Thursday, January 11, 2018


Winter fury has kept the toy train streetcar offline most of the day. Meanwhile a controversial ordinance is under consideration at City Hall which attempts to push the project forward. Here's a note on on the sitch from Northeast Neighborhood leader Bryan Stalder.


Bryan Stalder: Transportation and Infrastructure

We all know that the Kansas City Streetcar is The Best Streetcar Ever In The History Of The World and billions of folks travel from all over the world so they can ride our free streetcar for two miles and spend trillions of dollars in our city. The only bad thing anyone can say about it is how confusing, discriminatory, and corrupt the voting process is.

A grassroots, citizen led petition was put on a citywide ballot and approved by voters last year, which added a layer of accountability to this questionably ethical voting process. My hope had been that city leaders would have taken that as an opportunity to reform the voting process. At the very least, hold a citywide election on the approval of Main Street and Berkley Riverfront Park streetcar extensions. After all, we have approved G.O. Bonds, a 1/8 cent sales tax for the east side, and a billion dollar airport with citywide votes over the past year, so why can't the city make the case for the wildly popular and unbelievably successful streetcar?

Instead, City Council is considering Ordinance 171032, which essentially recognizes the voters of Kansas City as a nuisance, and attempts to circumvent the election results rather than working within them. So I took the morning off of work and caught the bus in the freezing rain to City Hall to testify against the ordinance, only when I got to the 26th Floor, I found out that the Transportation and Infrastructure meeting had been cancelled (on account of the freezing rain.) Bummed out, I decided to make the best of my bus ride downtown and caught another bus to Thou Mayest to warm up with some pour over. On my way there, I learned that streetcar service had also been cancelled because of the weather. What a joke. The buses were still running! 

It really highlighted the question: Why are we circumventing KC voters and spending so much money to build transportation that has to cancel service and be supplemented with buses any time it rains or snows, or if there is a vehicle accident or fire on Main street? It just seems entirely inefficient.

I will try to get to the next Transportation & Infrastructure meeting, but I hope every council member on that committee reads this. It doesn't matter how much everyone supposedly loves the streetcar; this is about respecting the voters who approved the single terminal airport and the G.O. Bond and Question 1. If y'all want to build streetcar extensions, make the case to us and put it to a citywide vote. Don't undermine a grassroots petition approved by the majority of citywide voters.

Okay, that's all. I hope everyone has a safe and warm, meeting free evening.

You decide . . . 


Anonymous said...

The buses running throughout the day really was insult to injury for streetcar supporters.

Greedo said...

You went out in this mess? Respect.

The streets are okay but I wouldn't deal with KC & JoCo drivers for the world in slick conditions. They never put down their phones.

Anonymous said...

Nice work Bryan. Very bad day for the streetcar and a sign that they might be in cor a challenge when trying to go for their extension money from the federal government.

Bryan M. Stalder said...

I'm extra salty about the streetcar because the morning was wet and the afternoon was frigid. I rode the bus by choice but there were folks who were bringing their young children with them or carrying groceries or going to work because they had no other choice and they do it every day. These are folks who we should care about and instead we condescend to them for voting against the streetcar expansion in 2014 and look for ways to undermine their choice by expanding boutique transit to Plaza shops or the dog park.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stalder has correctly identified several of the fallacies related to the streetcar, but I think he may still be in denial over the following fact:

Mayor Sylvester, City Manager Troy, and many on the Council do NOT work, nor represent the taxpayers of KCMO.

The sooner you realize this fact, the sooner you can begin planning to either remove them from office, or relocate yourself out of KCMO.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it must be really important to you if you're going to merely "try" to get to the next meeting. What passion.

Also, call ahead next time dipshit.

Anonymous said...

I hope every council member on that committee reads this.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Anonymous said...

We’re gonna get a streetcar system that is going to cost more than the airport just wait and see because bow tie the clown sLIE is smarter than anybody on the face of the earth and he see’s the future of his bank account

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll bite, why should they read the lyrics of a song from Man of La Mancha?

Anonymous said...

Someday maybe people will figure out that the trolley is going to come to a dead end up sLie’s smelly ass.

Anonymous said...

Are their lemon laws for streetcars? If my car was this unreliable, I would be seeking recourse from the manufacturer. We won’t because Sly is getting well paid by the manufacturer. Sly is a crooked fat cocksucker.

Anonymous said...

^Ha! Yeah, 6:03.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the irony of watching city busses “rescue“ trolley riders. It’s a real-life Benny Hill sketch.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, yeah, very nice. See you guys at the KC Streetcar expansion groundbreaking.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:03 pm, what the hell does the Kansas City Newspaper have to do with this topic?

And for your information, they are not "unreachable" as you claim! If you are a Real Estate Developer or have some other way of wasting Taxpayer's money, they'll be all over you immediately! And if you give any member of their "Eminent Editorial Board" the opportunity for any sort of spotlight or public recognition, they'll be at your door right away, too.

They only seem to be "unreachable" to the reading public, and that's only because they have cut staff to where there aren't any "worker bees" left to actually get anything done. All that's left in the Crystal Palace are "reporters" and "executives", and of course the one poor guy in the basement desperately trolling the Internet feeds for day-old content to put in tomorrow's edition.

Anonymous said...

Actually saw multiple Streetcar units getting towed as they must have bricked. Not exactly a paragon of resilience. Ask the City what their impressions are of autonomous shuttles after the tidal wave force that was shown to the public at CES. We said autonomous would replace inflexible and costly Streetcars, guess what, autonomous are going to replace inflexible and wildly costly Streetcars, and be more reliable and responsive while they do it. Expect to hear way more on this, while the powers that be put their heads in the sand to a new and superior option.

It should be said that the current Streetcar can be elegantly and cost effectively be expanded with feeder systems of autonomous shuttles, but the extension at extraordinary cost is an idea whose time has passed. Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Here's the real truth about the Streetcar being a development engine. Not!

Anonymous said...

Someone I know in a very high-level position at City Hall has told me that no matter what the voters think, the streetcar extension to UMKC is a done deal. I'm sure he's right, even though voters did vote for approval on any further development - we're not going to get that vote.

Anonymous said...

Stop.....enough. Hey Stalder, care for some cheese with that "whine" ?


Unknown said...

I guess my only real question is why so many people are against efficient free travel from the city center to the plaza and hopefully the airport? Many cities have some version of this and it's a benefit. I agree that there needs to be transparency and the costs need to be managed, but are you specifically against it other than "it's stupid or unnecessary"¿