Kansas City's Streetcar Future - 2013 & Beyond
I am excited about the prospect of a streetcar in Kansas City - particularly in South Kansas City! Now that Kansas City has the first 2 miles of the streetcar underway, the Kansas City council members will soon be deciding which area/corridor of our city will get the next 8-10 miles in Phase 2. I am cheering for what was called the Country Club Right of Way (CCROW).
The dates are fast approaching, and the consultants did their work - surveys, economic feasibility studies, community meetings, etc. We waited with baited breath to see if of the 8 corridors, CCROW would be one of the 4 selected. We learned from the newspaper on Monday that our corridor was not selected. Luckily for us, that morning, our coalition of neighbors, businesses and interested parties happened to be meeting with the council member that chairs the Transportation Committee. He informed us of the fact that another corridor would actually extend into the areas that we want - Brookside, Waldo through the Dodson area/85th & Prospect. They will call the Main Street Corridor - Main Street Plus. We are the Plus That line will go into the Waldo area to 74th Terr. That's great since it connects downtown, the University of Missouri -Kansas City (UMKC) to Brookside and Waldo. Here is the link of the NextRail - including the historical promise.
My ultimate goal is that the streetcar expansion in Phase 3 will connect these wonderful neighborhoods farther south to the Bannister Rd & Blue Ridge area. The magic about that area is the fact that most of the economic development in Kansas City is in South Kansas City. Just 2 months ago, the Cerner office campus project (at the site of the former Bannister Mall) was approved by the council, and will bring 15,000 future jobs with it. Then, there's the other soon to be developed, Oxford on the Blue, another office project just north of there and the future development at the Bannister Federal Complex. People will be moving!
The council members will take public testimony before a joint committee of Transportation and Planning, Zoning & Economic Development on November 21st, then they are expected to vote on it in then next week, November 26th. Members of the community should plan to contact their council member. The council needs to know that the community wants the Country Club ROW, now Main St. Plus. We will be there with bells on cheering for the Main St. Plus corridor!