 signs as it is easier to rid a 3 numbered interstate than 2. then buried parking for north loop (ballpark) stop, then ballpark (amazon or other field) then parks and bldgs above. remember the city will get this land back so payback is property taxes and sales tax rev.

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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby normalthings » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:20 pm

Highlander wrote:
DaveKCMO wrote:Let me just say I don't think KC will build any more new rail than River to UMKC.


Is that because of the recent election that dictated that all of KC vote on future rail lines?

Dave has said that TDD doesn’t really work outside of the current planned extensions. The 2014 plan to the east side only worked because it captured the stadiums.

Personally, I think that there are maybe 1-2 routes that could work with TDD. I think the Brookside route could be done for a much lower price than what was estimated.
Last edited by normalthings on Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grovester
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Re: Capping the Loop

Postby grovester » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:41 pm

The Brookside route also didn't score well which means less likely to get matching fed funds.


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