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vertex
Apr 26, 2007, 8:49 PM
Well, at least they are all locally based companies (Chase field the exception).

vertex
Apr 27, 2007, 10:08 AM
I've started a thread in the transportation forum (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=130240), but just thought I'd show some of the pics and videos here too.

I just wish they didn't do their testing at 2:00 am.

Anybody know how to embed the video clips? :shrug:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avc2ABwyFSY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEQGa6K-Qzw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKi_nBLz80

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G_16QRBuM0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsUtCbt-9GQ
I was a bit late starting the camera for this clip; the train started from a complete stop just a second before, but you can still see how it really takes off! The project manager told me later that the train got up to 52 mph.



And now for a few pics:

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/4985/img1648cleanyc7.jpg

http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/9394/img1659cleanha4.jpg

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/7862/img1660cleankq1.jpg

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/923/img1664cleankq2.jpg

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/9770/img1656goofyue6.jpg

http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/8888/img1665cleanvz7.jpg

http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/3290/panotrain2zd7.jpg

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/6356/panotrainpr3.jpg

jvbahn
Apr 27, 2007, 10:29 AM
Thank you, Vertex, excellent work....when you're working hard at 2AM, I'm having lunch and enjoying your efforts.

She looks good!

Ok, gotta run catch the subway:P

vertex
Apr 27, 2007, 10:44 AM
Thanks JV, I live about 10 minutes away, and figured it wouldn't hurt to go down there and see if I could catch the train. The high-speed test was announced on the news a couple of nights before, so it wasn't a secret. There were about 50 workers, several police to manage traffic, about 10-12 media people and cameramen, and about a dozen onlookers.

sundevilgrad
Apr 27, 2007, 1:48 PM
Does anyone know how long the trains will be? The test was obviously just one car, but I wonder how many cars will make up the operational train.

vertex
Apr 27, 2007, 4:54 PM
They are supposed to be 3-car trains during peak demand periods.

Azndragon837
Apr 27, 2007, 5:33 PM
Here are two photos (very grainy, sorry) of the Light Rail Maintenance Yard near the airport. I was on the ASU Downtown-ASU Tempe shuttle bus while it was turning the curve on Loop 202, and I managed to get 2 shots this morning.

You can see the light rail bridge in the foreground that goes over the railroad tracks below, and in the center, you can see all the light rail trains covered in green tarp. Along the entrance to the yard near 48th Street, trains are being stored along the road leading into the yard as well (you can see them when you take the SR-143 northbound on-ramp into the airport).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/Azndragon837/Skyscraper%20Page%20Pictures/S7300235.jpg

Here, you can see the buildings that make-up the yard. One of the five bay doors is open, and the light rail train is probably inside being tested. Sometimes you can see the train outside.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/Azndragon837/Skyscraper%20Page%20Pictures/S7300236.jpg

-Andrew

FireMedic
Apr 27, 2007, 7:27 PM
:notacrook: cool pictures

vertex
Apr 28, 2007, 1:14 AM
plane...train...automobile...:D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/Azndragon837/Skyscraper%20Page%20Pictures/S7300235.jpg

HooverDam
Apr 28, 2007, 1:33 AM
I got an email from Valley Metro, they said that once Light Rail is up and running there will be a way on their website to punch in your start and end stations and get an estimation on ride length.

Tfom
Apr 28, 2007, 1:56 AM
I got an email from Valley Metro, they said that once Light Rail is up and running there will be a way on their website to punch in your start and end stations and get an estimation on ride length.

It would be nice if they put some of this information out now, like I said in another post, most of what I have seen makes it seem as if you can walk faster than the train (I'm exaggerating a bit). Even though I knew it was bogus, I think people buy into this.

vertex
Apr 28, 2007, 2:19 AM
:previous: While talking with a Valley metro project manager last night during the test, he told me that the trains would never go over 35 mph while on any street, regardless of the street's posted speed limit. The only opportunity for the trains to go faster (at least on the starter segment) are on parts of the line where they don't share the RoW with cars, mainly the segment near the town lake bridge.

However, he did say that the trains will still be able to go end-to-end in 1 hour, thanks to the modified predictive-priority operation. He also said that the top travel time from Tempe to DT will be 20 minutes or less.

