Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:39 am

Streetcar vs light rail vs commuter rail vs buss gone as a thing. It's all about building the system that serves each area best.

It's entirely possible to build a great transit network that's insanely mixed in style.

London is the ultimate example. Their underground is heavy rail and it serves places 30 miles away without transferring that also have commuter, regional and long distance rail service. The city has commuter rail, streetcar (some mixed traffic), aerial tram, light rail, heavy underground and busses all co-existing.

I picture long-term that in some places the streetcar will extend to serve a commuter function. A line north towards Gladstone, west to Mission, east to Raytown and south along Troost would be good examples. In other places taking commuter rail makes sense. In others, a high density, high frequency bus is the best choice.

And overlaying that, a local bus system bus system that connects with the other modes with a network of bike lanes and paths helping people reach the bus easily.

Look at how many commuter bus lines Houston has that use HOV lanes along the freeway. They don't try to have this bus connect to every central city jobs center, it connects to the train and a downtown circulation bus instead lets that distribute people.

There should be no decision that we would ever stop building a specific type of transit. And by no means does any one system need to be continuous. I could see a streetcar along part of College Blvd that connects to a heavy rail commuter line between Olathe and Liberty. Overland Park seems interested in dense infill and this corridor would be a good place to do this.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by ToDactivist » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:06 pm

Okay somewhat agree and perhaps my comment was more slanted towards prioritization vs yes/no. Seems to me the first line solved the intended need plus proved the concept of investment along a line will occur - duh. But I am NOT seeing a conversation or hear chatter on commuters and given recent discussions on pulling in a healthier core (50K more people, new office bldgs, etc) then biding the burbs and also "farming" the surround communities for labor and skills and startups seems more of a immediate need than the extension. No it is not an "or" it should be an "and" but as slow as things proceed in KC, I would think a regional bind is more important.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by KCPowercat » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:31 pm

I see the plaza extension way higher priority. It makes the current line infinitely more useful. Past that I totally agree need to be looking more regionally and commuter focused... Which is what the rock island plan is about....the other side of the metro doesn't appear to be interested in commuter rail (probably because it will put downtown at a competitive advantage over their 435 business corridor.)

Delaware landing (or whatever it's called now) becomes much more valuable with the line going to umkc IMO if we want to bring in real life examples. I know I'll be using it to get to the plaza often.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:27 pm

The next best bet after UMKC is streetcar to NKC. By itself there's lots of opportunities, such as the HUGE empty piece of land on 10th ave between Burlington and Swift. Crossing the river opens up new set of commuter rail opportunities to Liberty (and onto Kearney and Excelsior) and Parkville.

Both examples would be alternatives than a road widening to the same destinations.

It also connects to further out KC efforts like the industrial center at Birmingham. If you must have low density stops having them inside KC would make sense. It also provides rail to downtown that is an alternative to people driving to Johnson County.

And I'm certain Clay and Platte would love to drive economic growth in their counties more than to the southwest.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by grovester » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:51 pm

The next best bet after umkc is a regional plan. It's not a very good bet.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by horizons82 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:01 pm

grovester wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:51 pm
The next best bet after umkc is a regional plan. It's not a very good bet.
Isn't the KC chamber supposed to be working on a plan?

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:48 pm

grovester wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:51 pm
The next best bet after umkc is a regional plan
No, it’s the largest plan that can be funded and built.

Prospect Max is a good example of this.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by grovester » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:42 pm

Since the current model doesn't work any where else in the city, I'd be curious to hear about any funding mechanism that isn't a regional plan.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by normalthings » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:01 pm

grovester wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:51 pm
The next best bet after umkc is a regional plan. It's not a very good bet.
From what I’ve heard, it’s not going to be anything overly impressive

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by DaveKCMO » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:16 am

grovester wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:42 pm
Since the current model doesn't work any where else in the city, I'd be curious to hear about any funding mechanism that isn't a regional plan.
There isn’t one.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by smh » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:02 pm

I think this hot take ignores the potential for future density along the route and all throughout midtown. It also ignores the potential of recreating/improving our midtown streets as car trips are replaced by streetcar (and bus and bike--and walking due to future density).

