Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

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flyingember
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by flyingember » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:24 am

Keep in mind that there's work that can be advanced without full funding.

The next phase of engineering work is funded as I recall.

Once the track layout is defined it's possible to start talking to utilities.

Water line work was early in the sequence downtown and coming through and improving the water + sewer lines, where not done, is a good standalone project without laying track. Getting KCPL to do capacity improvements for midtown that also happens to be streetcar ready, why not get this pushed up?

Look at how the track over 670 was a year ahead. So if there's a need to repair the bridge over Brush Creek the same could be done there with track laid in the same project.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by WoodDraw » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:33 pm

KCPowercat wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:24 am
WoodDraw wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:16 am
This seems like a pretty bad outcome to me. Delayed to the point where we really can't predict transportation trends.

Mixed streetcar is awful to begin with. I think it's getting harder to defend this project.

Quite dramatic
I mean so far they've failed at River front expansion and South expansion.

How am I the dramatic one? Seems to me it makes sense to rethink our transportation goals and make sure our priors our still true instead of just building something because we said we would.

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grovester
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by grovester » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:46 pm

Let's make it bigger and more expensive, that will improve our chances!

Might as well toss in a route to the airport.

It's a process, same as the starter line.

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normalthings
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by normalthings » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:14 pm

grovester wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:46 pm
Let's make it bigger and more expensive, that will improve our chances!

Might as well toss in a route to the airport.

It's a process, same as the starter line.

Wanting to reconsider curb vs center running is a valid desire. It sounds like the ship has sailed but it still makes sense why others would want to reevaluate. Better to redo a few hundred thousand in work now than put $300million into the ground only to realize we messed up.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by KCPowercat » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:44 pm

WoodDraw wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:33 pm
KCPowercat wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:24 am
WoodDraw wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:16 am
This seems like a pretty bad outcome to me. Delayed to the point where we really can't predict transportation trends.

Mixed streetcar is awful to begin with. I think it's getting harder to defend this project.

Quite dramatic
I mean so far they've failed at River front expansion and South expansion.

How am I the dramatic one? Seems to me it makes sense to rethink our transportation goals and make sure our priors our still true instead of just building something because we said we would.
It doesn't appear anything is offtrack at this point and according to KCSA they didn't expect anything this round based on where we are in design. Taking this news as the the whole streetcar is "awful" is dramatic. Go nuts though.

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GRID
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by GRID » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:54 pm

I don't get the curb running thing. Can somebody explain why they chose to do that? It just seems to really cheapen the entire investment and permanent solidify that this will forever be nothing more than a local tram and not light rail lite. Getting caught up in traffic, parked cars, traffic signals, having tiny stations that are basically bus shelters, slower etc and just sort of "small time" transit that could have been a true transit "spine" of something much larger in the future.

Maybe I am overthinking things, but I just think running it in shared traffic on the curb is going to be a huge long term mistake. May as well just use heritage streetcars that go 10mph while you are at it. I mean is this KC's future transit spine or is it really just a toy that suburbanites play on?

If you are going to do it and if it's going to be delayed for who knows how many years, then at least do it right. Streetcars in shared traffic downtown is okay (although main should be a transit only road in the loop), but I always thought any expansions would lean a bit more on the light rail side of things. Otherwise, I don't see any improvement over the MAX bus line. It's probably slower actually.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by KCPowercat » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:00 pm

The decision documents details the differences and why curb lane was chosen. It's on the streetcar site.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by beautyfromashes » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:03 pm

^ Because it’s a streetcar, for the benefit mostly for those living alongside it. It’s not a commuter rail and never will be. It’s not going to connect to Liberty or the airport or JOCO or the stadiums. Those would all be bigger trains that would connect at some point along the line. We can see that getting even this modest line in the most dense part of the city is very difficult. I doubt it expands any further than currently planned in my lifetime. If citizens want the full benefit of it, they should move back to the city.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by GRID » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:17 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:03 pm
^ Because it’s a streetcar, for the benefit mostly for those living alongside it. It’s not a commuter rail and never will be. It’s not going to connect to Liberty or the airport or JOCO or the stadiums. Those would all be bigger trains that would connect at some point along the line. We can see that getting even this modest line in the most dense part of the city is very difficult. I doubt it expands any further than currently planned in my lifetime. If citizens want the full benefit of it, they should move back to the city.
I get that, but I still think the infrastructure of it should be a bit more robust and more of a hybrid streetcar/light rail which would lay the groundwork for future expansions but also help the line be better utilized for commuters etc. By commuters, I'm talking about people that live downtown and work on the plaza. not people in Liberty or Olathe.

And every time I'm in KC, half the people on those streetcars are suburban families playing around on them with nowhere really to go (weekends). It seems like a great deal of the ridership is still the novelty of riding somewhat real transit in KC even if it's not really even needed since you can drive and park so easily in downtown KC.