A couple of other things he mentioned: a fare structure that will be the same for trains and buses, and the ability to buy daily, weekly, and monthly passes, probably at reduced rates.

Azndragon837
Apr 28, 2007, 2:21 AM
^Thanks for the info! I am already sold about the project. Where I live, it's only 1.5 miles to the nearest station WITH a park-and-ride, so I will definately be using it to get around.

-Andrew

sundevilgrad
Apr 28, 2007, 4:28 AM
I can't wait to get on the LTR, go to a Suns or Diamondbacks game, get bombed at the game, the Roosevelt or Seamus' and the ride back to the digs in Tempe! 20 min or less? Sweet. I'll buy it.

andrewkfromaz
Apr 28, 2007, 6:09 AM
^ The only caveat: we don't know for sure what hours the system will run. It's still under consideration. I hope it will be at least as late as 2 am, but we'll have to wait and see...
Thanks Vertex for the pictures. Super exciting!

Vicelord John
Apr 28, 2007, 6:13 AM
one thing about this project that pisses me off is there is no station at washington/jefferson and 7th street. Only 12th and 3rd streets will get stations, like they completely effed the ballpark, and me!!!

I have to walk THREE FUCKING BLOCKS to get to a station. Lame, I'm getting the car out for that.

Azndragon837
Apr 28, 2007, 11:07 AM
^ The only caveat: we don't know for sure what hours the system will run. It's still under consideration. I hope it will be at least as late as 2 am, but we'll have to wait and see...
Thanks Vertex for the pictures. Super exciting!

Ohhhh, I like those photos too! I just realized those photos were there (the previous page).

-Andrew

Azndragon837
Apr 28, 2007, 12:32 PM
Plus, I need to get out there at night with my digital camera and take some videos as well.

sundevilgrad
May 2, 2007, 2:48 AM
50 businesses may be in way of airport train
Jahna Berry
The Arizona Republic
May. 1, 2007 06:48 PM

A key part of the airport's planned $1.1 billion automated train project could force as many as 50 businesses to relocate or close by fall 2008.

On Wednesday, Phoenix City Council is expected to green light a plan to acquire more than 13 acres just south of 44th and Washington streets. It could cost between $40 million and $50 million to buy the land, an airport official said. Phoenix hopes to avoid condemnation, but the council's decision would clear the way for Phoenix to use eminent domain if necessary, said Deputy Aviation Director Jane Morris.

But Phoenix is in sensitive political territory.
advertisement




A Valley brake shop's bout with Mesa officials became a rallying cry for property rights. In November, Arizona voters passed a ballot proposition that boosted property rights.

And some business owners in the project's path worry that it will be tough to find new homes for their industrial shops.

Phoenix plans to work closely with the merchants, the mayor said.

"I think in the end the vast majority of the property owners and tenants will be satisfied with the process," said Mayor Phil Gordon.

"The area that was chosen is an area that has a lot of blight ... and it's soon to be the front door to the single largest economic engine in the state of Arizona," he added.

When the the 4.8-mile system is complete, airline passengers could avoid driving to Sky Harbor. It's a critical part of city plans to manage growth at the eigth busiest airport in the nation.

The city plans to break ground on the first mile of the automated train project by fall 2008. The segment would run from the planned station near 44th Street to Terminal 4.

Phoenix is eyeing 13 acres of privately owned land to build a train station that's within walking distance of the future 44th Street Metro light rail stop. The city plans to appraise each business and property by the end of the year. Next, the city will make offers, said Morris of the airport.

The property's boundaries are the canal, 42nd Street, the railroad tracks and Arizona 153.

It's a rough and tumble industrial district filled with a close-knit community of small businesses. Several shop owners own the land outright and say they can't afford pricey property or rents elsewhere.

"It could be the one thing that puts a business under," said Jack Daniel, manager for Markham & Decker, Inc., a business that supplies commercial doors.

The 44-year-old business moved near the airport in the 1980s when land prices were low, he said.

Woodworker Bryan Maguire said the move would take him far from his suppliers.

"Until they make an offer, we are sitting in limbo," said Maguire who leases space for his business, Natural Design.

