Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Yael Gives Kansas City Permission To Ask Critical Toy Train Streetcar Questions

From on high, Yael proclaims: "But they also too often seem to exhibit a dismissive attitude toward anyone who dares to question the wisdom of investing another half-billion dollars or so of local and federal funds in streetcar expansion."

"Sorry, but when something is that expensive — and with funding sources up in the air as they are — it’s actually OK if people want some very specific answers about the entire project. Even as a fixed-rail booster, I’m hoping to see a more compelling case made for it this summer."

The TKC Upshot . . . When City Hall CAN'T GET THE BIGGEST CHEERLEADER FOR MAYOR SLY JAMES EXCITED . . . THEY'RE IN TROUBLE!!!

27 Comments:

Anonymous said...

"But they also too often seem to exhibit a dismissive attitude toward anyone who dares to question the wisdom of investing another half-billion dollars or so of local and federal funds in streetcar expansion."

"They" would be you, Mensa boy. Now start explaining what we get from streetcars we don't already have with buses, and stop taking out your frustrations on helpless empty water bottles. Even Burns & Mac won't tolerate that approach for long.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully voters will find out many of these streetcar fanatics living downtown pay like $500 a year in property taxes on $200,000 condo's.

They've been hiding this one very effectively.

Anonymous said...

The streetcar handwriting is on the wall. The more the public has learned, the more support melts away and even the boosters who have been so vocal in the past have become very quiet and are inching away from being identified with this financial catastrophe.
And Yael's just the latest.
There will be many more as construction lags behind schedule, costs increase, funding becomes even more of a pipedream, and the new taxing districts fail at the polls.
It's never been well thought-through and has never had anywhere near enough funding, even when every budget line item, including PIAC, has been bled white.
Rah rah and big talk can get you only so far.
The fat lady is about to sing.

Anonymous said...

Piece from TransitActionNetwork today.

The biggest difference -- at least the one that attracted the most attention at the July 1 TTPC meeting -- was the nearly $145 million in projects for extension of the Kansas City Streetcar (including $20 million for Prospect MAX, a closely related part of the streetcar package). Huh? At its May 30 meeting where the transit project list was finalized, MARC's Regional Transit Coordinating Council had included only $5 million for the streetcar. That came very late in the meeting when Kansas City's representative said she would be "remiss" if she didn't ask for some money for the streetcar. So RTCC added $5 million. But the streetcar line item jumped to $32 million by the time MARC submitted the list to MoDOT on June 2. We weren't the only ones to raise questions about how that happened, but to no avail.

Imagine our shock when MoDOT's "final" project list was presented to TTPC yesterday at the much higher dollar amount.

What happened? Sometime in June KCMO people had gotten together with MoDOT people and agreed that if MoDOT would pick up a major part of the streetcar expansion cost, the City could reduce its proposed sales tax for streetcar expansion to 0.25 percent (for a total sales tax increase of 1.0 percent), and the City would thus be able to support Amendment 7. A deal was struck.

Trouble is, that deal circumvented the project selection process that MARC had established, and that both the City and MoDOT had participated in. The City and MoDOT had both figuratively thumbed their noses at MARC.

We've heard that MARC did, in fact, object, and that in meetings among the three parties some voices were raised. (Actually, we heard something about screaming and shouting.) But in the final analysis, Kansas City and MoDOT jointly prevailed. KCATA was left with some $65 million total for some very basic "system preservation" needs, like replacing buses and on-street passenger facilities, but without the money originally approved by the RTCC for service expansion.

So where do things stand? MoDOT has its list, the City has a commitment for a big chunk of Amendment 7 sales tax money that they now won't have to raise through local sales and property taxes within a special transit taxing district, and MARC is left -- well, totally dissed and semi-emasculated.

One of the biggest casualties in the whole affair is the heretofore sterling working relationship between MARC and MoDOT. Another of the casualties is the City of Kansas City, Missouri, which has now asserted itself as a regional bully. And there's MoDOT itself (the Kansas City District Office in particular), for appearing to be heavy-handed. MARC is itself a casualty as well, as it loses some credibility in the minds of a lot of people by caving in and signing off on a set of projects dictated by the others outside its well-established processes.

Blunt? Yeah, moderately so. Just telling it like it is. Or at least how it looks from where we sit on July 2, 2014.

Anonymous said...

Yael criticizing the City of Kansas City, Missouri, City? He must be on his way out the door now that the rug rats are done with college.

