Tuesday, July 29, 2014

KANSAS CITY MAYOR SLY TOUTS TOY TRAIN STREETCAR 'SILVER BULLET' MAGIC FIX!!!



The latest missive from Mayor Sly James seems like nothing more than hocus pocus that references a bit of "silver bullet" legend or maybe they plan to serve Coors Light on the Kansas City Toy Train Streetcar. WTF???



Either way . . . The magic "silver bullet" to fire up the local economy is a dangerous bit of economic theory that's more akin to tragic "tin-cup urbanism" wherein this town begs for change from our suburban betters without fixing more pressing infrastructure and public safety needs.

Check it:

Mayor Sly James: In Search of the Silver Bullet



Around the country, local leaders are searching for the key to economic development.

I have attended several conferences this summer where I have met other local leaders and policymakers, and they are all looking for the same thing: A silver bullet that will bring economic development far and wide in their communities. I’d love to find one myself. That will be hard to find, but it’s our duty to look for proven, research-based economic development tactics.


We do know of one proven way to drive development in cities and it’s called public transit. The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit organization focusing on how we can wisely use land in cities to cultivate growth and prosperity. In their publication Infrastructure 2014: Shaping the Competitive City, researchers surveyed “high-level public officials and private real estate leaders” on several questions related to infrastructure and economic development.

Here are a few key findings:

• “Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents rated infrastructure quality as a top or very important consideration when determining where real estate investments are made.”

• “The survey affirms the importance of infrastructure in metropolitan economic development strategies.”

• “Upgrades to public transit systems — including bus and fixed-rail systems — merged from the survey as a strong priority for future investment.”

• “Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents saw improved transit services as a top or high priority.”

We have certainly seen plenty of local evidence of these findings. We know for sure that since December of 2012, close to $900 million in development, including 2,753 housing units, has, or is, occurring in the starterline Transportation Development District (TDD).

The impact of the Downtown streetcar starter line is a glimpse of what could spread to other parts of the city when expansion routes are approved. Of the $890 million of development projects on that map, 13 developers have cited the streetcar as a key reason they chose to develop in the area.

Furthermore, studies affirm that rail projects, like streetcar, positively impact property values. That is not a soundbyte and it’s not opinion — it’s fact based on research that found rail transit enhances property values by increasing connectivity and the propensity for property around rail transit investments to be developed.

It’s clear that rail transit is not a pie-in-the-sky strategy. All of this considered, we may have the closest thing there is to a silver bullet.

The robust development around the Downtown starterline is incentive to spread economic prosperity to other areas of the City long in need of economic development. By extending the streetcar east on Independence Avenue and Linwood Boulevard, we can provide infrastructure improvements, economic development prospects, better connectivity and jobs.

On July 10th of this year, we, as a Council adopted Resolution 140519 , which, in short, directed the City Manager to engage in a comprehensive process over the next 60 days to identify, prioritize and implement effective development strategies in the expanded streetcar TDD area.

Specifically, we directed the Manager to develop a plan that:

• promotes transit- oriented development;

• revitalizes neighborhoods with an emphasis on addressing properties that are eyesores for neighborhoods; and,

• sustains and creates affordable housing for those currently in the area.

I am confident this plan will promote investment in areas that have needed it for years, while ensuring current residents will be able to afford to stay in those neighborhoods when their trajectories change course. I have personally committed to working to ensure that happens.

It is my hope, despite a natural fear of change, that we recognize that we must compete on an international scale for talent, revenue, and both economic and social prosperity.

It is my hope that if you will vote Yes on Question A if you live in the proposed Transportation Development District and Vote Yes on Amendment 7 to create better transportation and more jobs in Kansas City.

From the desk of Mayor James, July 28, 2014
################

22 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Running around hyping one idea after another certainly beats working hard to actually accomplish anything, but in the end the hot air balloon deflates and there's not much there.
Sly and the council were sold the streetcar idea by transit enthusiasts and urban planners and then completely lost control of the situation, which has become a financial feeding frenzy, with every consultant, engineering firm, and outright hack stuffing the taxpayers' money into their pockets.
No one has any real idea of how much money has been spent and the borrowing will cause this fiasco to bleed the general fund for decades.
These folks are way way out on a limb and the voters are likely to start sawing on election day.
Sly's a carnival barker, not a mayor.
It's really a shame.

Anonymous said...

There is no silver bullet but a good start would be to overhaul the city's entire business taxation and licensing structure and reporting. Then fire most of the Finance Department. No one in their right mind would open a business within the city limits of KCMO.

Anonymous said...

Yet, actual business people, as opposed to underemployed internet trolls, do.

Overwhelmingly. Every day. Men and women open business in KC more frequently and than anywhere else in the metro.

