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gymratmanaz
Jun 6, 2009, 10:42 PM
At least they got new maps and turned the gay announcements off.- Vicelord

Were these announcements that only gay guys could hear......or announcements for anyone wanting to be gay... or announcements that Liza and Bette would be riding the next train???

Please explain what a "Gay" announcement is. :)

Vicelord John
Jun 7, 2009, 12:10 AM
they were announcements advertising half off melon martinis.

gymratmanaz
Jun 7, 2009, 1:16 AM
and Cosmos???!

Leo the Dog
Jun 7, 2009, 2:11 AM
Those old announcements were ridiculous. Thank god they're gone.

gymratmanaz
Jun 7, 2009, 2:50 AM
I liked them.

I also remember riding with a blind man once, who said he very much appreciated the announcements. It made it so he could ride the rail independently. He did not have to reply on someone to tell him which his stop was and which side of the train to exit.

Vicelord John
Jun 7, 2009, 3:45 AM
they still tell you which stop you are nearing, they just don't tell you not to litter, smoke, drink, eat, talk, grope, etc.

Vicelord John
Jun 7, 2009, 7:58 PM
here is a novel idea for metro. Run enough train that i dont have to stand in a one car sardine can. Fucking jack asses.

nickkoto
Jun 8, 2009, 12:47 AM
There's probably some bean-counting Metro manager who thinks the train is being half-utilized if there's just enough passengers to fill every seat, since you can cram the aisles full of people too.

I've always thought that about the local buses, but it's looking true for light rail too.

Leo the Dog
Jun 8, 2009, 12:05 PM
I don't mind standing. Also, Phoenix train etiquette hasn't evolved yet, but it will. Its ok to force your way into the car (in a polite kinda way) if people are unwilling to let you in (or out). Its amazing just how many bodies can fit into one car. If you invade someone's personal space, they'll move over to give you more room.

nickkoto
Jun 8, 2009, 6:42 PM
I don't mind standing either. That's not the problem. Those one-car trains I've been on were packed to such an uncomfortable level that it discourages people from using it.

/drove today

HooverDam
Jun 9, 2009, 7:17 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/06/09/20090609reverselanes0609.html

Council to consider future of reversible traffic lanes
22 comments by Scott Wong - Jun. 9, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Phoenix transportation officials say traffic congestion has dropped by nearly 30 percent along Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue in the past four years, but it's unclear whether the arrival of light rail has played any role.

Since trains began rolling in late December, average vehicle traffic along the pair of north-south arterial roads has decreased by 9 percent. But that's no surprise: Phoenix is seeing a citywide dip in the number of vehicles on the road due to the weakened economy.

Traffic counts are an important factor as City Council members contemplate what to do about the controversial reversible lanes the city uses to alleviate congestion during the morning and afternoon commutes. Last October, council members, split over the issue, delayed a vote to remove the lanes, saying they wanted to see how light rail impacted traffic patterns.


They once again will consider whether to keep, remove or alter the reverse lanes at 2 p.m. today at City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St. Among the options are:

• Maintain the reverse lanes, an option being recommended by city staff that carries no extra cost to Phoenix.

• Eliminate the reverse lanes, which would cost the city $835,000 to change signs, restripe streets and install left-turn arrows.

• Test the removal of reverse lanes on either Seventh Street or Seventh Avenue for one year to evaluate impacts. This option would cost up to $120,000 per road.

• Keep reverse lanes but add overhead beacons or lane-control signs to improve road safety. Beacons would cost about $3.3 million, while the signs would carry a $15 million price tag.

Well I really want those idiotic lanes gone, but all of these solutions suck IMO. Get rid of the damn things and put in really densely planted desert flora medians, ah well I guess the city doesn't have the money for that for now.

Buckeye Native 001
Jun 9, 2009, 7:36 PM
Seconded: Get rid of the reversible lanes. It makes traffic worse in the opposite direction when they've only got two lanes to work with under the false assumption that everyone is going Downtown to work (Midtown, anyone?).

nickkoto
Jun 10, 2009, 12:08 AM
Do any extra accidents actually happen because of those lanes? I would think so, but maybe I'm wrong.

And if so, how could they say that there's no extra cost to the city by leaving it as is? There must be some kind of added emergency response cost by sending police and fire trucks an extra 20, 30, or 100 times a year to those streets.

Buckeye Native 001
Jun 10, 2009, 4:24 AM
I don't believe they happen often (at least not along 7th Street between Osborne and Thomas near where I work) but the few times it has happened, traffic was severely messed up.

Then again, the city estimates that it'll cost about $800,000 to repaint the roads and take down all the signage. With all the budget woes, maybe its best to leave them be for right now.

NIXPHX77
Jun 10, 2009, 6:15 AM
i agree they need to be abolished.
i think a temporary, inexpensive fix would be to just cover the signs somehow until the city can afford to take them down. or put some other signage over them, like "Buckle Up!" Also, if the suicide lanes are removed, is re-striping really needed? right away?
i would like to see landscaped medians also, and on-street parking in some areas along the 7s when it's not rush hour. perhaps if they are metered, that could raise the revenue needed for the above improvements/retrofitting/abolishment.
on a related note, thankfully councilman nowakowlski's office is working to add at least a ped crossing light at 7th St and Oak.

HooverDam
Jun 10, 2009, 9:12 AM
http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/06/10/20090610skytrain0610.html

Council to award Sky Train contract
1 comment by Scott Wong and Jahna Berry - Jun. 10, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
The Phoenix City Council today is expected to give a Canadian firm a $260 million contract to help build Sky Harbor International Airport's driverless train system, ending an aggressive and costly bidding competition.

Two rival firms - Bombardier Transportation Holdings USA and Sumitomo Corporation of America - each invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and spent an entire year working through the bid process.

And despite a lobbying ban on the project, both competitors hired lobbyists with close ties to Mayor Phil Gordon and council members to help them navigate City Hall and meet potential business partners. All, including the city attorney, say that no city policy was broken.

If the $260 million contract is approved, Bombardier will design and build 18 train cars and a maintenance facility, create the train-operating system and perform other duties.

The Bombardier deal is one of several agreements that fall under the umbrella of the $1.1 billion transit project. The 4.8-mile Sky Train system will shuttle passengers to the airport's three terminals, rental-car facility, parking areas and nearby light-rail station.

Another firm, Hensel Phelps Construction Co., is already building the train stations and guideways for the project.

City insiders say the global-rail manufacturer could be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars more for the people mover's second phase and continued operation and upkeep.

Winning city hall
Bombardier tapped Policy Development Group, whose principals, Gail Gordon and Ron Ober, are Mayor Gordon's sister and brother-in-law.

The firm also hired Phoenix International Consultants, led by Ronnie Lopez, who chaired election campaigns for both the mayor and Councilman Claude Mattox.

Meanwhile, Sumitomo brought on former Phoenix firefighters union President Billy Shields, a close friend and fundraiser of Gordon, who now runs lobbying firm Shields Consulting/Public Policy Partners.

A Bombardier spokeswoman declined to comment until after today's vote, and Lopez did not return a phone call.

But Ober said Bombardier hired him more than two years ago to introduce executives to airport officials and local contractors.

Because the city encourages the hiring of minority-owned businesses, Bombardier also was introduced to members of the Hispanic and Black chambers of commerce.

Ober said it is his firm's policy not to attempt to influence the council on any project or policy issue.

"It is extremely important to be very transparent in this process," Ober said.

Shields, too, said he steered clear of lobbying council members or staff. He said his role was to help put together a bid team and proposal for Sumitomo, which spent more than $1 million in its bid.

Lobbying outlawed
Gordon said he doesn't let campaign supporters, friends or even relatives influence his votes.

As a top aide to Mayor Skip Rimsza during the 1990s, Gordon helped push an ordinance banning lobbying on major city projects to ensure decisions were made without bias. Lobbying was outlawed for airport contracts in 2005.

"As mayor, I have had thousands of supporters and contributors, dozens of people who have worked on my campaign, and dozens of close friends," Gordon said. "I have had family members I've opposed on votes and family members that I've supported, and I just have to do the right thing for the city."

exit2lef
Jun 10, 2009, 1:12 PM
i agree they need to be abolished.
i think a temporary, inexpensive fix would be to just cover the signs somehow until the city can afford to take them down. or put some other signage over them, like "Buckle Up!" Also, if the suicide lanes are removed, is re-striping really needed. right away?
i would like to see landscaped medians also, and on-street parking in some areas along the 7s when it's not rush hour. perhaps if they are metered, that could raise the revenue needed for the above improvements/retrofitting/abolishment.
on a related note, thankfully councilman nowakowlski's office is working to add at least a ped crossing light at 7th St and Oak.

Exactly. Removing the suicide lanes should be coupled with other steps to make the 7s more pedestrian-friendly and more visually appealing. In some places, medians may work. In other places, it would be better to take the unneeded lane and use the space to create wider sidewalks or parallel parking as a buffer between pedestrians and cars. There also need to be more signaled crosswalks at streets like Turney on 7th Avenue and Oak on 7th St. On both of the 7s, there are these great little clusters of indie businesses, but those clusters have had trouble spreading from one side of the street to the other because of limited walkability.

glynnjamin
Jun 11, 2009, 12:14 AM
I still like the lanes. I've never had a problem and they really help move traffic. If you aren't comfortable in the suicide lane, you are welcome to use the other ones. I don't really see the issue. The thing that would improve them would be electronic signs that show green and red lights when the lanes are in use. That way, when my car clock says 4pm and yours says 355pm, we don't meet head on.

After driving around downtown Olympia for a while, I'm starting to become a fan of making massive one-way streets. Maybe they should just make 7th Ave SOUTHBOUND ONLY and 7th Street NORTHBOUND ONLY. Looks like it would solve a lot of problems. It would also be easier to implement some pedestrian walkways with lightup x-walk signs.

nickkoto
Jun 11, 2009, 12:26 AM
Seriously, what is up with Metro? You see these two-car trains running all friggin day, then between 4-6 PM when most commuters actually go home, it seems like nothing but single-car sardine cans.


