Chastain returning with one-two punch

Chastain Map

Punch #1 – Another light/commuter rail plan. PrimeBuzz has the details.
Punch #2 – Strip the City Council’s ability to invalidate petition initiatives.

We’ve maintained that Chastain’s motivation actually seems quite pure and is valuable in keeping the city’s feet to the fire on transit improvements. Our system is undeniably underfunded and has yet to make the leap from poor-people mover to economic development engine.

BRT, commuter rail, and streetcars are all great proposals, but none of them will ever come to fruition if our operational funding isn’t significantly increased (and preferably on a truly regional basis).

Regarding Punch #2, the Council will never live down repealing the only successful vote on light rail, flawed as it was. Since that first repeal of a petition initiative didn’t go so well, expect voters to do some punishing.


5 Comments so far

  1. northlander July 22nd, 2009 5:20 pm

    No ones going to pay for Billions of Dollars on a light rail plan when it serves so few in the region.
    If downtown KC wants it they will need to come up with the money, not the people of the Northland.
    Set-up a transportation tax district,have sponsors for the streetcars and paid advertising on the streetcars and loading areas.But you still won’t have enough for maintenance and operational expenses for the line [about 1 million a mile]. But with the heavy gauge rail line it drivers up the cost on installation instead of using lighter rails for the streetcars.

  2. K July 23rd, 2009 10:19 am

    Ok, Who let Chastain loose again with the Crayons?? has he not heard of Google maps?

    Sorry to say but this is DOA if it has his name on it. Anyone want to start a 527???

  3. mark July 25th, 2009 10:53 am

    Northlander – pretty short-sighted attitude. I don’t support Chastain’s “plans,” but Northland will rise or fall in sync with the rest of the region. Whether you gut it up to actually cross the river or not, a better mass transit system will benefit the economy of the entire area, including the Northland.

  4. Greg House August 6th, 2009 4:33 pm

    On the contrary, the council did the right thing by torpedoing this moron’s last plan, flawed as it was.

    There was no way we KC taxpayers could have paid for it and Chastain doesn’t even live here, so where does he get off?

    @mark: “…a better mass transit system…”, does not necessarily require Chastain’s fetish, light rail. So, sure, we need better mass transit but we do not need light rail. We can’t afford it. Why do you blindly support it?

  5. Greg House August 7th, 2009 5:09 pm

    Here’s what a blog site ( )I really like has to say about light rail:

    Economically speaking, of all the ways to transport people between cities, rail is perhaps the stupidest. Nowhere else do we see the confluence of extraordinarily high infrastructure costs (land, construction, equipment, facilities, etc.) and extraordinarily high operating costs (labor, maintenance, fuel, utilities, overhead, etc.) combine with extraordinarily low demand by commuters to produce such little tangible benefit.

    And that was just for moving people between cities. When it comes to moving people within cities, as light rail is intended to do, it becomes perhaps even more stupid. The only way to make it work, in fact, is to redesign cities themselves, which costs magnitudes of money even more than what putting a light rail system in place costs.