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:38 pm

Watch how downtown OP develops denser and if this model expands to the south. If it can restart the old model that had denser developments along transit corridors with single family behind the money will start to appear.

The city may never get back to the train everywhere model, but Troost, Prospect, State, N. Oak, Indep Ave, Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf could be possible.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by rxlexi » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:13 pm

Some interesting thoughts here. I think streetcar extension to UMKC, if it remains free, will be a game changer, despite concerns about traffic/trip length. It makes the existing line exponentially more valuable, connects the two densest job and investment centers in the region and runs directly through once-dense commercial and residential corridors with a ton of redevelopment potential.

Once complete, this single line 6 mile line will make accessible a huge chunk of the city, a benefit of our small, linear urban core and a benefit most other cities can't obtain from smaller streetcar lines.

Let's complete that line and then focus intensely on building up the city around it to complement; bike lanes, road diets, new development, street trees, sidewalks, etc.

Frankly, I don't see a need or desire for commuter rail in KC at any point. Would be "cool", but I just don't think we (or most small and mid-size cities) can effectively connect outlying burbs in a way that would be cost effective, usable and/or meaningfully reduce automobile use. Seems like a waste of resources that we could be using to focus on building up the central core for those that desire an urban lifestyle.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by smh » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:14 pm

rxlexi wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:13 pm
Some interesting thoughts here. I think streetcar extension to UMKC, if it remains free, will be a game changer, despite concerns about traffic/trip length. It makes the existing line exponentially more valuable, connects the two densest job and investment centers in the region and runs directly through once-dense commercial and residential corridors with a ton of redevelopment potential.

Once complete, this single line 6 mile line will make accessible a huge chunk of the city, a benefit of our small, linear urban core and a benefit most other cities can't obtain from smaller streetcar lines.

Let's complete that line and then focus intensely on building up the city around it to complement; bike lanes, road diets, new development, street trees, sidewalks, etc.

Frankly, I don't see a need or desire for commuter rail in KC at any point. Would be "cool", but I just don't think we (or most small and mid-size cities) can effectively connect outlying burbs in a way that would be cost effective, usable and/or meaningfully reduce automobile use. Seems like a waste of resources that we could be using to focus on building up the central core for those that desire an urban lifestyle.
Yes! All of this.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:25 pm

KCPowercat wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:31 pm
I see the plaza extension way higher priority. It makes the current line infinitely more useful. Past that I totally agree need to be looking more regionally and commuter focused... Which is what the rock island plan is about....the other side of the metro doesn't appear to be interested in commuter rail (probably because it will put downtown at a competitive advantage over their 435 business corridor.)

Delaware landing (or whatever it's called now) becomes much more valuable with the line going to umkc IMO if we want to bring in real life examples. I know I'll be using it to get to the plaza often.
Sorry I just dont see someone taking the streetcar from UMKC to the RM when uber or maybe even Bird would be faster. And as far as this serving the Plaza I challenge that even more. If someone were even on that side of the Plaza and if they wanted to transverse both Nichols then Main to get on a streetcar to go where? Try this in real life, walking across both intersections maybe with your holiday shopping bags or w/o. Just dont see the value other than long term developer opps along the line. Am sure I am wrong. Am hopeful I am wrong.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by ToDactivist » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:28 pm

smh wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:14 pm
rxlexi wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:13 pm
Some interesting thoughts here. I think streetcar extension to UMKC, if it remains free, will be a game changer, despite concerns about traffic/trip length. It makes the existing line exponentially more valuable, connects the two densest job and investment centers in the region and runs directly through once-dense commercial and residential corridors with a ton of redevelopment potential.

Once complete, this single line 6 mile line will make accessible a huge chunk of the city, a benefit of our small, linear urban core and a benefit most other cities can't obtain from smaller streetcar lines.

