Will the Streetcar Proposal Eliminate the Trolley Trail?

“The Trail stays!”

This promise was made at the NextRail KC meeting last Wednesday night in Waldo.  The meeting was open to residents of Brookside and Waldo, organized to discuss the topic of expanding the streetcar through our beloved neighborhood. 

Next-Rail-Logo_FINAL-WEBAttendance was strong–I counted approximately 75 people in the room.  After an overview of the  project by a representative from the BNIM architect firm, we broke up into small groups and discussed how the streetcar service would affect this area from three viewpoints:  resident, business owner and visitor.  

Rather than get into the details of what the various groups talked about (pros and cons of the Brookside service), I wanted to relate some new information I learned via the bullet points  below:   

*Vincent (from BNIM, didn’t hear his last name) emphatically stated  ‘the trail stays’ if the streetcar is built here.  The plan is to run the streetcar in the right of way along the Trolley Track Trail, so  the trail and the streetcars coexist side by side.  An easement of 100 feet would be enough space for both the streetcar and the trail. 

*The “Country Club Right Of Way” route runs roughly from 47th St (Cleaver Blvd) at the Plaza south to 85th and then curves to the east through The Paseo. 

*Four parking lots would be affected by this route:  the lot between the tennis courts and The Brooksider/Blue Grotto retail strip and the lot between Shopgirls/Foos and Bank Midwest/Roasterie, plus the Metro Park and Ride lots at Gregory and Wornall plus Wornall and 74th St …just as the trail runs through those lots now. 

*Could the trolley run along the elevated part of the trail,over the bridge  east of Wornall along Brookside Road through Armour Hills?  This is unknown.   

*One car holds approximately 148 persons; they run on electricity but the ground rails will not be ‘hot’; each streetcar can move north or south, so there is no need for a ‘turn around’ area.  

Other corridors besides the Country Club ROW are proposed, and you can read more about those at the NextRail KC website. (this website doesn’t look like it’s updated often, but it’s easy to navigate; there’s also a NextRail KC Facebook page.)  The starter line first must be built from downtown to Crown Center (construction will start next year). The other routes  will not be confirmed for a while as BNIM and NextRail KC conduct  these neighborhood meetings for input from area residents and businesses.

Brookside/Waldo residents love the Trolley Trail–it’s one of our most prized amenities.  It’s reassuring to know ‘the trail stays’ if the streetcar ever makes it south into our area.

5 thoughts on “Will the Streetcar Proposal Eliminate the Trolley Trail?

    • Who wants to run along side a streetcar? The trail will no longer be considered the amenity it is today if the streetcar route happens.
      Keep the streetcars on the street.

    Although it’s been said that the trolley trail ROW can accomodate both the streetcar and a trail, it would severely impact the pedestrian-friendlyness of the trail. I bought my house specifically because of the proxiity of the trail. People use the trail because it’s away from the street and safe for children and animals. Putting a streetcar directly parallel to the path would effectively be making the trolley trail into another “street”. No one wants to walk with their kids and pets right next to a continuously running streetcar.
    Not to mention where the trail does narrow and would basically be running between two houses. No one wants a streetcar driving in their backyard all through the day and night.

  2. This is very alarming to me. I have not heard anyone over the last few years express any desire for streetcars in Waldo/Brookside. This is a form of transportation in the suburbs whose time has passed. To take this concept that was voted in for the downtown area and expand it to Brookside/Waldo is a huge leap. It makes sense downtown, it does not make sense in Brookside.

    • “To take this concept that was voted in for the downtown area and expand it to Brookside/Waldo is a huge leap.”
      Tony I am a little late here, but the only problem with your statement is that the downtown “vote” was a farce. They (the Mayor and whoever is financially backing this con) did the same thing downtown. They created a farcical district for no other purpose than to limit the people voting…at least it seems to me. When the vote came, a total of 550 people voted. I do not have the exact figures, but very close to 350 of the 500 were renters with obviously no real stake in the outcome. It passed with the slimmest of margins. This time, unless they figure out some way to stack the voting group, like they did downtown, these

      voters will be hit both in their pocket books (it will devalue nearby property) as well as their quality of life (it will seriously squelch the trail. Have the architects presented drawings that show how they will cram a light rail system into the limited space available? I am curious.

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