TransitKC

Round-up: This week in peripheral transit issues

We’re not touching the Clay Chastain story this time until the city’s attorneys vet his plan before he starts collecting signatures.

Federal Surface Transportation Bill – Rep. Oberstar continues to pledge on-time delivery and passage of the “son of SAFETEA-LU“. Even though it will cover all surface modes — light rail, passenger rail, etc… not just highways — transportation planners continue to ask for lop-sided amounts for highway spending, even though VMT continues to decline.

High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail – Expect interim improvements over many years to get consistent speeds (79 mph) and reliability before we ever get bullet trains (150+ mph) to St. Louis. Regardless, it’s door-to-door trip time, reliability, and frequency that count (not train speed). UPDATE: A new siding in California, MO, broke ground today.

KCATA Rescue – Not gonna happen, unless the Obama administration slaps down the state legislature’s effort to use stimulus funds as tax refunds (we call it the South Carolina Reach-Around). Fare hike took effect March 1, service cuts begin June 28 (just in time for Ozone Days). Thanks again, Wayne!

Imagine KC – If you missed the live broadcast last week of the KCPT special that included lots of transit talk (and neat videos), you can catch up on it here.

Pedestian/Bicycle Counts – Would you believe it if we told you that Kansas City has never counted pedestrians or bicyclists anywhere for any reason? Well, it’s unfortunately very true. A trial count was held last week with formal participation in a nationwide count coming this fall.

Missouri River Crossing – It’s also quite unfortunate that there is no safe river crossing for pedestrians or bicyclists, especially with anemic off-peak bus service as the only non-car option. Thankfully, stimulus funding to the rescue! MoDOT is accelerating plans to rehab the Heart of America bridge with a bike path.

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