Government & Politics

KC voters will consider rival streetcar initiatives in August

Two different petition initiatives concerning Kansas City’s streetcar system will be on the August ballot, following a City Council vote on Thursday.
Two different petition initiatives concerning Kansas City’s streetcar system will be on the August ballot, following a City Council vote on Thursday. Kansas City Star file photo.

Kansas City voters in August will consider two seemingly contradictory petition initiatives relating to the streetcar system.

The City Council agreed Thursday to place Clay Chastain’s initiative for streetcar expansion on the August 8 ballot. It also agreed to put a different petition on the ballot that seeks to prohibit any streetcar expansion without a citywide vote.

Council members said they weren’t endorsing either citizens petition, but the Missouri Supreme Court requires their placement on the ballot because they each met the city charter’s requirement of about 1,700 valid signatures.

Chastain seeks two sales taxes totaling 3/8-cent for 25 years to pay for streetcar expansion beyond the downtown route.

But the other petition, supported by streetcar opponents, would prohibit Kansas City from doing any planning or implementing any fixed-rail expansion without a citywide vote.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

Six months after Kansas City's new streetcar began rolling, businesses along the route say they are seeing new customers and increased sales.

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