Let's complete that line and then focus intensely on building up the city around it to complement; bike lanes, road diets, new development, street trees, sidewalks, etc.

Frankly, I don't see a need or desire for commuter rail in KC at any point. Would be "cool", but I just don't think we (or most small and mid-size cities) can effectively connect outlying burbs in a way that would be cost effective, usable and/or meaningfully reduce automobile use. Seems like a waste of resources that we could be using to focus on building up the central core for those that desire an urban lifestyle.
Yes! All of this.
Hope so too!

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by KCPowercat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:18 pm

ToDactivist wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:25 pm
KCPowercat wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:31 pm
I see the plaza extension way higher priority. It makes the current line infinitely more useful. Past that I totally agree need to be looking more regionally and commuter focused... Which is what the rock island plan is about....the other side of the metro doesn't appear to be interested in commuter rail (probably because it will put downtown at a competitive advantage over their 435 business corridor.)

Delaware landing (or whatever it's called now) becomes much more valuable with the line going to umkc IMO if we want to bring in real life examples. I know I'll be using it to get to the plaza often.
Sorry I just dont see someone taking the streetcar from UMKC to the RM when uber or maybe even Bird would be faster. And as far as this serving the Plaza I challenge that even more. If someone were even on that side of the Plaza and if they wanted to transverse both Nichols then Main to get on a streetcar to go where? Try this in real life, walking across both intersections maybe with your holiday shopping bags or w/o. Just dont see the value other than long term developer opps along the line. Am sure I am wrong. Am hopeful I am wrong.
Well I'm sure I'll be doing it (hopefully from river market pending some new rowhouses being built ;-) ) and have done this walk frequently over the years. Main right there will be more pedestrians friendly with streetcar improvements. I agree right now that crossing is hostile.

I don't think it's unimaginable that regular kc residents will walk less than a half mile from the heart of the plaza (47th and Broadway) to the streetcar stop to go back north. If not, this city is a lost cause that commuter rail definitely wouldn't fix.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:55 pm

Commuter rail by itself looks unreasonable

But if a line was run to downtown lees summit it’s about being easier than driving to JoCo.

In the short term, maybe not, but it’s another piece of the puzzle of rebuilding downtown.

It’s what the streetcar to UMKC is about. It’s not better necessarily than existing options we could implement, but it’s about providing options that developers and people want.

If we built rail down 31st to the stadiums you would see new development along it. Commuter rail should be targeted the same way.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by beautyfromashes » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:20 pm

ToDactivist wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:25 pm
Sorry I just dont see someone taking the streetcar from UMKC to the RM when uber or maybe even Bird would be faster. And as far as this serving the Plaza I challenge that even more. If someone were even on that side of the Plaza and if they wanted to transverse both Nichols then Main to get on a streetcar to go where? Try this in real life, walking across both intersections maybe with your holiday shopping bags or w/o. Just dont see the value other than long term developer opps along the line. Am sure I am wrong. Am hopeful I am wrong.
Midtown here. If it's free, I'll use it everyday at least once.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by FangKC » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:09 pm

I see UMKC students using the streetcar to save money going out with friends. I remember how broke I was as a student. I would rather have spent cash on that instead of Uber, or gas for my car. There are also movie theaters for students to frequent downtown (Alamo, Screenland). I also see convention visitors using it in both directions, and the convention people say it's made a huge difference in attracting convention business. The more people we get to use public transit when frequenting bars the better.

I do think the primary reason residents will use it is to go back and forth to work, and that as more jobs and apartments are located along the line, more people will organize their lives to live and work along it. It's been easier to attract apartments along it than jobs. Getting jobs to come seems to be the bigger challenge.

I think that the future jobs are going to come from young people who are starting companies. It's much harder to change the thinking and habits of existing businesses run by older people who have no experience with public transportation, and who have organized their lives around having a car, parking, and a short commute.

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