Kansas City streetcar officials change two stops on proposed extension to Plaza, UMKC

Last month, Kansas City streetcar officials rolled out their plan to extend the route south to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The plan outlined eight stops along the route. On Thursday, the officials announced a new plan that moved two of those stops.

A previously proposed streetcar stop at Linwood Boulevard has been moved two blocks north to 31st Street. Another stop at Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard has been nudged south, closer to Ward Parkway.

Streetcar stops.jpg
Streetcar officials tweaked two stops in their planned extension route from Union Station to UMKC. The revised route stops on 31st Street and in between Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Ward Parkway. KC Streetcar

According to streetcar officials, the new stop locations were determined by community input and analysis of a variety of factors, including pedestrian demand, bus routes, economic development and regional connectivity.

The proposed 3.7-mile extension will connect the River Market and UMKC. The targeted completion year is 2023.

The six other previously proposed stops on the route, which mostly follows Main Street, are at 27th Street, Armour Boulevard, 39th Street, 43rd Street, 45th Street and 51st Street.

Some Westport merchants have complained that the stops are too far away to justify the cost of the project, which could exceed $220 million. But streetcar proponents argue that the route will increase foot traffic and boost business.

An ongoing mail-in election is asking voters in the Transportation Development District, a special taxing district surrounding the proposed streetcar extension, to approve a 1 percent sales tax, along with assessments on most commercial and residential properties, to help pay for the project.

Notarized ballots are due June 12. The next public meeting about the streetcar extension is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 5 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 11 E. 40th St. For more info, go to kcstreetcar.org.

A streetcar makes its way down Main Street to the River Market. Star file photo