Also, I noticed the car I took home today had at least 6 bicycles on board, with exactly zero of them in the racks. I kind of think it would be better if they just removed the racks and seats from the middle section entirely and designated that as the bicycle area. A lot of bikes with bigger wheels don't fit very well in the hooks anyway, but unless it's a lightweight bike, it's kind of unnerving to both cyclists and the nearby-seated passengers when it comes time to remove it from the rack.

Tfom
Jun 11, 2009, 7:48 PM
I still like the lanes. I've never had a problem and they really help move traffic. If you aren't comfortable in the suicide lane, you are welcome to use the other ones. I don't really see the issue. The thing that would improve them would be electronic signs that show green and red lights when the lanes are in use. That way, when my car clock says 4pm and yours says 355pm, we don't meet head on.

After driving around downtown Olympia for a while, I'm starting to become a fan of making massive one-way streets. Maybe they should just make 7th Ave SOUTHBOUND ONLY and 7th Street NORTHBOUND ONLY. Looks like it would solve a lot of problems. It would also be easier to implement some pedestrian walkways with lightup x-walk signs.

What I don't like is getting stuck on one of them and wanting to turn left onto another street and I can't.

NIXPHX77
Jun 12, 2009, 1:33 AM
I still like the lanes. I've never had a problem and they really help move traffic. If you aren't comfortable in the suicide lane, you are welcome to use the other ones. I don't really see the issue. The thing that would improve them would be electronic signs that show green and red lights when the lanes are in use. That way, when my car clock says 4pm and yours says 355pm, we don't meet head on.
After driving around downtown Olympia for a while, I'm starting to become a fan of making massive one-way streets. Maybe they should just make 7th Ave SOUTHBOUND ONLY and 7th Street NORTHBOUND ONLY. Looks like it would solve a lot of problems. It would also be easier to implement some pedestrian walkways with lightup x-walk signs.

no thanks, keep them in Olympia. the Central/1st aves, Wash/Jeff sts, and 3rd/5th aves one way couplets are enough for Phx, imo.

Re: suicide lanes, how many elec signs would be be needed? seems like you would need a lot since so many streets connect to the 7s where drivers may be entering the suicide lanes for the 1st time and may not realize they exist. also, it's not just about moving traffic.
at least here in Coronado, most of us would like to reclaim 7th St as a neighborhood business district blvd and not just have it be a freeway of sorts for 7 hours a day. we want to encourage people to stop, stay, spend and enjoy their time here, not just whiz by as fast as possible. we also want to encourage pedestrians & the businesses that could serve them and improve aesthetics, and i don't think a suicide lane does that as silverbear articulated above.

HooverDam
Jun 12, 2009, 3:22 AM
http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/06/11/20090611phx-lanes0612.html

Phoenix City Council passes reversible-lane dilemma to committee
by Scott Wong - Jun. 11, 2009 04:57 PM
The Arizona Republic
In the midst of an election year, Phoenix City Council members this week again delayed a controversial vote on whether to eliminate or alter reversible lanes along Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street.

The council unanimously voted to create an ad hoc committee, composed of community members, to study alternatives and provide a recommendation by the end of the year.

Residents and elected officials have been divided over the issue for decades.

Supporters, mostly them from north Phoenix neighborhoods, say the reverse lanes eliminate traffic and pollution and significantly cut commute times.

But critics, who dub them "suicide lanes," say they limit access to and from neighborhoods and businesses and pose safety hazards that lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents.

"Everyone in this room has their own anecdotal evidence about why they like them or why they don't like them," said Councilman Tom Simplot, an outspoken opponent of the lanes, which pass through his central Phoenix district. "There must be an answer somewhere in the middle."

During the meeting Tuesday the council heard from more than a dozen residents, some using diagrams and handmade signs to illustrate their arguments.

Sal Adad, who has owned an auto repair shop along Seventh Avenue south of Camelback for the past 30 years, said he's witnessed hundreds of accidents caused by the reverse lanes.

"I've seen people die or get crippled," said Adad, 68. "It is suicide."

Past and present city transit officials say the reverse lanes are no more dangerous than other major roads in Phoenix. They point to statistics that show that the rate of accidents along Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street is roughly the same as along other arterial roads.

"For 35 years, I oversaw traffic in Phoenix and those two projects were the highest payoff I ever experienced," said James Sparks, a former deputy street transportation director who lives in Paradise Valley. "It did more for moving traffic (than anything else)."

The lanes operate on weekdays during peak travel times, from McDowell Road to Northern Avenue on Seventh Avenue and from McDowell to Dunlap Avenue on Seventh Street.

I understand all the arguments in this article, but the suicide lanes reduce pollution? How?

oliveurban
Jun 12, 2009, 2:53 PM
Get rid of them, already. The idea that you need some type of local "express" route between northern Phoenix neighborhoods and Downtown is short-sighted, and is entirely at the expense of the many neighborhoods in between.

I love to see medians along some stretches, I'd even like to see a few more lighted intersections in between the existing ones, breaking up traffic and allowing for better (and safer) pedestrian, cycling and even local auto crossings. I also definitely think wider sidewalks and improved streetscaping would be a plus. Especially as mentioned, along 7th Ave between Indian School and Camelback (Melrose on 7th area), and 7th St between McDowell and Thomas (Sheridan Square area).

Times have changed, new alternative routes (the freeways) have been completed since, and the idea of just "getting in and out of Downtown as quickly as possible" has become detrimental to the neighborhoods that exist in between.

Don B.
Jun 12, 2009, 3:01 PM
I would love to see trees planted in the median and both sides of the 7s. The roads should be narrowed to two lanes in each direction, with a center turn lane, bike lanes and expanded sidewalks. I also would like to see on-street parking on one side or both sides of the streets, along with median barriers, expanded pedestrian cross areas and some slight curves in the roadway to break up the monotony that is the harsh hardscape that represents too much of the built environment of Phoenix.

In fact, I'd like to see this same treatment applied to McDowell, Thomas, Indian School and Camelback between I-17 and SR 51.

--don

PHX31
Jun 12, 2009, 4:13 PM
/\ Yep, that would be a great idea. And it would be paid for, how?

exit2lef
Jun 12, 2009, 5:23 PM
Get rid of them, already. The idea that you need some type of local "express" route between northern Phoenix neighborhoods and Downtown is short-sighted, and is entirely at the expense of the many neighborhoods in between.

I love to see medians along some stretches, I'd even like to see a few more lighted intersections in between the existing ones, breaking up traffic and allowing for better (and safer) pedestrian, cycling and even local auto crossings. I also definitely think wider sidewalks and improved streetscaping would be a plus. Especially as mentioned, along 7th Ave between Indian School and Camelback (Melrose on 7th area), and 7th St between McDowell and Thomas (Sheridan Square area).

Times have changed, new alternative routes (the freeways) have been completed since, and the idea of just "getting in and out of Downtown as quickly as possible" has become detrimental to the neighborhoods that exist in between.

I would love to see trees planted in the median and both sides of the 7s. The roads should be narrowed to two lanes in each direction, with a center turn lane, bike lanes and expanded sidewalks. I also would like to see on-street parking on one side or both sides of the streets, along with median barriers, expanded pedestrian cross areas and some slight curves in the roadway to break up the monotony that is the harsh hardscape that represents too much of the built environment of Phoenix.

In fact, I'd like to see this same treatment applied to McDowell, Thomas, Indian School and Camelback between I-17 and SR 51.

--don

Completely agree with both visions. Of course, there are huge political and financial barriers, but there's always a need to keep an ideal state in mind in order to make sure that incremental progress is appropriately directed.

PHX31
Jun 12, 2009, 6:23 PM
/\ I agree... but it will never happen (for the reasons silverbear expressed). Look at 7th Ave near the Melrose district. Didn't they spend money to spruce that area up? And even when they put money towards it, all they did was put in some new road surface on the west side, install some art pieces and a couple bus shelters. They didn't do jack to the center of the road (although they were keeping the center lane as is) and planted very few trees.

I live right near 7th St and all the new restaurants opening up in Coronado... I'd love it if the ideas in the above posts came to fruition. But it's really just pie in the sky, unfortunately.

exit2lef
Jun 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
A few light rail related developments.

First, the good news. A voice of reason has emerged in the Glendale light rail discussion. Let's hope Glendale leaders listen to her:

http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/2009/06/12/20090612gl-lightrail0613-ON.html

Second, the bad news. Unbelievable as it may seem, light rail may be on the verge of becoming even more unlikely in Scottsdale. If the Scottsdale City Council votes to withdraw from METRO altogether, it might as well be an act of secession from the Phoenix Metro Area.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/traffic/lightrail/articles/2009/06/13/20090613nesrtransit0613.html

Finally, the weird news. KTAR is reporting that construction on the Northwest extension along 19th Ave. has been halted -- even though it hasn't really started yet. I can't confirm this anywhere else:

http://ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=1179316

Leo the Dog
Jun 14, 2009, 2:10 PM
I just read the KTAR story. You're right it is weird. The last sentence states: "The construction to extend the line to Sky Harbor airport is already underway."

What does that mean? Seems like the reporter is confused with LR extension and the Sky Harbor Automated train.

Sonoran_Dweller
Jun 14, 2009, 6:10 PM
I think the article says that even though one extension is being slowed down (the NW extension), the other segment that is also under construction in Phoenix has already begun (PHX SkyTrain).

And I thought that construction had already begun on the NW extension, though only minor stuff (like signage and land surveying). Does anyone frequent that stretch of 19th Ave?

NIXPHX77
Jun 14, 2009, 8:20 PM
hmm, i would think azcentral would have something about the halting of the nw extension by now.
maybe KTAR is referring to the extension of the extension - isn't there a shorter first leg, only going to Dunlap?
then an extension of that is planned to get to Metrocenter (but they were waiting on ADOT's I-17 plans before crossing the freeway)?

exit2lef
Jun 14, 2009, 9:57 PM
I think the article says that even though one extension is being slowed down (the NW extension), the other segment that is also under construction in Phoenix has already begun (PHX SkyTrain).

