In 2010, the City Park Train was shut down due to safety concerns. There was a $350,000 line item in the Building on Basics 2 tax that was taken before city voters in 2015 in order to place a safer train in City Park. The tax passed (and included a lot more projects than just the kids train). The City moved forward with getting a new train made (for just under $300,000), but once they started working out the details for how the train would be reinstalled in the park, the proposed scenario drew outcries from the neighborhood and others.
A 30 person community design team was convened and worked for two days on where the train should be placed in the park. During the 2-day workshop, participants began to wonder if City Park is really the best place for the train to go. The new train can only have a 1% slope along any point of the track (so it needs a flat place to go), it can’t hurt the beloved City Park trees (which survey respondents often list as one of the most important features of the park), and it has to have a wider turn radius than the old track (so it can’t just go back in where the train used to be).
At the City Council Work Session held on October 22, 2019, several council members wondered allowed whether the City should be re-exploring whether the train should go in City Park or perhaps somewhere else. In order to install it, there’s an additional $1.1 million needed (which wasn’t included in the BOB2 tax request). The cost alone could be reason to give up on the train altogether, or at least not to expect it any time soon (as it will require a substantial budget line item during upcoming budgeting cycles).
Do you have thoughts on whether or not the City should continue to pursue a kids’ train? Where should it go?