Phoenix Light Rail News
July 14, 2008 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #74533
Governing.com wrote Leaping into Light Rail
July 2008 By ZACH PATTON
Come December, when Phoenix opens its first light-rail line, this station will anchor a huge regional transit system that will stretch north to Glendale and east to Mesa and Tempe. It’s a $1.4 billion, 20-mile catapult into transit â€” no other light-rail system in the country has been so large right from its inception.
As Rick Simonetta continues walking around downtown Phoenix, pointing out the features of the light-rail stations, it’s a little hard to hear him over the din from all the construction sites. Downtown Phoenix is in the middle of a $6 billion building boom â€” fueled in part, Simonetta says, by the coming of light rail. Mixed-use residential developments are shooting up everywhere, including a $1 billion project on the site of a former parking lot. The city has just tripled the size of its downtown convention center. Two blocks away, there’s a large new Sheraton hotel, built with city funds.
Next to the hotel is a new downtown campus for Arizona State University. Three years ago, the campus didn’t exist. This fall, ASU expects to have 8,000 students based downtown â€” and the university plans to eventually boost that enrollment to 15,000. The school is building classroom facilities, dorms and a library, and the hope is that students and faculty will use the train to shuttle between the downtown campus and the main campus, which has a stop on the line in Tempe. “ASU is the first success story of our light rail,” says Phoenix deputy city manager Tom Callow, “and the system hasn’t even opened yet.”July 15, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #213796
Every article like this makes me feel that our city council needs totally replaced by fresher individuals to help remove its head from its …… sorry lost my train of thought. :wink: This should have already happened in columbus years ago!
Mr. Mayor can Columbuz haz light rail? No little one, just becuz all the other citz are doin it doesn’t mean we do it.
Kudos to Phoenix!! Can we borrow your city council for a year or 2? :lol:July 15, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm #213797
kessler wrote Kudos to Phoenix!! Can we borrow your city council for a year or 2? :lol:
Seems clear we’d only need a single member from their council to replace a problematic member of ours.July 15, 2008 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #213798
Keep in mind that a system that large goes far beyond just City Council’s cooperation and city funding. A 20-mile line in Columbus would most likely stretch into other cities, and possibly into another county, depending on where it ran.
We’ll get there. Just takes some time. The article mentions that Phoenix had a lot of “false starts” with getting this thing up and going, and it’s still not open yet so there’s still many hurdles left for them to clear.
I post this articles so that we can keep tabs on what other cities are doing and take note of what they do well and what they screw up. They’re not just here for us to envy other cities or get mad that we don’t have anything up and running yet.July 19, 2008 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #213799
this is what i took from the article:
1. they are building a large system, not just a starter line. if we could take a look at something like that here, we would have more support. (i also support the streetcar starter line so don’t kill me).
2. they are seeing $6 billion worth of downtown developement.
3. the downtown developement is replaceing surface parking lots.
4. they tripled the size of their convention center AND built a new hotel to lure visitors.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this pretty much our wish list? I am so jealous!!! Hopefully, OSU plays in another bowl game there soon and our fans get to ride on their system and love it so much that they come back home and help to change the mindsets of the rest of our city.July 20, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #213800
manchild wrote they are building a large system, not just a starter line. if we could take a look at something like that here, we would have more support. (i also support the streetcar starter line so don’t kill me).
We did consider starting larger a few years ago, and it didn’t have the support. Would probably have a bit more now that gas is four times more expensive, but I wouldn’t assume so quickly that people are going to jump on board with a billion-dollar project and the tax increases that would go along with it.July 21, 2008 8:07 am at 8:07 am #213801
Rail Schmail…we have freeways.July 21, 2008 8:27 am at 8:27 am #213802
I love when they’re called “freeways” instead of “highways”. Because they’re free to build!
We need a FreeRail system in Downtown Freelumbus.July 21, 2008 8:30 am at 8:30 am #213803
Walker wrote I love when they’re called “freeways” instead of “highways”. Because they’re free to build!
We need a FreeRail system in Downtown Freelumbus.