The city will have to balance the airport's and the merchants' needs, said Councilwoman Peggy Bilsten who's chaired the city council's transportation subcommittee for 12 years.

Valley residents have clamored for the automated train for years, she said. But "we want (business) people to know that they were treated with respect."

The 13 acres is the only private land that stand in path of the project, said Morris, the deputy aviation director. The rest sits on airport property.

When it's finished, light rail passengers can get off at the 44th Street stop, and walk to the train station. There, they can check their luggage, grab a boarding pass and hop on the driverless train that will take them to airport terminals and the rental car center.

The first phase for the automated train project will cost an estimated $420 million and will open in 2013. The rest of the line, which would go to Terminals 2 and 3 and the car rental center, would cost $660 million and won't open until 2020.



Reporter Casey Newton contributed to this story.

sundevilgrad
May 2, 2007, 2:52 AM
Yet another battle over land breweing here in the Valley.

My opinion... Bulldoze those pieces of crap and get that train built. It should've been part of the original light rail plans anyway.

plinko
May 2, 2007, 3:03 AM
Phoenix is eyeing 13 acres of privately owned land to build a train station that's within walking distance of the future 44th Street Metro light rail stop. The city plans to appraise each business and property by the end of the year. Next, the city will make offers, said Morris of the airport.

...

When it's finished, light rail passengers can get off at the 44th Street stop, and walk to the train station. There, they can check their luggage, grab a boarding pass and hop on the driverless train that will take them to airport terminals and the rental car center.


Despite the fact that I already feel that the airport train terminus is totally in the wrong place (make it at 20th or 24th Street, why is that so difficult?), somebody please tell me they aren't going to totally screw this one up?

Based on what I'm reading, the airport train and the lite rail transfer won't be in the same building? "walking distance"? Are you kidding me?

This transfer shouldn't be any more difficult than getting off the airport train, going either up or down an escalator and being right on the platform. If people have to go outside, across a parking lot, across a street, pretty much anything beyond something simple, they won't!

Anybody know exactly how the transfer is to be done? :shrug:

HooverDam
May 2, 2007, 3:04 AM
Its a joke that the entire train won't be open until 2020, I think for the light rail to reach its ultimate potential it needs to have this connection to Sky Harbor. When I lived in St Louis and used their light rail the busiest stops where near the airport or near Busch stadium on a game night, but the airport stops were the most consistently busy.

I think its a good idea not to have a direct stop at the airport, that way the people who don't need to go to the airport via the light rail won't be slowed down, but having to wait 13 years for a complete connection to the airport is very frustrating.

loftlovr
May 2, 2007, 10:00 AM
I met with a spokesperson from the Valley Metro last week and she told me the trains will have the right of way in most cases. (Upcoming lights will sense the train coming and will speed up the yellow light) Not a perfect science, but a good advantage...

The LRT isn't all about speed- 35 mph is the fastest it goes...
It is also about feeling the vibe of your City, having time to connect with real people, catch up on reading the paper, people-watching, saving DUI's, hopping on with friends and going to games or bars and thinking about how bad ass/ convenient the rail is, not needing a vehicle so much and saving on car maintenance and gas, being environmentally conscious, and knowing what the rail will bring in terms of development and overall benefit to our city as a whole 5-10-20-30 yrs down the line....
think about it....

jvbahn
May 2, 2007, 10:29 AM
Plinko is absolutely right. I would love to know who the geniuses are that don't design/plan a direct entrance from the lightrail platform into a air-conditioned waiting station for the airport people mover. WTF? I wanna see all the people who are going to carry luggage in August for a block to get from one to the other. Raise of hands? Yep: ZERO.

These city planners there must be the same ones who use the term "masterplanned community" for a suburban development. Well, maybe by 2020 they'll get the picture.

Don B.
May 2, 2007, 11:54 AM
^ Totally agreed. Perhaps they will get their act together and realize their error when no one takes it. :)

I for one can't wait for the light rail. The law school is at Indian School and Central Avenue and I'll be able to go anywhere in the city on the train from the stop right outside the school. Woot!

