Streetcar Opposition

Transportation topics in KC
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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby flyingember » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:21 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:I have a bad feeling that streetcar is going to get shutdown before the extension happens. I don't understand why the council wanted to delay the election because of the bond issue. The bond isn't even going to pass.

the bond seems iffy, the anti-new tax northland and anti-doesn't help us enough east side could kill it. This is why I recommend specifics that are citywide like new/repaired sidewalks to all schools.

the streetcar vote I can see how it can fail, and being cocky about it's chances is stupid, but with the smaller TDD in a part of town interested in the train makes it's chances far from a clear failure. I'm not certain it's going to be a blow away win but a 51-54% yes vote on both elections seems realistic to expect given past results inside the new proposed district.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby flyingember » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:38 pm

kboish wrote:
This is not really a fair comparison for our current TDD because of the way it was formed.

I don't disagree with you, but "It's closer to a school district that crosses city lines" is way easier to get across and doesn't require getting into nuances on board membership.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:44 pm

The bond vote seems like a blank check to each council person to use to get reelected. What they're going to spend it on seems all over the place which worries me. It sounds like a slush fund. I think streetcar passes. Though I think the streetcar in important enough that it should be funded by the entire city, I think it gets enough to pass...barely. Arrogance and overconfidence is its only chance of failure.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby kboish » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:41 pm

flyingember wrote:
kboish wrote:
This is not really a fair comparison for our current TDD because of the way it was formed.

I don't disagree with you, but "It's closer to a school district that crosses city lines" is way easier to get across and doesn't require getting into nuances on board membership.



Right, but you also said...

flyingember wrote:The background of the point made by the city lawyer is a TDD is a subdivision of the state. It's not a separate political subdivision inside the city that has special powers. This point is very important and is easily lost. Someone might think the streetcar TDD is controlled by the city.


and my point is- in its current configuration, the city very much does have control over the streetcar, even if it is not currently exercising that control fully. A change in the TDD's governance could limit that control, however I do not see any scenario where the city does not own the actual assets given how the original TDD was formed. In any case, The state statutes recognize that these special political subdivisions operate within existing municipalities and those municipalities are granted some control over those special districts, especially if they are operating a transit system within their jurisdiction. So, the city will always retain some control over the streetcar (ask Dave about light priority) and this is VERY different than how a school district operates in relation to a city.

A better comparison is that the TDD is like the Port Authority. Technically, that is a separate political subdivision, however, if the city dislikes how it is operating, the mayor can wipe out the board and install people who will overhaul the organization. The city cannot do that with the school district or really have any effect on how the school district operates.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:05 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:The bond vote seems like a blank check to each council person to use to get reelected. What they're going to spend it on seems all over the place which worries me. It sounds like a slush fund. I think streetcar passes. Though I think the streetcar in important enough that it should be funded by the entire city, I think it gets enough to pass...barely. Arrogance and overconfidence is its only chance of failure.


I could be wrong and someone correct me if I am but I watched the meeting when they announced that it would be split into three questions. It sounded like the Bond Board (or whatever it's called) would have to approve every project and make sure that it stuck with the wording in the question. They seemed to be very cautious about this turning into a slush fund.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:38 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:I have a bad feeling that streetcar is going to get shutdown before the extension happens. I don't understand why the council wanted to delay the election because of the bond issue. The bond isn't even going to pass.


the city would have to refund $37.1 million -- pro-rated, depending on when they made such a decision -- if it's shut down less than the required 25-year useful life.

strings are attached.

see also: cincinnati streetcar.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby KCPowercat » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:51 pm

I don't have any bad feeling about the streetcar being shut down...I feel there would be a huge public backlash at this point....but maybe I'm tone deaf.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:13 pm

I didn't mean they would shut down the current streetcar. I was talking about expansion. Sorry for the poor word choice.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:49 am

beautyfromashes wrote:I didn't mean they would shut down the current streetcar. I was talking about expansion. Sorry for the poor word choice.


oh, sure. the city holds all the cards on actually building something.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:57 am

Then why the delay? Who cares if the city wanted the bond issue on the ballot before streetcar expansion? Could have had the election already but caved to council pressure.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby chingon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:14 am

beautyfromashes wrote:Then why the delay? Who cares if the city wanted the bond issue on the ballot before streetcar expansion? Could have had the election already but caved to council pressure.


Because the margins are not big enough for it to pass without at least some council support.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:37 pm

^ So, the city holds some cards. And the responses I've heard in meetings seems to hold lukewarm support at the most from a lot of the council. I just don't trust that they won't be a barrier to approval.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby KCPowercat » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:25 pm

Seems to me the delay was to be politically savvy and stay in the good graces with the council....Not because they could sway the vote necessarily but they had it in their head that voters would shy away from the bond vote due to the rail vote being close by...Makes no sense to me but seems the streetcar people took that and made that accommodation. The real barrier to the bond vote was nobody even knew what the hell it was going to include.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:43 pm

Agreed, trying to play nice with the council. Unfortunately, sometimes a delay like that can give time for opposition to mobilize or political tricks to derail progress.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby grovester » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:00 pm

I think the opposition has been in place since the last election and was just waiting for a schedule. Doesn't really matter when it happens now. the longer the starter line runs the better, short of some kind of tragic accident.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby flyingember » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:12 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:Agreed, trying to play nice with the council. Unfortunately, sometimes a delay like that can give time for opposition to mobilize or political tricks to derail progress.

In good news, with the court rulings around TDDs about all that's realistically left in this area is voter mobilization.

Mail in has some clear benefits against some other tactics in that it's expensive and time consuming to build a base because it's not just about mass mailings, they have to make sure a ballot request has been submitted twice and the individual has to get their ballot notarized and mailed back twice. It's already hard to get voter turnout and this makes it harder.

This is the area that Dave and Matt get a huge amount of credit for downtown because they managed this process. I've always said that if the opposition then had been less vocal and more on the ground we would not have a streetcar today because it was not impossible to find ~100 people against something.

The KCRTA is respectfully organized as a group and has experience in what's needed. But if the opposition gets better organized is the wildcard. It's why I say not to be too optimistic. With the lower turnout for mail in elections and the number of steps for each voter the best ground game will determine the win.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:17 pm

^ Yes, and this is what frustrates me with the whole 'they voted for rail elections in the past, there's no doubt they will again' 'messaging that I hear. This is not the same as the DT election. The opposition will be stronger and its a different demographic in this area. This election is not a foregone conclusion. I'm concerned.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby UrbanKC » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:04 am

I don't get the negativity about the opposition. Sure there is opposition, and we shouldn't be overly confident. But I think support could only have risen over this past year.

The support for the UMKC route was clear in the election when it was voted down. They are excluding those areas now, they are excluding anyone east of Troost, and excluding those in Brookside.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby flyingember » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:57 am

UrbanKC wrote:I don't get the negativity about the opposition. Sure there is opposition, and we shouldn't be overly confident. But I think support could only have risen over this past year.

Support clearly has risen but are these individuals who will make the effort to complete the steps to vote without a lot of hand holding? Remember, train support more closely follows the demographics least likely to vote while against is the opposite.

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Re: Streetcar Opposition

Postby taxi » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:26 pm

I don't like sex and drugs
I don't like water bugs
I don't care about poverty
All I care about is me
Well I'm against it


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