KCMO Downtown Streetcar

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moderne
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KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby moderne » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:46 pm

"Regional Transit Alliance (RTA) is working with the Convention and Visitor's Assoc, the Downtown Council, the City, and major private sector entities so develop a new, unique transportation system to link Crown Center, the Crossroads district, the Power and Light Entertainment Distric, and the Convention Center District.  This system will be a private-public partnership with the purpose of improving transportation among these areas for the benefit of tourist, conventioneers, sports fans, entertainment district patrons and the increasing number of people living and working downtown.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby Tosspot » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:48 pm

Bah! Touristy frou-frou!
Image

[size=2]photoblog. 

until further notice i will routinely point out spelling errors committed by any here whom i frequently do battle wit

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby moderne » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:50 pm

    Good, I can be "local color" for the tourists from Omaha and Wichita to gawk at and point to.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby kard » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:26 pm

Neat!

Ahhhhhh-RIVERMARKET-choooo!

A'hem.
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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby Burton » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:29 pm

BVC posted in the Outside KC thread about a privately funded Streetcar line along Peachtree Street in Atlanta.
http://www.atlantastreetcar.com/

Main Street is pretty similiar to Peachtree, on a smaller scale.  Hopefully this thing works out here.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby bbqboy » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:11 pm

Modern or retro?

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby enough » Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:57 am

moderne wrote:"Regional Transit Alliance (RTA) is working with the Convention and Visitor's Assoc, the Downtown Council, the City, and major private sector entities so develop a new, unique transportation system to link Crown Center, the Crossroads district, the Power and Light Entertainment Distric, and the Convention Center District.  This system will be a private-public partnership with the purpose of improving transportation among these areas for the benefit of tourist, conventioneers, sports fans, entertainment district patrons and the increasing number of people living and working downtown.


that's great.  just great.  first chastain comes back with another light rail petition, and now the rta goes off on a superfluous trolley tangent that duplicates max.  have these people ever actually ridden on max and seen how well it's received by out-of-towners -- who haven't been *taught* to believe that public transit in kansas city doesn't work?  wouldn't the rta's time be better spent improving the transit we've already got, including max?  and what are voters going to think next year when it comes time to vote for regional funding for transit?   

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby kcmetro » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:07 am

enough wrote:that's great.  just great.  first chastain comes back with another light rail petition, and now the rta goes off on a superfluous trolley tangent that duplicates max.  have these people ever actually ridden on max and seen how well it's received by out-of-towners -- who haven't been *taught* to believe that public transit in kansas city doesn't work?  wouldn't the rta's time be better spent improving the transit we've already got, including max?  and what are voters going to think next year when it comes time to vote for regional funding for transit?   


I think all these different parties need to get together and map out ONE plan for KC's transit. I've never ridden the MAX so I can't say if it's good or bad, but I've heard mixed reviews from those who have. I think we're gonna be stuck in the mud if we can't come to a consensus about the best thing to do for KC as far as transit goes. If we make a half-assed attempt at promoting 2 or 3 different options, then nobody in their right mind is going to vote for any of them. We need strong support for ONE option, which will translate into stronger support when something comes before the voters.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby bbqboy » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:11 am

A series of Modern streetcar lines making E/W loops and intersecting with a limited access LRT ala Portland is the way to go, and it needs to be put together as 1 proposal, but with financing for each separate.
Gas is predicted to hit $4.00 a gallon by next fall. That should get folks off their rear ends.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby staubio » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:19 am

enough wrote:that's great.  just great.  first chastain comes back with another light rail petition, and now the rta goes off on a superfluous trolley tangent that duplicates max.  have these people ever actually ridden on max and seen how well it's received by out-of-towners -- who haven't been *taught* to believe that public transit in kansas city doesn't work?  wouldn't the rta's time be better spent improving the transit we've already got, including max?  and what are voters going to think next year when it comes time to vote for regional funding for transit?   


I had a massive effort of directing traffic last night at the bus stop as the gaggles of conventioners wanting to head to the Plaza were all inexplicably coming to the northbound bus stop.  Tourists do like things that go in tight loops so they know they can get right back, but MAX would do the trick with some better signage.  The ladies I met at 31st and Main had got on a bus to ride back to Crown Center with a friend and then got dumped off at 31st and were told to catch the next northbound back.  I can see a circulator during major events to augment the existing routes.  A lot of conventions have their own shuttles to connect Crown Center with the Convention District. 

