In 2001, the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance stated that light rail, not streetcars or bus rapid transit, was the preferred mode of transit to modernize Kansas City’s transportation system. Question 2 on the Aug. 8 ballot, which I placed via petition drive, proposes a rapid citywide rail system.
It is, in effect, a less costly junior light rail system that would operate the city’s existing streetcar system at far faster speeds, with far fewer stops and in dedicated right-of-ways — transit greenways — separated from traffic.
Integrated into those beautiful lower-cost rail greenways, which would utilize a few city streets, a couple of medians of city boulevards and a smidgen of the city’s vast parkland, would be a bike lane positioned on one side of the double tracks and a pedestrian lane on the other. The rapid rail system would directly serve the central Northland, downtown, Union Station, midtown, the Plaza-UMKC cultural district, the East Side, the Truman Sports Complex, the historic Northeast, the Kansas City Zoo and Swope Park.