Transit Talk

There’s been a lot of back and forth about various forms of transit in this Cowtown, and this critically-thinking news-dog thinks some sunshine needs to be brought to the proceedings.

First off, the toy-train streetcar folks continue to talk expansion despite a successful ballot initiative last August stating that any future expansion had to be placed on a public referendum for all the citizens of the city to vote on. No city-wide referendum, no streetcar expansion. Pretty simple really, but here we are, talking about a proposed expansion to UMKC despite last August’s vote. Wait. What?

Keep in mind the same city Law Department that approved the ballot language for last August’s expansion vote is the same Law Department that said the referendum should be overturned because the ballot language their department approved was flawed. Let that sink in for a minute. This isn’t the first time city government changed the rules to suit their agendas and their taxpayer-funded legacy projects. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know from recent history that the city doesn’t really care what the taxpayers think, despite the numerous “listening tours” scheduled to promote agenda-driven projects. The MLK Advisory Committee is a perfect example of the dog-and-pony show organized at taxpayer expense to make residents of this city think their voice really matters.

While all this ballot-rigging and gerrymandering of Transportation Development District’s is going on, the folks over at BikewalkKC are attempting to strong-arm residents into creating more bike lanes along area streets and boulevards. One such plan currently being debated under the auspice of the Complete Streets ordinance is a proposal that would make parking along one side of Gladstone Boulevard illegal, just so the tights wearing cyclists can have a place to ride, ostensibly in safety. These are the same people that blow stoplights and stop signs while us motorists have to sit and wait. They’re also the same arrogant road hogs who regularly clog traffic by riding three or four abreast in their lane, creating a huge headache for the unfortunate drivers unlucky enough to be behind their slow-moving, albeit colorful scrum. The Dog doubts they’ve ever reviewed the Missouri Driver’s Guide, published by the Missouri Department of Revenue, which specifically states that bicycles are to be considered a part of traffic and they should ride as close to the right side of the road as possible, being careful not to impede the flow of traffic (page 62, if you’re following along at home).

The fact of the matter is that this is all about creating another protected class of citizens who think that motorized transport is evil and that we all need to live in some bucolic, walkable paradise. This dog thinks a snippet from the group’s web site says it all, noting that the Paseo Gateway intersection plan (The Paseo and Independence Ave.) is a chance for the city to “heal,” implying arrogantly that those of us not so enamored with non-motorized transportation are somehow afflicted with some kind of disease. This clear-thinking canine thinks it’s about time for some common sense to enter the conversation, instead of all this strong-arming by the vocal minority.

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