Electric outages; Electric street cars

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Okay, power outage of 42 hours ended yesterday evening, and so my plan for another installment of the Cedar Fair tour is being delayed.

Instead, a short commentary on some of my recent electrical experiences.

First, our power outage. Started at 10:20 p.m. Saturday, and ended around 4:20 p.m. Monday.  42 hours without power.

During that time all we were able to do was to call the KCPL emergency line to report/confirm they had our outage on their list, and then go to the online outage map to see the status of our outage.

The latter requires having power and internet access. For those of without smart phones we don’t do social media when we don’t have power, and we don’t surf the internet either. So that was of limited utility.

Now back east, where I grew up. when you call the line, they give you a status update with an estimate of the time it will take to take care of your outage.  Something KCPL should consider.

Also, the amount of outages and time it takes to cure them, from my individual perspective, see longer and more frequent than I remember growing up in the country back east. I wonder how well rated KCPL is for the maintenance of their lines and the speed of their repairs, as well as the ability to resist storm damage.

Second, a couple of experiences with the electric streetcars in downtown KC.

I was riding my bicycle into work along 5th street Monday morning and saw some men doing maintenance along the streetcar’s tracks. They were taking what amounts to a (perhaps slightly stiffer-than-normal) household broom and sweeping the groove of the tracks out. Really? all this neat track requires individual physical labor for people to sweep the tracks? And they weren’t watching where they were sweeping either; nearly got a faceful of dust, would have if I had been a couple of seconds later.

And second was the intersection at Third and Grand. I was waiting Monday afternoon on Third Street headed east. The light was red; north-south traffic had the right-of-way and completed its cycle. Then their light went red; Third street should get the green.  But the streetcar is waiting there, and rings its bell; all the directions go red as the streetcar passes through.

Once the streetcar goes through, the light cycle starts again — but it begins, always begins, with the north-south traffic. Third street always has to wait.  It just isn’t fair.  The street car hinders my ability to get home.

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