Monday, February 15, 2016
New reports by KCUR correspondents examine Kansas City’s Jazz District from three angles. The taxpayer investment, tourism challenges and aspirations of people who work in the area are analyzed.
KCUR’s fine work is commendable, but I’m compelled to address a blatant distortion that's often accepted as fact and a commonly held misconception. I've visited 18th & Vine about 20 times a year since 2000. Even though I don't live in the Jazz District and I'm rarely out past 1 a.m., my experiences might be instructive.
Parking. Even when attending large-scale jazz and R&B festivals in Parade Park, I've never had to park more than four blocks away from these events. When attending concerts at the Gem Theater or shows at the Blue Room, I usually park less than 500 steps away from those venues. I'm baffled when journalists and public officials lament the absence of a parking garage.
Safety. Visiting the Jazz District was once a dicey proposition. I had an unsettling encounter near the intersection of 18th Street and Paseo Boulevard in the late 1980s. That's a distant memory. I haven't experienced a single safety-related incident in the approximately 300 times I’ve been in the Jazz District in the last 15 years.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)