And I thought that construction had already begun on the NW extension, though only minor stuff (like signage and land surveying). Does anyone frequent that stretch of 19th Ave?

I'm there every few weeks. Last time I was there, about two weeks ago, was for a meeting about the park-and-ride design at 19th Ave & Dunlap. If there's going to be a delay, the officials at that meeting certainly weren't in on it. As I left, I saw early signs of construction at 19th Ave & Northern.

hmm, i would think azcentral would have something about the halting of the nw extension by now.
maybe KTAR is referring to the extension of the extension - isn't there a shorter first leg, only going to Dunlap?
then an extension of that is planned to get to Metrocenter (but they were waiting on ADOT's I-17 plans before crossing the freeway)?

That could be. The whole second phase beyond Dunlap is a little murky right now. What's really weird about the KTAR story is that according to the reporting, Mayor Gordon wants to wait until he's sure Phoenix can afford to operate rail on the next 3.2 miles. The problem with that thinking is that the new track won't even be operational until 2012. I'm sure we all expect and/or hope to be in some sort of recovery by then. Even if Phoenix waited until recovery to start construction, there's no guarantee we wouldn't be in another recession by the time the project was done. There's definitely something missing or inaccurate in this story. I can't find confirmation anywhere else.

HooverDam
Jun 16, 2009, 11:25 AM
AzCentral has video of the LRT accidents up:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/traffic/lightrail/articles/2009/03/18/20090318lightrailaccidents0318.html

mwadswor
Jun 16, 2009, 3:38 PM
Second, the bad news. Unbelievable as it may seem, light rail may be on the verge of becoming even more unlikely in Scottsdale. If the Scottsdale City Council votes to withdraw from METRO altogether, it might as well be an act of secession from the Phoenix Metro Area.



I think light rail would be great for Scottsdale and would really increase pedestrian traffic and livability throughout downtown Scottsdale. However, it's expensive, we have limited funding, and others clearly want it more than Scottsdale does, so screw them. I don't know what Scottsdale provides that no one else does, Scottsdale needs the rest of the valley more than the rest of the valley needs Scottsdale. If they don't want to pay a relatively tiny amount of money to retain a seat at the the table then that's their problem. They can sit up there watching their downtown whither and die as accessible areas in downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and eventually Mesa and hopefully Glendale succeed. There are plenty of other parts of the valley that want more light rail than we can afford to build right now, so I'm not going to get the least bit upset that one city doesn't want it. As far as I'm concerned, all that does is lessen competition for other parts of the valley that want to participate.



Finally, the weird news. KTAR is reporting that construction on the Northwest extension along 19th Ave. has been halted -- even though it hasn't really started yet. I can't confirm this anywhere else:



I would tend to take this with a grain of salt considering that no one else is reporting it.

I agree with Silverbear, I think it would be ludicrous to stop an extension due to not having money to operate it 3 years from now. I don't think there are many people out there who don't think the economy will be turned around within 3 years, that'd be a hell of a depression for the modern era. Taking a realistic look at politics, it would also just be moronic to wait until 2012 to start building if you're concerned about funding. Federal funding is a major part of light rail, and let's be honest, if we're still in a depression in 2012 the wave of public outrage that'll sweep Obama from office will bring in his complete opposite. I have no idea who, but the opposite of Obama is sure to be pretty libertarian and pretty anti-federal funding for... anything. I don't think we'll still be in economic trouble in 2012 and I doubt that'll happen, but if it does federal funding for rail projects is sure to dry up for at least four years. Either way, whether the economy stays the same, improves, or gets worse it doesn't make any sense to wait on building any extensions. If worst comes to worst they get the rails in the ground and don't operate the extension for a while.

All that being said, I don't see any coroboration for that article, so I'm not sure I really believe it.

Finally, I don't think I've heard the people mover to the airport referred to as a light rail extension, but maybe it should be. There'd be a lot fewer people whining that the light rail doesn't go to the airport if we just called the people mover a light rail extension.

Vicelord John
Jun 20, 2009, 9:44 PM
does anyone know how often the busses run from the train station on 44th to the airport terminals?

I'm flying out tomorrow and need to know how to plan my day.

vertex
Jun 20, 2009, 9:55 PM
I've never waited more than 5 minutes. It might be different on Sunday.

Vicelord John
Jun 20, 2009, 10:08 PM
awesome, thanks!

I'll just plan to be at the eastlake platform 2 hours before my flight I can't imagine I'd miss it. I just don't fly more than twice a decade so I'm not sure what to do hahah.

Jimks
Jun 23, 2009, 4:00 AM
Maybe I can't read a schedule or don't ride metro enough, but Saturday night some friends and I decide to take light rail from downtown to Tempe. The online schedule (see light rail schedule - download a pdf http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail ) says that from 3rd st. and Mill, westbound, the last train is 12:31AM. We arrive at 12:05AM, a train pulls up and the conductor says that the last train is 11:30pm. Long story short, we had to call a buddy for a ride home at 1:00am. The next day, I email light rail customer service and attach the pdf of the schedule directly from their website. Here is their response:

Dear Jim,

Thank you for taking the time to write us and let us know of your experience using the light rail. The last time to catch a train running from end to end would is actually 11:17pm. 3rd and Mill is currently the last stop for trains running westbound after 11:31. Times shown on the schedule reflect the times the trains are at the station. Passengers can only deboard at that station after 11:31.
Our trains are then taken out of service and head back to the yard. Starting July 1st service hours will be extended. Please check back in July for schedules reflecting our new weekend service hours. We hope you will try using the light rail again.

Sincerely,

METRO Customer Service

Am I losing it? Please help me to regain my sanity.

nickkoto
Jun 23, 2009, 6:23 AM
Maybe I can't read a schedule or don't ride metro enough, but Saturday night some friends and I decide to take light rail from downtown to Tempe. The online schedule (see light rail schedule - download a pdf http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail ) says that from 3rd st. and Mill, westbound, the last train is 12:31AM. We arrive at 12:05AM, a train pulls up and the conductor says that the last train is 11:30pm. Long story short, we had to call a buddy for a ride home at 1:00am. The next day, I email light rail customer service and attach the pdf of the schedule directly from their website. Here is their response:

Dear Jim,

Thank you for taking the time to write us and let us know of your experience using the light rail. The last time to catch a train running from end to end would is actually 11:17pm. 3rd and Mill is currently the last stop for trains running westbound after 11:31. Times shown on the schedule reflect the times the trains are at the station. Passengers can only deboard at that station after 11:31.
Our trains are then taken out of service and head back to the yard. Starting July 1st service hours will be extended. Please check back in July for schedules reflecting our new weekend service hours. We hope you will try using the light rail again.

Sincerely,

METRO Customer Service

Am I losing it? Please help me to regain my sanity.


Looking at the schedule, I wouldn't have expected a westbound train after 11:17. The times are blank for every stop west of there for the 4 later trains and the railyard is not that much further, so it makes perfectly good sense to me. :shrug:

That said, it's still pretty stupid that they didn't have later hours from the start.

exit2lef
Jun 23, 2009, 6:39 PM
Am I losing it? Please help me to regain my sanity.

I'll be honest. I don't see how you could have reached the conclusion you did based on the schedule. It's pretty clear.

glynnjamin
Jun 23, 2009, 7:01 PM
Seems glaringly obvious to me that the last train that would get you back into town leaves Mill at 11:17. They've only been complaining for months now about how the last full run is at 11. I pretty much make sure I am on the stop by 11, no matter where I am, to make sure I don't miss the thing. The schedule seems perfectly accurate and clear.

This is what happens when people who never take public transit try and figure it out...

Leo the Dog
Jun 25, 2009, 11:56 AM
http://www.azcentral.com/news/traffic/lightrail/articles/2009/06/25/20090625metro-extensions0625.html

Light-rail extension planned for 19th Ave. delayed until 2014
Phoenix can't afford to open 3-mile leg yet
7 comments by Sean Holstege - Jun. 25, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
See a map of planned light-rail extensions

Phoenix officials have put the brakes on the new light-rail system's first expansion, saying it cannot afford to build tracks or operate trains along another 3 miles of 19th Avenue.

The delay of at least 16 months means the soonest the light-rail extension can open is 2014, about six years after the starter line opened.

Deputy City Manager Ed Zuercher said he decided against asking the Phoenix City Council to award a construction contract on the Northwest Extension because local sales-tax receipts, the sole funding source, have nose-dived in the past three months.

Unlike other extensions, the projected $273 million project is being paid for entirely by local sales taxes because the city wanted to avoid a complicated process required to tap federal funds.

Work was to have begun in the spring and was pushed back to June. Now, Zuercher said, the soonest the city will revisit a construction contract for the extension will be late 2010. Phoenix will use the time to acquire property along 19th Avenue.

The delay could be prolonged if economic conditions continue to deteriorate, which could happen because the decline in tax revenue is accelerating.

It's now possible that the first addition to the Metro system could be an automated people-mover connecting the 44th Street Station to Sky Harbor International Airport. The first leg of the $1.1 billion Sky Train project is scheduled to carry its first passengers in 2013.

Rail network slowing
Phoenix's action is the latest sign that the timing and details of the 57-mile, light-rail network approved by voters remain in flux.

Last month, regional transportation groups agreed to push most light-rail projects back a year or two. One project, a 12-mile track toward Paradise Valley Mall, was pushed back to 2030, meaning it cannot happen unless voters renew the tax or rail planners find another source of cash. The tax expires in 2025.

A proposed south Tempe rail spur is running into technical and financial hurdles. Although a recommendation isn't due on the Rural Road alignment until the end of the year, planners are leaning toward a rapid bus, like Mesa's LINK line, as more feasible than light rail.

Last week, the Scottsdale City Council voted to quit the Valley Metro board, the strongest signal yet that light rail is a long shot in that community.

