Group Has Desire For Streetcars Downtown 4-29-2011 - KCTV5

Group Has Desire For Streetcars Downtown 4-29-2011

For several decades, light rail in its many forms have been researched, discussed, voted on and later repealed in Kansas City.
But it's never been built. A new downtown electric streetcar plan is in the works.
According to the plans, the street car would pass through the Power & Light District and head to the River Market. That's where Bill Gorman, the vice president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, lives.
"This is the most encouraged I've been of any of the proposals," he said.
A study group, funded by federal grant money, is looking into bringing street cars into the area to run the 2-mile stretch from Crown Center possibly down Grand Boulevard or another street such as Main and end in the River Market.
"By just getting a starter line going, we've seen in other communities they can successfully expand their systems," said Sherri McIntyre, assistant city manager.
McIntyre knows the city has tried many plans before that have run out of steam, but this one she said could be different.
"Clearly we've received a message from the community as a whole, a city-wide measure is not acceptable," she said.
One scenario would have downtown residents footing some of the estimated $50 million to $70 million bill to build the foot-wide track on existing streets.
Gorman said many of the 1,100-plus members in their group seem to support that idea.
"You're asking downtown residents who use it, to fund it, because of that I'm more optimistic," he said. "But it's also a little, hurry up and wait."
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