Sunday, August 04, 2019
Clay Chastain: Kansas City Wasting Hundreds Of Millions Instead Of Funding 'Green Transit'
Credit where its due, the latest note from Kansas City's most prolific petition activist offers a glimpse at EPIC transit cash spent questionably across the metro . . .
Knuckleheads (City Hall & Jackson County) bungling Kansas City's chance to improve public transportation
First, City planning bunglers forced on us (without a citywide vote) an incompetent plan to expand a stop and go (very slow in traffic) streetcar system as the best way to improve urban transit in Kansas City. Because expanding the City's downtown streetcar line lacked any merit (as a serious means to improve transit times) the federal government recently rejected City Hall's request for federal funding assistance. The stalled project now has a serious financial shortfall and City Hall is brazenly planning to appropriate $188 million of citywide taxpayers dollars to make up the difference.
Next, Jackson County planning bunglers used $60 million of taxpayer money to purchase the abandoned Rock Island Rail corridor only to start converting that valuable transportation corridor solely into a 17-mile bike lane. They made this blunder even though that corridor has been eyed for decades for future urban rail passenger use! Now they are in trouble with the federal government for not including rail in the reuse. Kansas City may even loose that transit opportunity as a result! The reality is, we can design the 100 foot-wide Rock Island corridor for both bikes and rail-oriented transit. Why aren't they?
So, for $500 million of taxpayer money the City is slated to provide We the People an expansion of an obsolete rail system that couldn't beat a dog. Meanwhile, the City is holding from the November ballot my petition plan to build Kansas City an alternative rapid, zero-emission and citywide rail / electric bus system.
It is designed, by the way, to tie into a Rock Island light rail system at an Arrowhead Stadium Park & Ride Lot. Is City Hall more interested in building limited novelty streetcars for tourists and developers rather than investing in a better citywide transit system for We the People?
And for probably $100 million of taxpayer money "Jackson County Officials" were planning on providing We the People a 17-mile bike lane at the exclusion of a lower-cost rapid commuter light rail system. A Rock Island light rail commuter system would connect to the City's new "Green Transit" system thus helping people get to jobs between Lee's Summit, the central city, downtown, the northland, KCI and even Johnson County while alleviating traffic congestion on I-435, I-470 and 71 Hwy. It would appear too that Jackson County officials are more interested in building projects for tourists than projects for We the People.
My lord, who are the individuals responsible for making these reprehensible public transportation planning decisions?
Kansas City Community Activist, Clay Chastain
Developing . . .