In the West Valley, a study of two possible routes to Glendale is due to begin by the end of summer, but both rely on Phoenix completing the track within its city limits. One route, a voter-backed plan to go to downtown Glendale, would branch out from the now-delayed Northwest Extension. The other would extend west through Phoenix in the median of Interstate 10, then run along Loop 101 to the Westgate Center in Glendale.

Construction on a Glendale extension isn't scheduled to begin until 2016, so the project won't necessarily be set back by Phoenix's delay.

"We don't believe (the Northwest Extension) will be completely out of the plan, but it's a matter of how long before Phoenix can afford it," said Jamsheed Mehta, Glendale's transportation director.

Troubled history
The Northwest Extension has had a difficult birthing.

Initially, tracks were envisioned crossing Interstate 17 and ending at Metrocenter mall. When it hired planning consultants, Metro decided it made more sense to stop at a corporate park on the eastern side of the freeway.

Two years later in March 2007, Phoenix leaders pared that project, shortening the track by nearly 2 miles and eliminating two proposed stations.

Phoenix and Metro decided to use only local taxes to build the extension because construction would go faster without having to meet regulations tied to federal funding. About three-quarters of the money comes from a Phoenix sales tax approved in 2000; the rest comes from Prop. 400, a countywide sales tax passed in 2004.

By avoiding the federal bureaucracy, Phoenix and Metro also now have made it unlikely that they could tap federal stimulus money.

Phoenix, Glendale, regional and Metro officials called the delay regrettable but prudent.

"This is disappointing news, but not a surprise given the state of the economy. Although difficult, it's the fiscally responsible thing to do," Metro Chief Executive Officer Rick Simonetta wrote in an e-mail to employees earlier this month.

"The overwhelming feeling is disappointment," Zuercher said, explaining that he made the decision because contractors were ready to begin staging work. "We've experienced the high of opening day. We've seen the growing ridership. We've heard the positive comments about what light rail is doing for Phoenix, but the economic reality is driving everything now."

The Northwest Extension took shape when planners made economic forecasts at the peak of the local economy. In the past three months alone, Phoenix has lowered its projections on transit-tax revenue by $60 million.

Metro said the changes do not break faith with Valley voters.

"Our goals are still the same: We will still use the regional transit plan as a guide to plan extensions," Metro spokeswoman Hillary Foose said. "This is a result of the economic times, but people are still going to get what they voted for."

Reach the reporter at sean.holstege@arizonarepublic.com.

exit2lef
Jun 25, 2009, 12:47 PM
As noted above, finally some corroboration of the mysterious KTAR story. This is disappointing news for several reasons:

1) A lot of property has already been acquired and buildings demolished along 19th Ave. Having that land sit idle longer increases chances of blight.

2) A lot of public enthusiasm for light rail has been based on the premise that light rail will eventually reach more of the metro area. The longer that is delayed, the more public enthusiasm diminishes.

3) It will empower anti-rail forces with their ceaseless and inaccurate "I told you so" comments.

I strongly support the northwest extension but wonder if it was really wise for the City of Phoenix to try to go it alone without federal funding on this. It's easy to say we'll spend more local funds to get it done quickly when the economy is booming, but now in the middle of the recession, the bureaucracy of the federal funding process seems a small price to pay.

electricron
Jun 25, 2009, 2:50 PM
I strongly support the northwest extension but wonder if it was really wise for the City of Phoenix to try to go it alone without federal funding on this. It's easy to say we'll spend more local funds to get it done quickly when the economy is booming, but now in the middle of the recession, the bureaucracy of the federal funding process seems a small price to pay.

What was the reason the original route was built 4 miles short? The original 20 mile route did get FTA "New Starts" federal funds. I suggest those extra 4 miles didn't qualify, for one reason or another, for federal funds.

I've noticed DART also finances some projects locally vs doing the federal bureaucracy environmental process. Either the numbers don't qualify, or there's a tricky neighborhood politics involved. The FTA "New Starts" funds don't want to get associated with nasty local politics.
Examples:
(1) Dart's Blue line through the Lake Highlands neighborhood. Locally funded.
(2) Dart's Red and Blue lines in a much more expensive tunnel under US 75 vs along an abandoned railroad corridor through Highland Park and Turtle Creek neighborhoods. Although Federally funded, the only reason FTA accepted the extra costs for the tunnel was that both the Red and Blue lines (doubling the ridership) went through it.
(3) Dart's future Cotton Belt line through Preston Hollow neighborhood will be locally funded.

FTA avoids controversial projects because there are more fully politically supported projects around for the relative small amount of funds to be allocated.

If I recall history, that 4 mile extension in NW Phoenix will be going through a neighborhood that really doesn't want it.

exit2lef
Jun 25, 2009, 3:47 PM
What was the reason the original route was built 4 miles short? The original 20 mile route did get FTA "New Starts" federal funds. I suggest those extra 4 miles didn't qualify, for one reason or another, for federal funds.

I've noticed DART also finances some projects locally vs doing the federal bureaucracy environmental process. Either the numbers don't qualify, or there's a tricky neighborhood politics involved. The FTA "New Starts" funds don't want to get associated with nasty local politics.
Examples:
(1) Dart's Blue line through the Lake Highlands neighborhood. Locally funded.
(2) Dart's Red and Blue lines in a much more expensive tunnel under US 75 vs along an abandoned railroad corridor through Highland Park and Turtle Creek neighborhoods. Although Federally funded, the only reason FTA accepted the extra costs for the tunnel was that both the Red and Blue lines (doubling the ridership) went through it.
(3) Dart's future Cotton Belt line through Preston Hollow neighborhood will be locally funded.

FTA avoids controversial projects because there are more fully politically supported projects around for the relative small amount of funds to be allocated.

If I recall history, that 4 mile extension in NW Phoenix will be going through a neighborhood that really doesn't want it.

I don't think the planned 3.2 miles along 19th Ave are really any more controversial than the 20-mile starter line already in operation. My impression is that 20 miles of starter line represented what could be done up front, and it's one of the longest, if not the longest, starter lines in American history. I think the City of Phoenix was really just trying to start construction on the extension within months of service beginnning on the starter line so that there would be an image of continuous progress. Of course, that strategy appears unsuccessful. Phoenix avoided the delays that would have been necessary due to federally-mandated studies of alternative transit modes, but with declining tax revenues, delays are necessary anyway.

TAZ4ate0
Jun 25, 2009, 6:20 PM
<sigh> I don't even want to know what the light rail haters and nimbys are saying on azcentral right now. I quit trying to reason with that group of monkeys a long time ago.

So the KTAR story was true. Disappointing. At least it does sound like most of the extensions are still coming, just later than we were expecting.

I wonder why federal money couldn't still be tapped in the future for the extensions. Or, has that option gone away completely?

edit: On a positive note, at least for now we have the PHX Skytrain under construction to look forward to, even though it really isn't light rail.

exit2lef
Jun 25, 2009, 6:31 PM
<sigh> I don't even want to know what the light rail haters and nimbys are saying on azcentral right now. I quit trying to reason with that group of monkeys a long time ago.

So the KTAR story was true. Disappointing. At least it does sound like most of the extensions are still coming, just later than we were expecting.

I wonder why federal money couldn't still be tapped in the future for the extensions. Or, has that option gone away completely?

edit: On a positive note, at least for now we have the PHX Skytrain under construction to look forward to, even though it really isn't light rail.

...and SkyTrain construction is actually underway as we speak. 44th St. from Washington St. to University Dr. (fka SR 153) is being torn up to make way for the train.

TAZ4ate0
Jun 25, 2009, 6:39 PM
:previous: The SkyTrain did get federal stimulus money correct? Has it been decided yet if it will be constructed all at once, or are they still planning on building it in phases?

exit2lef
Jun 25, 2009, 6:50 PM
:previous: The SkyTrain did get federal stimulus money correct? Has it been decided yet if it will be constructed all at once, or are they still planning on building it in phases?

The SkyTrain is considered a strong candidate for federal stimulus funds, but I don't think the official decision is until later this year.

My understanding is that there will still be two phases, but that federal stimulus money would allow more to be done in phase 1.

Current plan without stimulus money:

phase 1: 44th St. / Washington --> East Economy Parking --> Terminal 4
phase 2: Terminal 4 --> Terminal 3 --> Terminal 2 --> Rental Car Center

Revised plan if stimulus money is awarded:

phase 1: 44th St. / Washington --> East Economy Parking --> Terminal 4 --> Terminal 3 --> Terminal 2
phase 2: Terminal 2 --> Rental Car Center

glynnjamin
Jun 25, 2009, 8:11 PM
That's not exactly right.

With the stimulus money, the track from 44th st to the EV lot and Terminal 4 will still be phase one. It should be done by 2013.

Phase 2 (that includes Terminal 3 and the West Terminal) are only partially covered by the possible stimulus money. If they got the money, the project would be accelerated from an expected completion date of 2020 to something more like 2015. The problem with the acceleration of Phase 2 is that there is no money to demo Terminal 2 and build the West Terminal. The West Terminal is slated to exist much further west than the current Terminal 2 and that would, as a result, make it difficult to have the SkyTrain go to a place that doesn't exist and doesn't have an architectural design. In other words, you can't build the train stop in the middle of nowhere and then build the terminal around it 10 years later. It would disrupt the service of the SkyTrain.

That being said, it was my understanding that the extension from the main segment out to the rental car lot is really a Phase 3 kind of thing that wouldn't be done till much later.

As something that was mentioned in the LRT Expansion Shut Down article and something that I think applies here, it is becoming difficult to grasp these future dates as something legitimate. How can they say some extension will be completed in 2030? That's like Total Recall time. Grasping a sense of future is like trying to understand how much money $1trillion is. It just seems like nonsense. I don't really understand how they can build things like the Empire State Building and the Federal Highway System in shorter times than it takes to put metal track into the street. I just don't get it. I appreciate a vision for the future but if there is not a better solution for public transit by 2030, I will be greatly disappointed in the engineers of the world. I just don't get how you can plan to build something so archaic as a LRT that sits at stop lights in an age when we should have flying cars and teleportation devices. I want my jetpack.

combusean
Jun 25, 2009, 8:16 PM
As noted above, finally some corroboration of the mysterious KTAR story. This is disappointing news for several reasons:

1) A lot of property has already been acquired and buildings demolished along 19th Ave. Having that land sit idle longer increases chances of blight.

