Thursday, February 15, 2018
TKC MUST SEE!!! KANSAS CITY TRANSIT ACTIVIST CLAY CHASTAIN REDESIGNS THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR & THE PLAZA!!!
In addition to bringing back his idea about aerial gondolas, Clay Chastain hopes to help revive The Country Club Plaza as well. Take a look:
Clay Chastain: Virtues of the "Smart Rail" system (as opposed to the City's dumb rail system) as proposed in "Green Transit" Petition Initiative
In order to revitalize and repopulate the central city it must be incorporated with a smart green... rail / electric bus / cycling system (working in tandem) that will transport passengers between the area’s major destinations, employment centers and neighborhoods. No other surrounding cities or suburban communities would be able to match Kansas City’s new “Green Transit” system and the improved quality of life it affords.
Though successful, Kansas City’s downtown streetcar system is a dumb rail system (operates slowly in traffic, has no signal priority apparatus on board, has overhead wires and stops every few blocks). When that rail system is expanded out of the dense downtown area it must be transformed into a “Smart Rail” system that allows streetcars to operate at far faster speeds (they can actually reach 45 mph) and become a much more effective transit system. To accomplish this the “Green Transit” petition proposes operating Kansas City’s streetcars in a new Kansas City “Greenway” where the new "high-performance" streetcars would… operate separated from traffic, have signal priority, be wireless, make fewer stops and run adjacent to a dedicated pedestrian / cycling lane.
In order to offset the loss of not having so many time consuming station stops (like the downtown streetcar system has) each “Smart Rail” station will employ a pioneering autonomous (driverless) electric shuttle bus system to transport passengers to nearby secondary destinations not directly served by the rail system and get them close to their final destinations (home). Each station will also be equipped with bike rentals to further expand the service area around the rail stations and along the "Greenway" itself.
The "Smart Rail" / Walking / Cycling “Greenway” would stretch from Union Station (or perhaps even the Missouri River if the current streetcar system is also transformed into “Smart Rail”) to its terminus at the Kansas City Zoo / Starlight Theatre / Soccer Village Complex in Swope Park. It will be spectacular and facilitate a great presentation of some of Kansas City’s finest assets.
To significantly lower construction costs and provide a beautiful setting the Greenway will share attractive road space, displace inappropriate road space, replace blighted road space, utilize grassy medians of city boulevards, use an existing right-of-way in Mill Creek Park and incorporate a small sliver of Kansas City’s abundant park land.
Though it does little to improve the City’s transit system, Mayor Sly James has touted the impressive economic development numbers generated by Kansas City’s downtown streetcar system. That is a good thing for Downtown Kansas City. However, the 8-mile “Smart Rail” system would not only out shine whatever those economic numbers are, but it also comes with far greater transit value in terms of boosting overall transit ridership, improving transit times and helping Kansas City secure federal matching transit and infrastructure improvement funds.