Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kansas City Transit Map

Almost daily, driving or running around my neighborhood, I am annoyed by Strang Line Road. Roads and power lines cut diagonally, here and there, through neighborhoods marking a rail line that was abandoned in the late 1930s. When I lived in the city, the old streetcar rails (and even the occasional bridge) similarly annoyed me. I want to use these, and could every day.

Having worked the last few weeks in San Francisco, all my thoughts from previous visits come back. That the one true sin of Kansas City is our almost complete lack of transit. I took the bus from my house in Mission to Lawrence a few days a week for three years, and I assure you we have no Metro (or even city) transit plans.

But what could it have been? Imagine you are on a train, and this is on the side of the car, by the door:

MKIR Service Area Map for 2012. What would Kansas City be like if we still had the Strang Line and Streetcars?

Yes, I added a very long spur to the MKIR across the river to the two airports. And a trolley line across the river for the Downtown airport. I think if the railway existed when KCI was built (or the trolley in the 50s when aviation took off at all), this would clearly have been part of it.

I didn't let myself fall prey to any other flights of fancy. I closed a few of the old Strang Line stations and switched others slightly, to the current locations of highways for example. I left almost all of the Trolley lines in their old patterns, even though much of them would be not useful as they stand, but added a few miles to connect to 435 on the South-East side.

Even as it is, I keep wanting to plan trips to shop, or my next airport trip, around this system. Now that I see what we could have had, I think I am even more sad.

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