2) A lot of public enthusiasm for light rail has been based on the premise that light rail will eventually reach more of the metro area. The longer that is delayed, the more public enthusiasm diminishes.

3) It will empower anti-rail forces with their ceaseless and inaccurate "I told you so" comments.

I strongly support the northwest extension but wonder if it was really wise for the City of Phoenix to try to go it alone without federal funding on this. It's easy to say we'll spend more local funds to get it done quickly when the economy is booming, but now in the middle of the recession, the bureaucracy of the federal funding process seems a small price to pay.

The properties are being rented out. In fact other ones are still being bought up.

Phoenix has this weird deadline mentality in the upper echelons. They wanted to get it open by 2012 but ADOT never gave them clearance to cross I-17. They shortened the line to Dunlap Rd and decided to go it alone to meet that 2012 deadline. It's the stupidest thing they've ever done, and the fact we might have missed out on $150 million is insane.

PHX31
Jun 25, 2009, 8:23 PM
Phase 2 (that includes Terminal 3 and the West Terminal) are only partially covered by the possible stimulus money. If they got the money, the project would be accelerated from an expected completion date of 2020 to something more like 2015. The problem with the acceleration of Phase 2 is that there is no money to demo Terminal 2 and build the West Terminal. The West Terminal is slated to exist much further west than the current Terminal 2 and that would, as a result, make it difficult to have the SkyTrain go to a place that doesn't exist and doesn't have an architectural design. In other words, you can't build the train stop in the middle of nowhere and then build the terminal around it 10 years later. It would disrupt the service of the SkyTrain.

Sure they can... they just implement shuttle buses again for the short difference in entrances to terminal 2... once the future terminal 2 is built, they get rid of the shuttles.



As something that was mentioned in the LRT Expansion Shut Down article and something that I think applies here, it is becoming difficult to grasp these future dates as something legitimate. How can they say some extension will be completed in 2030? That's like Total Recall time. Grasping a sense of future is like trying to understand how much money $1trillion is. It just seems like nonsense. I don't really understand how they can build things like the Empire State Building and the Federal Highway System in shorter times than it takes to put metal track into the street. I just don't get it. I appreciate a vision for the future but if there is not a better solution for public transit by 2030, I will be greatly disappointed in the engineers of the world. I just don't get how you can plan to build something so archaic as a LRT that sits at stop lights in an age when we should have flying cars and teleportation devices. I want my jetpack.

I totally agree and think about the same thing. I think laywers and the threat of being sued, and precautions to CYA, and tons of other legal things have made timelines of projects so long and so ridiculous. They threw up the Empire state building in a week compared to building something like CityScape's tower. It seems completely counter intuitive that 90 years later, things take twice as long to construct (actually, probably 4x as long, given the hoops and legal/permitting crap you have to go through to even begin construction). Shouldn't increased technology = faster completion times? I guess not in the legal society we live in.

I also agree with you that in the year 2030 if we're still plodding along with this light rail, i'll be completely disappointed. Hopefully things will come along and the money for light rail will be directed elsewhere. Think about it.... We are about 5 years away from the year 2015... that's "the future" in the Movie Back to the Future. We are so much closer to the 1985 in the movie as compared to the 2015 in the movie. Where are the hover boards/flying cars/self-drying clothes/holographic billboards/food rehydrators????

exit2lef
Jun 25, 2009, 8:58 PM
The properties are being rented out. In fact other ones are still being bought up.

Phoenix has this weird deadline mentality in the upper echelons. They wanted to get it open by 2012 but ADOT never gave them clearance to cross I-17. They shortened the line to Dunlap Rd and decided to go it alone to meet that 2012 deadline. It's the stupidest thing they've ever done, and the fact we might have missed out on $150 million is insane.

Given that ADOT hasn't cooperated on bringing light rail over I-17, I'm not sure what the point of the little phase 2 stub from 19th Ave / Dunlap to Rose Mofford Park really is. It will bring the train only a mile or so farther and doesn't really deliver it to a significant destination. Why not scrap phase 2 and just build phase 1 ASAP with a good park-and-ride at 19th Ave / Dunlap? That would control costs and keep the project on target.

scottkag
Jun 25, 2009, 10:14 PM
How can they say some extension will be completed in 2030? That's like Total Recall time.

I'm planning on being preoccupied by the mutant uprisings on the Martian Colonies. Who will care about light rail?

Where are the hover boards/flying cars/self-drying clothes/holographic billboards/food rehydrators????

At least we get personal telecommunication devices and robotic vacuum cleaners. And those new-fangled electronic billboards are almost as good as holographic ones.

PHX31
Jun 25, 2009, 11:07 PM
And those new-fangled electronic billboards are almost as good as holographic ones.


The only way electronic billboards could ever be as good as holograhic billboards is if Max Headroom is the pitchman on every electronic billboard.

nickkoto
Jun 26, 2009, 6:57 AM
Given that ADOT hasn't cooperated on bringing light rail over I-17, I'm not sure what the point of the little phase 2 stub from 19th Ave / Dunlap to Rose Mofford Park really is. It will bring the train only a mile or so farther and doesn't really deliver it to a significant destination. Why not scrap phase 2 and just build phase 1 ASAP with a good park-and-ride at 19th Ave / Dunlap? That would control costs and keep the project on target.

I say they might as well continue running it up 19th, all the way to Union Hills/Utopia if necessary. While there aren't necessarily any big destinations along 19th, there are a bazillion 2-story apartment complexes all along the way (the passengers to the existing destinations need to come from somewhere), and the whole length of 19th Avenue could stand to use a bit of improvement anyway.

Leo the Dog
Jun 26, 2009, 11:58 AM
I say they might as well continue running it up 19th, all the way to Union Hills/Utopia if necessary. While there aren't necessarily any big destinations along 19th, there are a bazillion 2-story apartment complexes all along the way (the passengers to the existing destinations need to come from somewhere), and the whole length of 19th Avenue could stand to use a bit of improvement anyway.

ValleyMetro has some interesting demographics about the NW extension/19th ave corridor. Many residents along that corridor do not own an automobile and population densities are projected to increase over the next decade.

PhxPavilion
Jun 27, 2009, 8:29 AM
I just don't get how you can plan to build something so archaic as a LRT that sits at stop lights in an age when we should have flying cars and teleportation devices. I want my jetpack.

If you consider the science behind the idea of teleportation and what would be required to actually pull it off, it is so far above us we couldn't hope to accomplish it in the next century.

Now, paper thin displays that can roll up will be coming in about two years time. Even a form of cloaking is being worked on.

As far as transportation, I would like to see a network of bullet trains along with electric vehicles, sort of like what was shown in Minority Report or iRobot.

mwadswor
Jun 27, 2009, 8:21 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/06/27/20090627ahwatukeefreeway-ON.html

Councilman tells Ahwatukee to prepare for freeway

2 commentsby Cathryn Creno - Jun. 27, 2009 12:23 PM
The Arizona Republic

Ahwatukee should prepare for a freeway, says Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

DiCiccio told about 50 Ahwatukee Foothills residents at a community meeting Saturday that they should get ready for a 10-lane extension of Loop 202 - the proposed South Mountain Freeway -along Ahwatukee's southern border.

"I know it's controversial," he said. "The state is on a mission to build a freeway, and they say they have the funds to do it. I want you to know what eventually could happen here."

DiCiccio said he recently met privately with officials from the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Maricopa Association of Governments and representatives from the offices of Reps. Harry Mitchell and Ed Pastor.

The consensus is a freeway must be constructed along Ahwatukee's section of Pecos Road to connect Loop 202, which now ends in Chandler and Laveen, a part of west Phoenix, he said.

"Federal law requires that freeways have a beginning point and an ending point," DiCiccio said.

Residents and property owners in the path of the proposed extension "are in limbo" until plans are confirmed, he said. The current design calls for knocking down homes and a church in the freeway path.

"Can you imagine if you lived in the alignment area?" DiCiccio said. "You cannot sell your home. This is unacceptable."

The most recent proposal by the Maricopa Association of Governments is the construction of a six-lane parkway along the Pecos Road corridor in southern Ahwatukee instead of a full-size freeway. Such a parkway would cost less money, could be designed to have additional exists to businesses and could reduce the number of razed homes.

But DiCiccio said state officials favor a full-size freeway.

Members of an Ahwatukee group called PARC - Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children - who attended the Saturday meeting said they do not believe an extension of 202 through their community is inevitable.

"I don't agree it's a done deal," said group member Bill Ramsay.

Another Ahwatukee resident, Chad Blostone, drew applause when he encouraged DiCiccio to work with public agencies to find an alternative for interstate trucks on any type of 202 extension.

He said an expansion of Arizona Route 85, south of the Phoenix metro area, would be a better truck route than the 202.

DiCiccio said that although the freeway construction would be several years in the future, he would like to see a decision made on the size and scope of the project by the end of this year.

mwadswor
Jun 27, 2009, 8:29 PM
This freeway has never really made sense to me. It really only serves as a bypass of downtown, which would be better accomplished by expanding (and promoting, I'm always amazed by how few people know it's there) AZ 85. I don't think that many people are going to use the south mountain freeway because it starts so far south and goes so far west without connecting to downtown, and I just don't think there are that many people needing an express route from Chandler to Glendale. Furthermore, it's going to require extensive blasting through South Mountain, which I'm definitely not a fan of. At the very least, it could be downsized to a 6 lane freeway.

On the other hand, the Ahwatukee nimbys just annoy me. What're they bitching for? The freeways probably been planned for longer than they've owned houses in its path. They bought those houses assuming that they could get them for cheap due to the proposed freeway and then protest enough to move the freeway route.

