Ambitious Plans Unlikely, But Noble

<p>This editorial argues that Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser's plans for a regional light rail system are ambitious and not likely to succeed, but they are a powerful example of the froward-thinking mindset more cities need.</p>
February 17, 2008, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"Funkhouser hopes to build consensus for his regional transit plan."

"Not very likely when the mayor of the area's second-most populous city thinks Funkhouser is off-track."

"'His timing isn't good,' Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach told me Thursday afternoon. 'We've got too many other needs in Johnson County ahead of light rail.'"

"Still, I respect Funkhouser for trying, even if the odds are against crafting a metrowide coalition for regional light rail in several years, let alone the months-long timetable Funkhouser has in mind."

"The way it's done, see, is that you begin with a short starter line and build out from there."

"Funkhouser knows that and says he'd support the shorter system, if it comes to that (which it will)."

"But to his credit, Funkhouser isn't interested in being practical and cautious. For KC to be competitive economically with other big cities around the country, he's right when he says the metro area needs a regional transit system - and soon."

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Published on Friday, February 8, 2008 in The Kansas City Star
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