Wednesday, April 03, 2013

North Kansas City eyes nearby streetcar line

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North Kansas City eyes nearby streetcar line Smartmoves/Mid-America Regional Council

North Kansas City, Mo., is weighing the idea of reaching a pact with its larger neighbor for a feasibility study to extend the planned Kansas City starter line.

The initial plan, still to be fleshed out, would study the cost of extending streetcars across the Heart of America Bridge, which spans the Missouri River before the river itself becomes part of the Missouri-Kansas border.

The North Kansas City Council would seek the Mid-America Regional Council to act as the lead agency for both cities in developing any streetcar Request for Proposals. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, a bistate agency, and the Missouri Department of Transportation would also be asked to participate in any project.

Local media report a draft resolution suggests North Kansas City would commit to paying half the cost of a study up to $250,000, with Kansas City presumably covering the remainder.

North Kansas City's population was roughly 4,000 in 2011, roughly 1/10th the size of Kansas City. Late last year eligible Kansas City voters in a special assessment district approved plans for a two-mile streetcar line to run through downtown Kansas City, Mo.

North Kansas City's "add-on" interest is similar, though not identical, to that of West Sacramento, Calif., where voters approved a tax measure in 2008 to establish a 1.2-mile streetcar line, designed in part to link to larger neighbor Sacramento's light rail transit system. That effort remains stalled at present.

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