I oppose the freeway, but I'm tempted to support it anyway just so the nimbys don't win :P

combusean
Jun 27, 2009, 11:30 PM
It needs to be built to give trucks from the distribution centers in West Phoenix a better way to the southeast valley than the 10. AZ-85 is fine and upgrading it isn't going to help anyone.

Sonoran_Dweller
Jun 28, 2009, 1:01 AM
They should just spend the money on improvements and expansions to Riggs Road and 51st Avenue.

glynnjamin
Jun 30, 2009, 7:08 AM
"Federal law requires that freeways have a beginning point and an ending point," DiCiccio said.

What kind of statement is that? No shit they have to begin and end? Doesn't the 202 begin and end now? I'd be in favor of a parkway. I'd also be in favor of exiling awatukee residents from any public meeting ever. That being said, I'd really rather this freeway not get built. The train is a perfectly satisfactory alternative between Chandler and Glendale for commuters/football fans. Trucks can take the 85.

Buckeye Native 001
Jun 30, 2009, 3:08 PM
What train are you talking about?

I live and Ahwatukee and drive regularly to California. I'd love nothing more than for this extension to be completed. The people who built homes in the far western sections of Ahwatukee knew this was coming and were hoping the state would buy their houses for more than they're worth. Given the economy, they'll be lucky to get half of what they paid for initially.

And as combusean already pointed out, the bypass is sorely needed for the West Valley trucking industry. 85 is too far away from Phoenix to be of any use unless you're from Tucson trying to bypass the Valley to/from California.

glynnjamin
Jun 30, 2009, 5:13 PM
^the commuter rail line that has been discussed on and off for the past 6 years.

And there is no reason you can't drive that way now. You choose to take the freeway. There are plenty of surface streets to get you where you want to be. Turning Pecos into a parkway would satisfy the traffic demand without a)disrupting the mountain preserve, b)pissing off the injuns with an elevated freeway, and c)destroying as many homes.

Vicelord John
Jun 30, 2009, 5:21 PM
^the commuter rail line that has been discussed on and off for the past 6 years.

And there is no reason you can't drive that way now. You choose to take the freeway. There are plenty of surface streets to get you where you want to be. Turning Pecos into a parkway would satisfy the traffic demand without a)disrupting the mountain preserve, b)pissing off the injuns with an elevated freeway, and c)destroying as many homes.
um not to nitpick, but are you sayiing there is an easy way to get from ahwatukee to anywhere west? Pecos ends at the reservation. You HAVE to go around South Mountain. Not that I have any sympathy for stupid fucks who actually live in ahwatukee, but just want to make sure we are all clear on the road system.

oliveurban
Jun 30, 2009, 6:25 PM
Constructing new freeways that cut into otherwise open desert, arguably for sole purposes of opening up new opportunities for cheap land, cheap growth and cheap development is definitely a toxic trend. I think this proposed freeway is different, however.

This isn't entirely about about "Ahwatukee," as many of it's residents would like us to focus on. I feel many of the opponents to this freeway are being a little short sighted.

This has a lot to with regional trade and transportation patterns, too. It's about trade, commerce, cargo, goods, services, equipment, etc., that circulate throughout not only Phoenix, but Arizona, the Southwest, and beyond. It's thinking about the whole picture. I feel this is a fairly logical, effective and efficient bypass route between not only the East and West Valleys, but between southern Arizona to points west of Phoenix and beyond as well.

Like Combusean touched on, the SW Valley is also one of the largest trucking and distribution centers in the entire region. The "apron," Phoenix area's sole source of oil and gas, is located there too. For better, more efficient transportation and shipping patterns, this proposed freeway would make a marked improvement. Imagine if it helps us lure additional companies to set up new distribution centers in the area. Imagine any additional jobs and regional importance/dominance the Phoenix area could attain if by simply facilitating what is an easy "fix" to regional transportation and shipping patterns/circulation.

To the point of commuting patterns, Ahwatukee is definitely a giant cul-de-sac. It is essentially a built area, tightly crammed into this sort of armpit, wedged between a mountain range and a reservation. Unlike other spots throughout the Phoenix area, where our grid street system can get you to any location, in any direction, fairly effectively by car, Ahwatukee is not like that. Constructing an efficient alternative to reach destinations in the West Valley, and beyond, seems realistic.

While I loathe the idea of a new freeway, in the larger context of things, I can find angles to support it. I do think this should be built, though preferably not as a "parkway," as currently being considered.

Buckeye Native 001
Jun 30, 2009, 6:39 PM
Nobody would treat it like a parkway even if it were constructed as such, unless DPS has the money and manpower to place photo radar and/or other speed traps on every square mile of the road...

I'd generally side with the "Fuck Ahwatukee" contingent, but what's the point in having a freeway loop/bypass (again, I don't think the state ever intended 85 to serve in that capacity) if it requires trekking through part of the central city, which can add unnecessary minutes (especially important for truckers) to anyone's commute.

That said, is Phoenix the largest city in the country without some sort of complete freeway loop? Most cities have such freeways with interstate designation, but I can't think of any other big cities in this country that lack a freeway loop of any kind (be it comprised of state highways or interstate)

glynnjamin
Jun 30, 2009, 7:20 PM
What's the problem with a parkway? Two lanes on each side with additional U-turn lanes and RTO lanes where needed. Average speed limit is 50mph. What does it matter if people speed on it? We all speed on every road in town anyways. Seems to me that if you want to connect SE Valley and the West Valley without sparking crazy new development, a parkway is the best way to do it. It makes a great way to get from one end to the other but not to really get anywhere in between. Isn't that what we are talking about here?

Actually, why don't we just see if the Indians want to build a toll road? We'll cover our part, the rest (the part on the rez) can be a toll and the money will go to them. The city gets its bypass route and the rez makes money. Best of all, the NIMBYs can't do anything to stop it. Win Win Win. Tolls are coming...we might as well embrace them.

SunDevil
Jul 1, 2009, 2:35 AM
Nobody would treat it like a parkway even if it were constructed as such, unless DPS has the money and manpower to place photo radar and/or other speed traps on every square mile of the road...

I'd generally side with the "Fuck Ahwatukee" contingent, but what's the point in having a freeway loop/bypass (again, I don't think the state ever intended 85 to serve in that capacity) if it requires trekking through part of the central city, which can add unnecessary minutes (especially important for truckers) to anyone's commute.

That said, is Phoenix the largest city in the country without some sort of complete freeway loop? Most cities have such freeways with interstate designation, but I can't think of any other big cities in this country that lack a freeway loop of any kind (be it comprised of state highways or interstate)

Yes if you count Loop 101 solely, No if you only count it with a completed Loop 202.

The question then is: Can Loop 101 even function to its full effect without a completed Loop 202?

Buckeye Native 001
Jul 1, 2009, 5:24 AM
The question then is: Can Loop 101 even function to its full effect without a completed Loop 202?

In my opinion? Not really, since the entire point of a freeway loop is to offer an alternative route that doesn't involve driving directly through the downtown area.

ljbuild
Jul 1, 2009, 5:36 AM
This freeway has never really made sense to me. It really only serves as a bypass of downtown, which would be better accomplished by expanding (and promoting, I'm always amazed by how few people know it's there) AZ 85. I don't think that many people are going to use the south mountain freeway because it starts so far south and goes so far west without connecting to downtown, and I just don't think there are that many people needing an express route from Chandler to Glendale. Furthermore, it's going to require extensive blasting through South Mountain, which I'm definitely not a fan of. At the very least, it could be downsized to a 6 lane freeway.

On the other hand, the Ahwatukee nimbys just annoy me. What're they bitching for? The freeways probably been planned for longer than they've owned houses in its path. They bought those houses assuming that they could get them for cheap due to the proposed freeway and then protest enough to move the freeway route.

I oppose the freeway, but I'm tempted to support it anyway just so the nimbys don't win :P


I like your second paragraph (mwadswor) about the plans being there longer than the NOW materialized community of "Ahwatuckee".

First of all, those Ahwatuckee morons :yuck: SHOULDN'T HAVE MOVED

THERE to begin with. They chose to move in the path of a planned freeway

route, so therefore they need to SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES or

move the hell out,

to say AJO where they can be their own mindless recluses without

ever having to worry about a freeway coming, since there's no freeway nor

will there ever be one in AJO.

ljbuild
Jul 1, 2009, 5:51 AM
Furthermore: about "blasting South Mountain",

They would be blasting the most INSIGNIFICANT

portion of the Park, (the extreme S.W. portion).

It is ridiculous just for being an issue.

There are not even any major trails or roads or Picnic tables in the area that

they are (proposing) to blast. Which is why that area was looked at.

I can see if they were going to blast the center of the Mountain range where

the roads, trails and people are mostly at. But at the least significant portion

of the mountain which is by the way nearly at the western end, that would be

the perfect spot. Unless someone can "SWEET TALK" the Indian tribe

(whose land is Adjacent to the western end of the Mountain range) into

allocating some of their land to build a freeway on. But as of now they

appear UNWILLING.

Jsmscaleros
Jul 1, 2009, 6:06 AM
Nice use of the bold feature.

exit2lef
Jul 1, 2009, 6:13 AM
Even if the portion of South Mountain Park encroached on is really insignificant, it still establishes a precedent for violating park lands in order to build freeways. Yes, I know that precedent has been set before with SR51 through the Dreamy Draw, but that doesn't mean that it should be set again. I have little sympathy for the Ahwatukee homeowners who didn't read their disclosures, but I'm 100% opposed to the South Mountain Freeway if it takes away even one square inch of South Mountain Park.

plinko
Jul 1, 2009, 6:13 AM
I don't particularly back the South Mountain Freeway, but if they have to build it, then I think they need to do two things:

1. Move the freeway 1/4 mile to the south and provide a few exits from ahwautukee, which would allow the Reservation to develop the land between the Pecos alignment and the freeway (much like Loop 101 through south Scottsdale). If the people who live in that part of the world don't like the new retail and office buildings along this stretch? Fuck 'em. I have no sympathy. Move to a 6 mile cul-de-sac, complain about traffic, and then complain about the possibility of more traffic and loss of land related to the freeway. Awesome.