Rough times at the Falling Star

Anonymous said...

Just Vote NO on everything in August. Everyone is over thinking this. It all crap.

Anonymous said...

Crickets.

You have whined so repeatedly, people of relevance have stopped listening.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that even Fael finally sees that the streetcar idea is like going back to the horse and buggy days. This streetcar idea is the most fucked up thing that I've ever heard of.

Anonymous said...

I do think it is funny that instead of some new high speed train to take people from KCI to KCMO to OP we decided to put in an ole timey street car to run from a WWI museum to a fake farmers market that sells produce 2nds rejected from the Choppers.

It is a great example of that bullshit hipster drive for authenticity that they'd look to the 1940s to make their fake-borhood more attractive.

They know that any real transit move forward in KC would involve Overland Park and KCI and the truth is their nabe wouldn't be the center of the steampunk streetcar revival '14

Anonymous said...

With editorials in the Star and the Pitch it seems "people of relevance" may be taking note, Mensa boy.

Anonymous said...

he's gonna be so excited to take the streetcar from Trio on main to the Strand then back over to Buddies all without having to worry about him and his friend getting a DUI

Anonymous said...

"You have whined so repeatedly, people of relevance have stopped listening."

People of relevance? Could you possibly be more condescending, Mensa boy? The Pitch certainly captured your winning ways with the commoners. How many more people do you plan to alienate before your term is over?

Anonymous said...

Yael is one of those obnoxious street joggers.

Anonymous said...

I Jog and ride my bike on the street too. As do my neighbors.

Anonymous said...

When you live with Kansas City busted up sidewalks (if there are any) I can't blame you. Still annoying though.

Anonymous said...

Lol @ transit to Poverland Oark and kci.

You rubes are fucking hilarious.

"Let's run Transit through sparsely populated areas! It won't work to build it in the densest concentration of jobs and people and cultural destinations in the city!"

"Transit is too expensive and a bad idea...unless I benefit from it directly, despite the fact tht I chose to live in a place designed for cars only!"

Anonymous said...

"Transit is too expensive and a bad idea...unless I benefit from it directly, despite the fact tht I chose to live in a place designed for cars only!"

We understand why you favor the streetcar, Mensa boy, but we, unlike you, will not benefit from it directly. We, unlike you, use the MAX. And we, unlike you, have lived here a long time.

So...

Hey, hey R. J.
How many voters you gonna piss off today?

Anonymous said...

Joggers are gay

P Bear said...

Yael, piss off you sand spook.

Anonymous said...

"people of relevance" "someone of influence"

Someone's got the big head these days. The big bald head.

Anonymous said...

Tell me how to find this tax information

Anonymous said...

The only place I’d like to see this trolley car run is in and out of the bungholes of its supporters. It’s the most ridiculous project that KCMO has hitched its wagon to in a long time, maybe ever. All the dingleberries that want it don’t even realize that it will actually make KC look even dumber than having no system at all. Besides the fact that the stupid thing is only going to run for a few city blocks, you have donkeyballs like 8:46 am that think they’re living in NYC or Chicago and that this is the only thing missing in an otherwise “mega-metropolis.” Granted, he, she (or it) probably grew up in Paola or Grain Valley and has now moved into “the biiiig city” and thinks he/she is Mary Tyler Moore, throwing her hat up into the air every time she walks out of her downtown high rise. Nothing worse than a wannabe, and many living in downtown KC are just that, a wannabe urbanite. KC was, is and will always be a mid-sized agricultural/industrial MIDWESTERN city. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. For its size, KC is relatively attractive and has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to its peers. But hipster kids, please stop wasting the grown up’s money by trying to turn KC into a soundstage just so you can live out your “Sex in the City” daydreams.

Anonymous said...

4:52: You've made some good points, but 8:46 is Mensa boy, and he grew up in some Nebraska backwater. He probably does the Mary Tyler Moore hat trick on his way to the council from the Northland that elected him and which he's always putting down. Good thing he's termed out because they wouldn't make that mistake again.

Anonymous said...

Says the suburban troll who lives in a "neighborhood" with no sidewalks and also no trees to "bust em up, yew haw".

More city less kansas.

Anonymous said...

IP address for this post is leawood.

Anonymous said...

What this rube doesn't realize is that even Podunk Midwestern cities have rail transit now. And any city that doesn't want to be topeka will build it.

Get out more, you fucking hick.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hey, hey RJ
I see you're pissing off more voters to day.