Tuesday, June 20, 2017
KC mayor comes out strong for new airport terminal, streetcar expansion
By Lynn Horsley
The Kansas City (MO) Star
Kansas City Mayor Sly James has been noticeably absent from recent town hall meetings about Kansas City International Airport, preferring to let the City Council and the public hash out contentious arguments about how to modernize the airport.
But on Monday evening, before a receptive downtown audience, James reiterated his strong support for a new single terminal, echoing the airlines’ refrain that the current facility just doesn’t work well for today’s larger and fuller planes and can’t be remodeled to work for the future.
“It’s a great airport for what it used to do,” James told a gathering of about 100 people on the rooftop of the remodeled Corrigan Station office at 1828 Walnut St. “It’s not a great airport for what we need to do.”
He also argued that expanding the downtown streetcar south to the University of Missouri-Kansas City “needs to happen,” while expansion from the River Market to Berkley Riverfront Park “would be smart and cool.”
A mail-in election, starting Tuesday and going through Aug. 1, will help determine whether the streetcar expands south, although the idea has staunch opponents as well as supporters. The Kansas City Streetcar Authority is exploring expansion to Berkley Riverfront Park, but that would not require a tax increase or an election.