“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.
Attendance 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.