Portland says KC should use Light Rail instead of Street Cars

“Light rail is where I’d start; I think light rail is the best way for you guys to start, I really do.” –Vicky Diede, Street Car Project Manager in Portland, Oregon, recommends Light Rail over Street Cars for Kansas City

In what’s sure to cause some editorial room heckling, Hearne Christopher at The Star relates his conversation with Vicky Diede, Street Car Project Manager in Portland, OR.

Diede, who’s spent more then 15 years working on Portland’s transportation system, describes how streets cars function:

“Streetcars are inner city connectors, and they’re designed for stopping every two to three blocks,” she says. “The purpose is not to take you from the airport to downtown. Can they do it? Yes, but that’s not their purpose. … I don’t know what the ideal speed is, but (generally) they go very slow — 8 to 12 miles per hour.”

This opinion runs counter to what The Star suggested last week. It also contrasts the differing functions of faster and higher-passenger Light Rail with slower and lower-passenger street cars. Light Rail moves more people farther and faster, while street cars are “an inner city connector.”


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