Does KC's streetcar really go to Crown Center?
The Kansas City Star
Top Crown Center official Bill Lucas told me Friday that - while he still has concerns about the burden of streetcar funding - his development is pleased with the latest streetcar decision.
Essentially, the city wants to save millions of dollars by placing the last southern stop of the first phase near Union Station along Main Street. That ditches the original plan of turning the line east on Pershing and dead-ending near Grand Boulevard, closer to most entrances to Crown Center’s shops.
With a streetcar stop near Union Station, passengers then could use The Link to get to Crown Center. There’s a Link entrance in Washington Square Park and another inside Union Station.
Said Lucas: “If you get people to Union Station, that’s a transportation hub. You’re effectively in Crown Center at that point.”
“We don’t have a lot of heartburn” if the streetcar does not go down Grand Boulevard, he added.
That’s because Crown Center now has several festivals and other events per year, and wants to block off Grand Boulevard for those events.
However, Lucas said he still has concerns about the project.
One is simple: Will people ride it and help pay for operating costs?
Lucas also said the idea of funding the first phase of the streetcar plan with higher property and sales taxes on people in a special downtown district (which includes Crown Center properties) would be “incredibly burdensome to many businesses.”
And he is concerned about the costs of the second phase, which is when the streetcar would go up the steep hill on Main Street west of Crown Center and east of Penn Valley Park and the Liberty Memorial.
The funding vote for the first district likely will come later this year, perhaps on the Nov. 6 general election.