Almost all of the tourists I see on the MAX are coming from or going to the Plaza.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:38 pm

bbqboy wrote:Gas is predicted to hit $4.00 a gallon by next fall. That should get folks off their rear ends.


don't count on it. $3 is the new $2. demand keeps increasing. the well is just going to have to run dry before people get responsible.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby bahua » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:23 pm

A high-priced tourist system would be fine with me, but streetcars are definitely no substitute for a bus.

It's not transit. It's leisure.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby bbqboy » Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:01 pm

YES THEY ARE. The Portland line is mostly used by the residents of that area. It's a tremendous asset.
Goes right past the Safeway, Art Museum, Powells, and Bridgeport Brewery.
What more does someone need?
Last edited by bbqboy on Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby dangerboy » Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:34 pm

The good thing about this would be an east-west service, which might hopefully allow the straight north/south route that MAX should have had from the beginning.

Getting a bus going the wrong direction is a problem everywhere, not just on KC's MAX.  I think MAX actually has pretty good signage.  The stops clearly say northbound or southbound.  Sadly so few people these days are able to navigate off of a freeway.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby markf » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:02 am

bbqboy wrote:YES THEY ARE. The Portland line is mostly used by the residents of that area. It's a tremendous asset.
Goes right past the Safeway, Art Museum, Powells, and Bridgeport Brewery.
What more does someone need?


The Portland streetcars are used by the locals.  My company is headquartered there and my friends regularly jump on and off the streetcars as they navigate through downtown.  Even in San Francisco I rode next to commuters on the cable cars.  I was very surprised to see business people on what I consider to be the most touristy line in the US.

The plan for downtown Kansas City has many hurdles to clear.  First and foremost is the establishment of a Transit Development District (TDD) which requires business owners to tax themselves.  Then there's the issue of right-of-way.  Will any major utilities need to be moved?  It's going to take a lot of creativity by all the stakeholders to make it happen.
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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby bahua » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:57 pm

I think it could only be useful if it did something that no bus currently does. Otherwise, I fail to see how a streetcar could be an improvement over anything.

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby warwickland » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:01 pm

bahua wrote:I think it could only be useful if it did something that no bus currently does. Otherwise, I fail to see how a streetcar could be an improvement over anything.


fixed rail economic development, which can be substantial. it also encourages more ridership, i heard a random figure like 33% higher than bus. also, no localized diesel emissions. a hybrid bus similar to the 16th street bus in denver might worth considering if the streetcar issue doesn't work out.
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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby trailerkid » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:25 pm

dangerboy wrote:The good thing about this would be an east-west service, which might hopefully allow the straight north/south route that MAX should have had from the beginning.


I'm intrigued by this, but what would the east/west route be? KCMo's points of interest are so north/south oriented I couldn't imagine what exactly you would be connecting. The transit "loops" idea seems interesting, but wouldn't that compromise the already efficient pathway of MAX.

Also, why don't we just turn MAX into a streetcar and up the freqency to every 5 minutes?

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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby markf » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:35 pm

warwickland wrote:fixed rail economic development, which can be substantial.


In the case of downtown streetcars it's not as much economic development as it is activity.  Busses don't generate any sort of enthusiasm from your average tourist or conventioneer.

I read an article somewhere on transit where they did a survey and the overwhelming reason out-of-towners rode fixed-rail transit was they saw it from their hotel window and thought "I need to get on that thing and see where it goes!"

Dangerboy.  The 5 minute headway thing is also important.  I saw the Jaime Lerner lecture and he emphasized that short headways are crucial for transit success.
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Re: KCMO Downtown Streetcar

Postby dangerboy » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:50 pm

If MAX was moved to a straight north/south alignment on Grand, there would be plenty of opportunities for east/west connectivity.  i.e. the convention and library districts, the government district, the proposed East Village, and further afield the Westside and 18th & Vine.

For example, a conventioneer at Bartle could take the trolley east to Grand and then transfer to MAX and get to Westport or the Plaza.


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