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Kansas City Streetcar Expansion Moves Forward; Wealthy Enclave Opts Out

A pair of articles by the Kansas City Star details a surprising development in the preparation for an expansion of the city’s streetcar: the affluent neighborhood of Brookside along the southwest corridor of the proposed extension opted out.

Reporting on the latest developments in Kansas City’s plans to expand its streetcar system, Lynn Horshley details Brookside’s opposition to the streetcar. The victory for the anti-streetcar cause in Brookside was sealed this week when an advisory committee “recommended that a proposed streetcar taxing district not include Brookside or Waldo.”

Horshey’s report also contains information on next steps for the streetcar expansion approval process (i.e., “Jackson County court hearings April 1 and 2 to consider the legality of the proposed streetcar taxing district…”). The article also details the routes under consideration: 1) Independence Avenue, for 2.2 miles, east to Benton Boulevard, 2) Linwood Boulevard, 1.8 miles, to Prospect Avenue, and 3) Main Street, 3.56 miles, to the northern end of UMKC, about 51st Street. That totals about eight miles of streetcar track, at an estimated cost of $472 million, in addition to the 2.2-mile downtown starter line.

A separate article by Yael Abouhalkah editorializes the decision by Brookside residents to opt out of the streetcar expansion: “Give it up to the NIMBY crowd: The anti-streetcar Brooksiders won the first round.” Abouhalkah acknowledges, however, that the decision to cut Brookside out of the system might help project supporters when it comes time to drum up support for the proposed tax district, which will go to a popular vote—not the anti-streetcar Brookside contingent won’t be hitting the pavement to ask voters to oppose the project.

Full Story: Proposed taxing district for streetcar extensions shrinks

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