Stop Your Railing! December 28th, 2006
Sure, light-rail construction is painful, but it will be worth it in the long haul
in the Phoenix New Times, 28 December 2006, by Ray Stern. – … Central Avenue has been narrowed to one lane in each direction, the slow-moving traffic guided by thickets of orange-and-white hazard markers… We’ve been bombarded with barricades and signs, shifting lanes, road closures and epic traffic snarls…
Most businesses on the rail-construction line, though hurting, will survive. And it may sound harsh, but even if they don’t, plenty more entrepreneurs are lined up to take their places.
Businesses have had years to plan and prepare for the construction, and they’re getting lots of help. Even critics like [David] Wimberly [of the George & Dragon English Restaurant and Pub] pepper their complaints with praise for the way government officials and the construction companies doing the work act promptly when problems arise…
The strong will not only survive, but â€” if those who have gone through light rail before are any barometer â€” will thrive. Eventually.
And the rail line, still slated to start carrying passengers in December 2008, will be a great amenity for the Valley.
Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Train December 26th, 2006
|February 14, 2007||to||February 18, 2007|
(from a Verde Canyon Railroad NEWS RELEASE)
Clarkdale – In Februrary, Arizonaâ€™s longest-running nature show complements the love of chocolate with the romance of the rails as the Chocolate Loversâ€™ Festival rolls into the depot from February 14 through 18.
â€œâ€¦ Early spring is a beautiful time to ride because of the wildlife, as well,â€ says Teresa Propeck, marketing director. â€œThe bald and golden eagle populations are at their peak, and the clear waters of the Verde River are a perfect respite for a variety of migrating birds and waterfowl. About 80% of all North American migratory species can be found [here] during February and March.â€
For further details, call 1-800-293-7245 or see http://www.verdecanyonrr.com
Light rail spurs rush of private development December 24th, 2006
Article by Sean Holstege in The Arizona Republic, Dec. 24, 2006. Quotes:
Two years before the light-rail system opens, private investors are starting to pump more than $1 billion into new developments near the rail stations.
The investments promise to reshape key corners and neighborhoods along the 20-mile route…
Developers and lenders say the investment interest is tremendous. They and city planners say real estate near stations is changing hands and prices are rising…
In Denver, business leaders predict more than $2 billion in private money will be invested near stations on [a new light rail] line, which opened recently. Development in Denver, Dallas and Salt Lake City came after train systems proved themselves.
Development in the Valley is emerging before the tracks are laid, partly because light rail’s record was proved elsewhere, developers say…
The article notes that in addition to the new rail line, commuters are increasingly seeking infill housing to avoid against long commutes.
Surprising forecast for Amtrak: Growth December 24th, 2006
WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 â€” Amtrak could see a ridership growth spurt of 50 percent in the next five to 10 years, but it would require billions of state and federal dollars invested in the tracks of other railroads, and millions more of private investment in passenger rail cars, the new president of the railroad said Thursday in an interview.
â€œThe stars may be aligningâ€ for a renaissance of rail, both passenger and freight, said Alexander K. Kummant, who was named president of Amtrak in September, after the board fired his predecessor, David L. Gunn.
Rest of the story: