Transit Policy Stalls
May 26, 2016

The proposed ‘Transit Oriented Development Policy’ran into opposition Thursday at a joint meeting of two Kansas City Council committee.

Sponsor Jolie Justus pulled the proposal back at the end of the meeting.

Several council members, including three from the Northland, raised questions about the scope and intent of the plan.

Northland Council member Dan Fowler said he had just received a copy of the lengthy plan. He was concerned that only transit activists had been involved in drawing up the proposal.

“There has been no effort to reach out to those groups beyond those in the city center.” Fowler said, “That’s my concern. Something is going to be passed that most of us are not aware of”.

He added in was in favor a general transit policy,. He think less densely populated parst of the city, like the Northland and South Kansas City, need to be more involved. .

The proposal is intended to guide development along the streetcar line downtown and along some of the city’s bus stations, especially ones of the dedicated MAX bus routes.

The goal is to try and link economic development and transit.
City leaders claim the new 2 mile downtown streetcar route helped revive downtown and south of the loop.
Kansas Citian Sheila Styron testified at the hearing with her guide dog at her side. Styron is blind.

She said it’s right for the city to require business to make sure there bus station near by their operations that the disabled can use easily.

Kansas Citian Fred Gambino noted he owned property in Olathe, Kansas.

He says the city needs a transit guidance plan.
“Because without a policy, there’s no policy. And you’re going to end up like Olathe. Heaven help us,” he said.

The planning department leaders say they will arrange for a set of meetings in both the Northland and South Kansas City before drawing up a revised transit development policy.