2. Extend the western leg of the freeway out to a 99th Avenue / Loop 101 alignment. If the freeway is truly a 'bypass' and built to serve the trucking needs of the SW Valley, then it ought to function in the most efficient way possible with the remainder of the regional freeway system. This BS about it being a bypass and yet arcing back toward DT Phoenix at 59th Ave or so is ridiculous. If you build it that way it doesn't help the trucking community at all or serve as a bypass, it makes it easier for people who live out the 202 corridor in Chandler and Gilbert to commute downtown. And THAT isn't a good enough reason to rip up the south side of the park at this point.

Buckeye Native 001
Jul 1, 2009, 3:23 PM
I like your second paragraph (mwadswor) about the plans being there longer than the NOW materialized community of "Ahwatuckee".

First of all, those Ahwatuckee morons :yuck: SHOULDN'T HAVE MOVED

THERE to begin with. They chose to move in the path of a planned freeway

route, so therefore they need to SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES or

move the hell out,

to say AJO where they can be their own mindless recluses without

ever having to worry about a freeway coming, since there's no freeway nor

will there ever be one in AJO.

Furthermore: about "blasting South Mountain",

They would be blasting the most INSIGNIFICANT

portion of the Park, (the extreme S.W. portion).

It is ridiculous just for being an issue.

There are not even any major trails or roads or Picnic tables in the area that

they are (proposing) to blast. Which is why that area was looked at.

I can see if they were going to blast the center of the Mountain range where

the roads, trails and people are mostly at. But at the least significant portion

of the mountain which is by the way nearly at the western end, that would be

the perfect spot. Unless someone can "SWEET TALK" the Indian tribe

(whose land is Adjacent to the western end of the Mountain range) into

allocate some of their land to build a freeway on. But as of now they

appear UNWILLING.

Do you have any idea how much of a chore it is to try to read and/or make sense of your posts?

Vicelord John
Jul 1, 2009, 5:22 PM
Thats why I blocked him. I don't even see it.... try it, it's pretty sweet.

Buckeye Native 001
Jul 1, 2009, 6:04 PM
I don't particularly back the South Mountain Freeway, but if they have to build it, then I think they need to do two things:

1. Move the freeway 1/4 mile to the south and provide a few exits from ahwautukee, which would allow the Reservation to develop the land between the Pecos alignment and the freeway (much like Loop 101 through south Scottsdale). If the people who live in that part of the world don't like the new retail and office buildings along this stretch? Fuck 'em. I have no sympathy. Move to a 6 mile cul-de-sac, complain about traffic, and then complain about the possibility of more traffic and loss of land related to the freeway. Awesome.

2. Extend the western leg of the freeway out to a 99th Avenue / Loop 101 alignment. If the freeway is truly a 'bypass' and built to serve the trucking needs of the SW Valley, then it ought to function in the most efficient way possible with the remainder of the regional freeway system. This BS about it being a bypass and yet arcing back toward DT Phoenix at 59th Ave or so is ridiculous. If you build it that way it doesn't help the trucking community at all or serve as a bypass, it makes it easier for people who live out the 202 corridor in Chandler and Gilbert to commute downtown. And THAT isn't a good enough reason to rip up the south side of the park at this point.

Agreed with your second point. I don't have a map near me (and can't find one online for whatever reason) but wouldn't that proposal cut right into the Gila River Reservation? If there's some way the city or state could work out an agreement, looks like the best bet would be to extend Pecos/the 202 out to 51st Avenue, follow that north (doesn't appear to cut much into South Mountain itself) crossing Baseline, then bank west, crossing 91st Avenue and finally connecting with the 101.

The loss of land and traffic complaints are typical of your average Ahwatukee resident (again, fuck 'em) but I wouldn't at all be surprised to find that most of those people who moved into houses way out in the western developments (everything past Chandler Boulevard and Desert Foothills Parkway) knew that buying a house then (between 2000 and 2002) could possibly result in a payout of some sort (ADOT?) within a few years when it came time to clear the area for a new freeway. Ahwatukeeans (sp?) are nothing if not greedy.

Nigel
Jul 1, 2009, 6:08 PM
I see you guys are having your own issues with freeways and natives. Here is an example of a similar situation in Calgary, Canada where aboriginals voted against having a freeway come through their land:

suu T’ina First Nation members voted strongly against a proposed agreement Tuesday that would see the long-awaited southwest leg of Calgary’s ring road built through their reserve.

More than 60 per cent of voters were opposed to the deal.

Tsuu T’ina Chief Sandford Big Plume said the citizens have spoken and their wishes will be respected.

“The Nation will not enter into this agreement,” he said.

“This result reflects the passionate feelings Tsuu T’ina people have for their land. This was more than a simple economic transaction for us,” he said. “We consider our land to be a sacred trust.”

Mayor Dave Bronconnier said while the decision is “regrettable” the wishes of the voters must be respected.

“We were hoping for a different outcome to take on the transportation challenges this city faces,” he said. “But what we have here is a very clear result on a very clear question and although this is not the direction we wanted to head, we must respect the sanctity of the ballot box.”

Band council will ratify the votes on July 7 and members are expected to comment further at that time.

A spokesman for Alberta Transportation, a partner in the agreement, declined to comment on the vote result Tuesday.

“The votes won’t be official until council ratifies them so we have to wait for that,” said Trent Bancarz, who, earlier in the day said there were no other plans in place for that section and called the swath of land the “missing link in the ring road.”

Some see the ring road link as key to reducing congestion in the city’s southwest. But it’s been a controversial proposal from the beginning, with some Tsuu T’ina voicing early opposition to the sale of their land.

In March, the band council approved a draft of the agreement, but it had to be ratified by band members.

Tsuu T’ina spokesman Morten Paulsen said more than 700 people — or 78 per cent of eligible voters — cast ballots, with 38.5 per cent voting in favour of the agreement and 60.5 per cent opposed.

Although details of the proposal were not released to the general public, the Herald obtained documents showing the province was offering the Tsuu T’ina as much as $275 million — with a minimum $240 million held in trust by the federal government — in exchange for about 400 hectares to build the mammoth highway. It would slice through the east side of the reserve, bordering Calgary.

In addition, the band stood to gain nearly 2,000 hectares of Crown land on the reserve’s northwest edge.

Sources have also confirmed to the Herald that Tsuu T’ina’s overall share in the deal is worth close to $500 million, including cash payments, land transfers and infrastructure upgrades.

Chief Big Plume said in a news release following the vote that some citizens felt key elements of the proposal were unsatisfactory.

“The agreement did not guarantee that the Nation would receive additional reserve land,” he said. “Tsuu T’ina tried to solve that problem at the negotiating table. We regret that we were unable to do so.”

A city alderman said prior to the vote he doesn’t believe the proposed ring road is the answer to traffic woes in the southwest.

Brian Pincott worries about the cost to the city and said there are other solutions to traffic issues, including a commuter system that complements the LRT.

“Personally, I’m not convinced that it is the solution that everybody thinks it’s going to be,” he said.

Indeed, Bronconnier said late Tuesday that that chapter of the debate with Tsuu T’ina is closed.

“Given the result is clear that it’s time to think this through and work with the province to find another solution,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, there was a small protest near the Chief Joseph Big Plume building, where the vote was held.

Elliott Crowchild said he’s determined not to let the ring road be built through Tsuu T’ina land.

“I will go and stand up at the very end where they’re starting to build and put my life on the line,” he said. “They’ll have to kill me before this road goes through.”

dtetley@theherald.canwest.com

http://www.globaltv.com/globaltv/cal...512/story.html

Leo the Dog
Jul 2, 2009, 12:12 PM
Here's an idea:

Instead of building a Phoenix bypass route (Loop 202 S. Mountain Frwy) which would divert potential tax $$ collection from motorists driving through the central city, (basically, we're paying for motorists to avoid our city) why don't we scrap the project, divert all the funds to LR construction to the inner-city???

I am in favor of building the 202, but if it does get scrapped, instead of the money going to other freeway projects, it should go towards mass transit IMO. What do you guys think about this?

Vicelord John
Jul 2, 2009, 4:14 PM
i think it should go to having a freeway that just ends and dumps you off downtown. Most other cities have this.

glynnjamin
Jul 2, 2009, 9:51 PM
^^Not a bad idea...have it hook up at the Durango Curve maybe?

combusean
Jul 3, 2009, 12:09 AM
Here's an idea:

Instead of building a Phoenix bypass route (Loop 202 S. Mountain Frwy) which would divert potential tax $$ collection from motorists driving through the central city, (basically, we're paying for motorists to avoid our city) why don't we scrap the project, divert all the funds to LR construction to the inner-city???

I am in favor of building the 202, but if it does get scrapped, instead of the money going to other freeway projects, it should go towards mass transit IMO. What do you guys think about this?

This isn't technically true so far. The 202 will start and end in Phoenix. On the other hand, if they build it south on the Gila land.....or hell, this will happen naturally... then it does become a prospect of paying people to avoid our city as there will be a bunch of new retail and office on the reservation that Phoenix will see no benefit for.

It's kinda why I don't mind the sprawl in Phoenix proper--it all goes to the same pot, and it's not until we have filled our britches can we *really* focus on downtown.

glynnjamin
Jul 3, 2009, 9:01 AM
You arent going to see any development on the indian land with the exception of another casino. The indians refuse to sell their land which means no developer can ever see any real returns on their investment. You can rent the land for 20-100 years, but they don't sell the rez. Pollack or any of the other strip mall developers know that the real money is in selling the property down the road. A developer could pour $10M into building a strip mall and then, in 30 years, the Indians could deny them the chance to re-rent it and completely raze the structure.

combusean
Jul 3, 2009, 10:11 AM
Renting the land for 20-100 years is a fundamental tenet of commercial real estate. The 99-year lease is how they built the 101 on the Salt River land, and that's a freeway. The 99-year lease also lies under most of Desert Ridge, owned by the State of Arizona. I think the Colonnade or one of those Biltmore things was also in such an arrangement until recently--the family cashed out during the boom.