You may be onto something!December 7, 2008 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #213804
I was in Phoenix last week for work. The light rail tracks and stations are all built, and the service is going to actually start later this month. It was a little weird to drive around and see all the train platforms standing there empty. But it looks like it will be a nice system, similar to the C Train in Calgary. They could definitely use something; it’s very spread out and I saw very little evidence of people using transportation other than cars to get around, although I did see one woman roll by on Segway…
I was amazed at how early downtown Phoenix empties out and how little there was going on down there in the evening. Granted, it was a Tuesday night when we went to dinner down there (right by the basketball arena and convention center) but there was almost no one out on the street, or in the restaurant. I would say it was deader than downtown Columbus, and it’s a much larger city, which is why I was surprised.December 12, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am #213805
azcentral wrote Tempe considers streetcars to rejuvenate downtown
Modern streetcars trolling down Mill Avenue could help revitalize the downtown area and link south Tempe and Chandler to Tempe’s central core and the Valley’s 20-mile light rail starter line.
Transit planners compared the benefits of streetcars to other mass transportation options at a community meeting in Tempe Wednesday.That meeting and one Tuesdayin Chandler were held to solicit public input on the best route and mode of transportation for regionalizing mass transportation.
The meetings are part of a two-year study, the Tempe South Alternative Analysis,that is required as part of a process of applying for federal funding to help build the future transportation.
Marc Soronson, a project manager for the study, told the audience of about 50 people Wednesday that cities that had chosen streetcar transportation have seen redevelopment and revitalization in the areas where the streetcars travel. Modern streetcars are powered by electricity and typically run on a fixed rail line.
“It’s been very successful in Portland,” he said. “It’s turned brownfields into really positive development.”
Given that Tempe is landlocked, he said, redevelopment is a priority for the city. Streetcars as well as light rail draw business investments that are not seen when cities choose bus rapid transit, he said.
The streetcars would extend on Mill from downtown Tempe to Southern Avenue, where it would head east toward the Tempe Public Library on Rural Road. Talks with Downtown Tempe Community, the organization that manages Mill Avenue District merchants, about business opportunities associated with streetcars are underway, Soronson said.
While the Mill Avenue streetcar option has many positives, Soronson said, other routes and modes being weighed also have merit.
“You can make an argument on just about all of these alternatives,” he said.
Chandler is hoping to find funding as the economy improves to tie into the line and extend a route to Chandler Fashion Square.
Transportation options still being considered by the cities include: bus rapid transit or light rail on Rural Road and bus rapid transit on Mill Avenue or Kyrene Road. Transit planners are considering eliminating bus rapid transit along the Union Pacific Railroad as an alternative because of the cost to purchase the right-of-way from Union Pacific.
Susan Conklu, a Tempe resident, said she was happy with the Rural Road and Mill Avenue routes and excited for the opening of light rail.
“I like having a lot of different (transit) choices,” she said. “And I can’t wait to take (light rail) to First Fridays.”December 29, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #213806
CyclistMemberJanuary 3, 2009 8:54 am at 8:54 am #213807
Phoenix is light years ahead of us? F!ck. Columbus is filled with apathetic, ignorant individuals. That’s not a one-sided opinion: that’s a cold hard fact backed by mountains of evidence. Fuck.January 3, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #213808
Columbusite wrote >>
Phoenix is light years ahead of us? F!ck. Columbus is filled with apathetic, ignorant individuals. That’s not a one-sided opinion: that’s a cold hard fact backed by mountains of evidence. Fuck.
um…5th largest city vs. 15th largest city. You may also have missed this:
“Plans for the system were first envisioned in the 1980s, but voters rejected several ballot measures before finally approving a sales tax to help finance light rail. Federal funds paid roughly half the cost.”
I’m not sure how they’re now “light years ahead of us”…January 3, 2009 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm #213809
I thought it was pretty clear. The system was first envisioned in the 1980s, which was ~20 years ago. This is a light rail system. Therefore Phoenix is 20 Light Rail Years, or in shortened form, 20 light years ahead of us.
Sheesh Coremodels, get on the
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