And they are more successful there too. Because that's where the most people live, work, shop and play.

Sorry suburbanites. Facts are tough.

Anonymous said...

Next the fat, bow tied lardo will tell us that the streetcar is the cure for cancer. Obviously, in the "Feel Good" James era closing fire stations is the way to make Kansas City a more livable town. That, combined with another multi hundred million dollar municipal boondoggle (his planned 1,000 room hotel) laid over the brand new multi billion dollar municipal government disaster (the proposed new airport) will leave all of us something to remember him by... something even the worst Mayor in the history if Kansas City was unable (and, thankfully, unwilling) to accomplish... a bone crushing municipal debt :(

spyke1 said...

Silver Bullet? Or, maybe just a fluff piece attempting to legitimize the use of, "fixed rail", ballot language?

Anonymous said...

Sub-rube-an FREEAKOUT!

The eastsiders and midtowner are not voting the way we told them to!

What the fuck?

Get it together white pe0ple! Assert your authority to make everyone's decisions for them and to have your will be done!

Anonymous said...

7:38 do you have any proof of this? Seems to me people are living working and playing in Johnson County

Anonymous said...

A pack of lies.

Anonymous said...

7:38 if you mean coffee shops and brew pubs, yes there is a lot of new business. But if you want to see real business go to North Kansas City. Then drive down to Front St in KCMO. Huge difference, all due to taxation, licensing and a city indifferent to business.

Anonymous said...

This guy is like a bull in a train shop

Anonymous said...

Yes let's help people enjoy stability and the ability to manage their household balance sheets by raising taxes through the roof and railroading a never ending stream of tax payer subsidized boondoggles down their throats.

Anonymous said...

When can we get an opponent for this train wreck named Sly James? He is literally running this City into the ground with his idiocy.

THIS is what Sly is selling said...

Follow the fucking link.

Anonymous said...

"A silver bullet that will bring economic development far and wide in their communities. I’d love to find one myself."
SLie admits that he believes in fairy tales. Plus, he loves to go on junkets around the country, traveling on taxpayer expense.

“Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents rated infrastructure quality as a top or very important consideration when determining where real estate investments are made.”
Brilliant!!! You mean, it wouldn't be a wise investment to build in a desert without existing infrastructure? Who knew!

“Upgrades to public transit systems — including bus and fixed-rail systems — merged from the survey as a strong priority for future investment.”
MERGED from the survey? Check your syntax SLie! That may be good enough for the Falling Star, but it won't cut it for us blog readers.

"Furthermore, studies affirm that rail projects, like streetcar, positively impact property values. That is not a soundbyte and it’s not opinion — it’s fact based on research that found rail transit enhances property values by increasing connectivity and the propensity for property around rail transit investments to be developed."
Please note, whenever, a carnival barker is attempting to draw in the paying customers, truth and reality become victims of cirumstance.

"It’s clear that rail transit is not a pie-in-the-sky strategy. All of this considered, we may have the closest thing there is to a silver bullet."
Anticipating our reaction to his previous lie above, SLie feels the need to bolster his exaggerated claims by issuing a blanket denial that "rail transit is not a pie-in-the-sky strategy." However, please note, that he contradicts reality with the claim that "we may have the closest thing there is to a silver bullet."

KCMO voters will shoot the TOY TRAIN with a silver bullet and kill the tax-wasting beast!

Anonymous said...

This is NOT rail transit - this is antiquated wasteful technology with overhead electrical lines. There was a reason the ENTIRE streetcar grid was scrapped years ago.

Yes, the quaint little streetcar is good for tourism and I get that. But expanding it beyond a tourist line is just fucking stupid. Just like those thieving politicians at City Hall.

elBryan said...

Bullets don't cost $500M. Not even magic silver ones.

Anonymous said...

This guy and the city council has created so much tension, anger, and frustration in this city with their us against them attitude toward everything it's truly remarkable citizens have been able to show so much restraint and remain civil.

Anonymous said...

Only CKMO would mow down 150 trees along the river front so it would be easier for people to attend a fireworks show on the 4th.

Brilliant

Anonymous said...

How long before someone is murdered on the streetcar?

Brock said...

All of my friends and I are for the streetcar. We don't know anyone who is against it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't "Toy Train Streetcar" just a little bit overworked?

Does anyone else use this tired phrase other than TKC?

Really, dude. I don't think it's gonna catch on no matter HOW many times you repeat it. It's just not catchy and it's not a train.

Have you thought of "Short line Streetcar?" Kind of a play on the letter "S"?

Anonymous said...

Over a Billion and a half of development and redevelopment downtown and all we had to do was give out sugar coated subsidies.
Now we are asked to believe that a train will convince people to move here. Anybody ever own a business-- you go where the workers are and the sales are. Train riding is for HOBOS.