Land is just one aspect of the deal. Improvements (buildings) are the other, and as I understand it they can be bought and sold freely.

The natives don't even own the land their reservations are on. It too is on lease, but from the federal government. One fucked up thing about how the feds manage the tribes is that, even beyond the podunk and bureaucratic infrastructure concessions, attempting to find out who 'owns' indian land in question is a nightmare. It's hard to build anything unless you have the cash outright and upfront because nobody will lend on it.

Leo the Dog
Jul 3, 2009, 1:00 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/news/traffic/lightrail/articles/2009/07/03/20090703railatnight0703.html

Out until 2 a.m.? Toast the new light-rail hours
9 comments by Sean Holstege and Megan Finnerty - Jul. 3, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Valley residents and business owners will get their wish for late-night, light-rail service today when Metro starts running weekend trains until the early-morning hours.

For Friday- and Saturday-night revelers and other late travelers, the shift means that the last trains will pull out of the end-of-line stations about 3:15 a.m. rather than 12:15 a.m. Night owls can catch a train along the 20-mile route until about 3:30 a.m.

The last trains run only about halfway down the line. The final weekend trains running the entire length leave at about 2 a.m.

Patrons, business owners and civic promoters see the longer hours as an opportunity for downtown Phoenix and Tempe's Mill Avenue to prove they can achieve the kind of exciting nightlife other big cities have.

Bar and restaurant patrons will have less of a reason to go home early and less of a need to appoint a designated driver, unless they're using park-and-ride lots. Those needs hinder the area's ability to generate business and street life, some patrons say.

"I think they should have done this in the first place," said Josh Agustin, 33, bar manager at Pasta Bar, one of downtown Phoenix's newest restaurants. "The lack of light rail is the biggest complaint I hear. I think that a lot of people leave the downtown early because of light rail (hours). Now, people will come in later."

Metro spokeswoman Hillary Foose said the service also will help late-night workers and downtown concertgoers by giving them another way to get home.

"People are overwhelmingly excited about it," Foose said. "(Still) it's hard to say what reception this late-night service will receive."

To help promote the change, Kimber Lanning, director of non-profit Local First Arizona, is working with downtown music destinations to offer discounts for concerts and other incentives for riding light rail. Various bar and restaurant owners are planning similar promotions.

Local First Arizona promotes doing business with companies based in the state. Metro plans to run extended weekend hours indefinitely but has enough federal money to pay for only the first year of extra service, which costs an estimated $250,000.

The Regional Public Transportation Authority hiked fares sharply on Wednesday because of rising costs and declining municipal sales-tax revenue, which helps finance the system.

Supporters of late rail hours
Supporters of the new hours include bar and restaurant owners, 20-somethings and safety advocates. For them, late rail service represents a badly needed economic shot in the arm, a vital step toward creating a big-city nightlife in Phoenix, or a safe trip home.

Valley native Jim Saunders, 51, moved into the Encanto-Palmcroft historic neighborhood a year and a half ago, partly to be near light rail and downtown Phoenix. He says he already is seeing how light rail is connecting people from all over the Valley with downtown businesses.

"My wife and I were at Sens (Asian Tapas & Sake Bar) one night, and the people to our right were from the Christown stop and the people to the left of us were from Mesa, and they'd all taken the light rail," Saunders said. Later in the evening, younger people arrived from Tempe.

Merlin Ward, 23, of Tempe, has organized two pub crawls on the light rail, the last one drawing 350 people. Participants got price breaks at a dozen bars along the track for buying an event T-shirt. Proceeds went to charity.

"It's a great way for (people) to be able to get home without killing anybody or themselves," Ward said.

The change does have some critics. When Metro announced the idea, some people complained that late trains would do nothing to reduce drunken driving because the 20-mile starter line reaches limited areas of the Valley.

Others said the late service could encourage people to drink too much because they'll think they have time on the train to sober up before getting behind the wheel at a park-and-ride lot.

"This is our year of learning," Foose said. "We are learning. Our passengers are learning. We are trying to be as nimble as possible."

Trains among latest in the West
With longer hours, Metro is now among the latest-running light-rail services in the West. Hours for last trains range from 12:49 a.m. in Salt Lake City to 2:48 a.m. in Denver. All the cities' systems stop running earlier from Sunday through Thursday.

The later service in Phoenix is made possible by a windfall of federal stimulus money, which freed up interest repayments for construction debt from the starter line.

It will be many months before Metro knows the effectiveness of its late trains. But in other Western cities, late-night rail service has been spared recession-driven service cuts because the trains carry enough people to justify their runs.

In Phoenix, ridership falls off dramatically at night. According to an Arizona Republic analysis of data from automatic passenger counters, an average of 500 people boarded trains after 11 p.m. on each Friday and Saturday in May.

That represents a little less than 2 percent of the average ridership of those same days.

The Maricopa Association of Governments steered $300,000 in federal clean-air funds to pay for Metro's first year of late weekend service. After that, the money will have to be found by Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa to continue paying for late trains, as part of the annual Metro budget process.

In six months, Metro will evaluate the popularity of late trains. The findings and the economic conditions in a year may decide how long late service remains.
:banana:

AZ KID
Jul 3, 2009, 6:57 PM
Perfect timing for tonights first friday and the fourth! this is great news!

Classical in Phoenix
Jul 3, 2009, 11:49 PM
You arent going to see any development on the indian land with the exception of another casino. The indians refuse to sell their land which means no developer can ever see any real returns on their investment. You can rent the land for 20-100 years, but they don't sell the rez. Pollack or any of the other strip mall developers know that the real money is in selling the property down the road. A developer could pour $10M into building a strip mall and then, in 30 years, the Indians could deny them the chance to re-rent it and completely raze the structure.

I believe their is federal law prohibiting anyone other than a tribal member from owning reservation land.

glynnjamin
Jul 4, 2009, 4:18 AM
See I was pretty sure they had the rights to sell it if they wanted but they just refused to. I had some friends who owned a home on the rez. They bought it in the 60s and their lease ran out two years ago. They had the option of moving the house or just giving it up to the indians. They were not too happy because I guess they were lead to believe that the indians would have no problem re-leasing the land. It would have cost them almost 80k to move the house so they just left it.

ljbuild
Jul 4, 2009, 3:36 PM
Do you have any idea how much of a chore it is to try to read and/or make sense of your posts?

Try on "READING" GLASSES" it has helped a vast number of people. I haven't heard no complaints as of yet from the people who have used them to help with their " READING DIFFICULTIES". :) :)

Classical in Phoenix
Jul 4, 2009, 5:48 PM
I grew up in Pinetop, which boarders a rez. There were a lot of homes by Hawley Lake (on the rez) that were built in the 50's and 60's by people from the valley that were leasing the land like your friends. When their leases came up in the 80's the Apaches would not renew. A couple of them were moved to Pinetop, some were just left, and a few people burned the their homes down.

Vicelord John
Jul 4, 2009, 7:07 PM
I would have stayed and shot anyone who came to my door in fear of being scalped.

HooverDam
Jul 5, 2009, 7:11 AM
Try on "READING" GLASSES" it has helped a vast number of people. I haven't heard no complaints as of yet from the people who have used them to help with their " READING DIFFICULTIES". :) :)

WTF are you talking about? People constantly complain about your insane posts with random words bolded, the fragmented paragraph breaks, etc. Its extremely obnoxious and difficult to read.

exit2lef
Jul 5, 2009, 1:05 PM
Try on "READING" GLASSES" it has helped a vast number of people. I haven't heard no complaints as of yet from the people who have used them to help with their " READING DIFFICULTIES". :) :)

So random multiple levels of quotation marks and use of the caps lock key have taken the place of random use of bold text? How about just using clear wording without gimmicks? It can be amazingly effective.

Vicelord John
Jul 5, 2009, 2:52 PM
I haven't heard no complaints

really? this is what the English language has become for some people?

TAZ4ate0
Jul 5, 2009, 5:18 PM
I am in favor of building the South Mountain freeway too. However, I think ADOT made a mistake in not buying up all of the right-of-way for the freeway a long time ago. Now look at the quandary they are in. The reservation won't budge on "gifting" or leasing indian land. So now if ADOT builds it at all, they are forced to buy out all of the homes that are in the way, making the project much more costly than it should have been.

I also would favor extending the loop farther west and having it meet up with the Loop 101 alignment at 99th Avenue. But I am not sure how feasible that is because it would have to go up and around Estrella Mountain before turning westward again. Or, ADOT would have to cut through the mountain, which I really don't see happening.

Don B.
Jul 5, 2009, 5:34 PM
^ ADOT doesn't have the money to go out and buy up all of the land in the path of the freeways because Arizona taxpayers are too cheap to give them those funds, especially back in the day when these freeways were first planned in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In addition, cities permitted developers to build in the paths of these freeways, even though the routes were planned long before the funding for those freeways became available. I can understand the reasoning for these decisions...the cities are leery of doing anything that might result in a taking of those developer's property rights, especially as no one had the money to condemn those lots/vacant land to prevent the developers from building. This happened in the path of the SR 51 freeway in NE Phoenix and in many other places around the valley. The other thing is future plans don't always come to fruition...look at the Paradise Parkway, which was canned by then governor Fife Symington when a freeway tax failed in the early to mid 90s. At that time, ADOT and the city of Phoenix had actually started acquiring land for that defunct freeway.

--don

NIXPHX77
Jul 5, 2009, 5:39 PM
^^no, i don't think it would. the Estrellas are farther west. i think
the prob. w/ joining I-10 at the 101 is that the 202 would pretty much decimate the small town of Tolleson.

Vicelord John
Jul 5, 2009, 6:19 PM
Tolleson decimated itself with it's creation. I say run a freeway right through that shit hole, but save the hot dog stand and the horse property.