Transportation dollars much better spent on commuter rail December 9th, 2005
Ahwatukee Foothills News, 9 December 2005.
Guest commentary by Joe Debbins
…The real problem (with Interstate Highway 10) is with the morning and evening commuter traffic Â that’s when things get ugly, and even eliminating all of the interstate/bypass truck traffic with the proposed SMF (either on Gila River Indian Community land or Pecos Road) does little to change the I-10 rush-hour volume…
Moving people from the southern East Valley to downtown and points north is simply best accomplished with regional light rail. This is the Right Build. Rail offers clean and quiet transport with a minimal environmental footprint. Rail creates permanent jobs. Commuter rail improves neighborhoods and increases property values, and gives our citizens an alternative to the rush-hour nightmare. Light rail will make those neighborhoods that have it very attractive to permanent, professional working residents and continue the revitalization of central/downtown Phoenix. Even those who do not use rail and continue to drive will benefit, as thousands will choose rail instead of driving to and from work.
Commuter rail is where we should spend the bulk of our transportation money going forward, it can be matched by federal dollars, and with a levy on “planned community builders,” to seriously showcase Phoenix as a progressive forward-moving city in the European model, and not a city stuck in the 20th century continuing to allow unchecked growth dependent on the internal combustion engine. We are now at a crossroads: Do we want to be Los Angeles (bad) or Paris (good) when we grow up?
Rest of the story in the Ahwatukee Foothills News
New rail routes to be studied September 19th, 2005
Light-rail officials are exploring new routes for the Metro system that could take it to Scottsdale, south Phoenix and the West Valley stadiums.
Transportation planners have talked about light rail in some of these areas for years, but the ideas havenâ€™t had much formal study.
Now the board that oversees Valley Metro Rail is considering an extensive logistical and technical study as they plan expansions in the next 20 years and beyond.
Rest of the story in the East Valley Tribune
By Cecilia Chan, Independent Newspapers
Traveling to Phoenix or to any East Valley cities without having to drive on congested roadways may become a reality in the West Valley.
Youngtown is spearheading discussions to bring in commuter rail on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks that run along Grand Avenue from Wickenburg to the heart of downtown Phoenix.
“That would be great,” said Sun City resident Doug Kelsey. “Could you image being my age and getting into Phoenix by going to somewhere near and park and get on a train if I wanted to go to the ball park, museum or ballet?