I love the project and I'm sure the curb running lane will be fine and get most of the job done. I just think center running and dedicated row would be better, but I don't know the details. I guess it's just not feasible.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by KCPowercat » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:27 pm

Weekday ridership continues to increase.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by GRID » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:31 pm

KCPowercat wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:27 pm
Weekday ridership continues to increase.
Right, as it should with all the residents moving downtown. That's why I said "weekends" when I mentioned the suburban people playing on it. And personally, there is absolutely noting wrong with that either. The streetcar is exposing people to downtown even if the streetcar itself is half the reason people are going downtown in the first place.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:43 pm

Yeah, it's so weird that there would be more people downtown on weekends going to events rather than work. Doesn't make any sense. /s

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smh
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by smh » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:54 pm

This post by Jarrett Walker always sticks with me, particularly the chart about streetcar v. light-rail and when streetcar "tries to do too much".

https://humantransit.org/2010/03/street ... rence.html

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normalthings
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by normalthings » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:11 pm

GRID wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:17 pm
beautyfromashes wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:03 pm
^ Because it’s a streetcar, for the benefit mostly for those living alongside it. It’s not a commuter rail and never will be. It’s not going to connect to Liberty or the airport or JOCO or the stadiums. Those would all be bigger trains that would connect at some point along the line. We can see that getting even this modest line in the most dense part of the city is very difficult. I doubt it expands any further than currently planned in my lifetime. If citizens want the full benefit of it, they should move back to the city.
I get that, but I still think the infrastructure of it should be a bit more robust and more of a hybrid streetcar/light rail which would lay the groundwork for future expansions but also help the line be better utilized for commuters etc. By commuters, I'm talking about people that live downtown and work on the plaza. not people in Liberty or Olathe.
The more reliable the service, the more likely it will be used by commuters. Increases reliability and increased speeds are the top two benefits of center running.

On another note.... It would be really nice if the more popular station shelters were bigger. I’d love to see a 2-3 wide unit at the Plaza, Union Station, 31st, and City Market stops. Overall, I think that we should look at designing some of the forecasted higher use stations a bit bigger than the rest.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by normalthings » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:17 pm

If you have time this week, KC Streetcar published their 15% design docs. My ramblings are below.

1. 2 Concepts are being considered for Vehicle Maintenance Facility expansion. Both include expansion to the existing north side building and an external wash station. Both include lengthing the existing bays by 50 feet (longer vehicles in the future?)

2. Crossovers are proposed for Main&Westport Road and Main&Pershing. I wonder what the reasoning is behind having Pershing crossover and existing switch back so close together?

3. The 51st Street Station is proposed as a single loaded station below a switch back. I’d love to know the reasoning behind not moving it north slightly(above the switchback) so it could be double loaded. The Plaza station will be double loaded in an exclusive ROW(as it should be imho). The Plaza station looks to be longer than average as well(plz make it big Dave).
Last edited by normalthings on Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by beautyfromashes » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:29 pm

I’ve probably pushed the merry-go-round of this topic too many times already. I understand the desire for people living or working DT to get quickly to Plaza and vice versa. If drilling technology magically advanced to be cheaper than running above ground, many people would want a DT to Plaza speed train. I just don’t see that as the overarching goal here. This is a Midtown development vehicle. It should be oriented to that goal. I’m hopeful it will spread the Renaissance of DT to the south and bring many, many more residents back to the city. We’ll see!

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by grovester » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:31 pm

The point is not to get there faster, it's to do it without a car.

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smh
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by smh » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:05 pm

normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:17 pm

2. Crossovers are proposed for Main&Westport Road and Main&Pershing. I wonder what the reasoning is behind having Pershing crossover and existing switch back so close together?
I haven't looked at the design docs but are you sure the Pershing crossover isn't the existing switch?

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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by normalthings » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:06 pm

smh wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:05 pm
normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:17 pm

2. Crossovers are proposed for Main&Westport Road and Main&Pershing. I wonder what the reasoning is behind having Pershing crossover and existing switch back so close together?
I haven't looked at the design docs but are you sure the Pershing crossover isn't the existing switch?
Yes. There is a new crossover in the Pershing intersection and then the existing crossover north of US Station.

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smh
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Re: Phase 2 streetcar to UMKC

Post by smh » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:10 pm

normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:06 pm
smh wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:05 pm
normalthings wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:17 pm

2. Crossovers are proposed for Main&Westport Road and Main&Pershing. I wonder what the reasoning is behind having Pershing crossover and existing switch back so close together?
I haven't looked at the design docs but are you sure the Pershing crossover isn't the existing switch?
Yes. There is a new crossover in the Pershing intersection and then the existing crossover north of US Station.
I see that now. Perhaps it replaces the existing switch?

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