--don

sundevilgrad
May 2, 2007, 1:55 PM
I glossed over the transfer station, but what a complete joke! Walking distance! Hopefully we're reading to much into it, but I highly doubt with the geniuses that run this city. The city should fork out some cash, and send the planners to any city that has a subway/metro transfer station so that they can see what one looks like.... Get off train A, ride escalator up or down to other platform, get on train B. Pretty fucking easy, but it sounds like they're planning on screwing it up.

I think they should model it after the Newark Liberty International transfer station. I know the people mover at Newark is on an elevated rail, so it's easy to bring it in above the trains, but the overall design should work.

jvbahn
May 2, 2007, 2:36 PM
You're absolutely correct on the elevated track concept. I also have read that the people mover concept Phoenix has proposed is prohibitively expensive due to the tunnel concept proposed. I would like to see other airports that have people movers, see if they use tunnels(most don't), compare costs and send our planners back to the drawing board. Sometimes I wonder if Phoenix planners have been to other cities other than Prescott and Flagstaff.

HooverDam
May 2, 2007, 5:54 PM
^Tunnel system? The people move is going to be underground or.....I'm confused.

sundevilgrad
May 2, 2007, 9:52 PM
They will tunnel under the runways...

vertex
May 2, 2007, 10:54 PM
:previous: It has to be underground, especially if Sky Harbor is still serious about building the 4th runway, and expanding the airport's footprint all the way up to Washington St.

GeorgeLV
May 2, 2007, 11:18 PM
McCarran has a freeway running under the runways. A people-mover under the runways shouldn't be a problem.

jvbahn
May 3, 2007, 12:49 AM
Yeah, and McCarran also has a blank check for whatever they want to do. This is Phoenix, casinos don't pay for anything, we can't build freeways in 2 years, and we can't blow a billion on tunnels for a people mover, especially when you can do it above ground for a 1/3 the price.

jvbahn
May 3, 2007, 12:53 AM
Yeah, and McCarran also has a blank check for whatever they want to do. This is Phoenix, casinos don't pay for anything, we can't build freeways in 2 years, and we can't blow a billion on tunnels for a people mover, especially when you can do it above ground for a 1/3 the price.

Also, supposedly the ground in PHX is hard as concrete(so I've heard). They use this "caliche" story every time someone wants to start talking about a subway. I dunno if that's true, if it were, I think it would be fairly difficult to dig foundations for skyscrapers, and they seem to do that fine. Anyway, regardless, city planners always use this excuse to tack on millions to any tunnelling bill.

sundevilgrad
May 3, 2007, 4:10 AM
There will be a tunnel for the SkyHarbor people mover. It has to go under the runway to get to Washington St.

District8
May 3, 2007, 4:39 AM
There will be a tunnel for the SkyHarbor people mover. It has to go under the runway to get to Washington St.

I thought that the people mover was going to go along the 24 and 44 street alignments. Alot cheaper than tunnelling under the runways. Alot quicker and alot safer. From a practical construction perspective, you would have to completely shut down a runway that was being tunnelled under until the tunnel was complete. Is that what people think will happen?

District8
May 3, 2007, 4:41 AM
Yeah, and McCarran also has a blank check for whatever they want to do. This is Phoenix, casinos don't pay for anything, we can't build freeways in 2 years, and we can't blow a billion on tunnels for a people mover, especially when you can do it above ground for a 1/3 the price.

Also, supposedly the ground in PHX is hard as concrete(so I've heard). They use this "caliche" story every time someone wants to start talking about a subway. I dunno if that's true, if it were, I think it would be fairly difficult to dig foundations for skyscrapers, and they seem to do that fine. Anyway, regardless, city planners always use this excuse to tack on millions to any tunnelling bill.

The ground at the airport is river bottom, which means 12" to 24" cobbles at 10 to 20 feet. Plus the water table. There is no caliche anywhere near the river bottom.

District8
May 3, 2007, 4:46 AM
:previous: It has to be underground, especially if Sky Harbor is still serious about building the 4th runway, and expanding the airport's footprint all the way up to Washington St.

I don't think so. I think that it will go around the runways at 24 and 44 streets. Besides being alot more practical and economical, it makes alot more sense from an operational point of view. The people mover must be going straight east/west when operating within the terminals. The easiest way to obtain that alignment is to come down 24th or 44th Streets and then turn east/west. Tunnelling under the runways would just put right in the middle of the terminals at which point the people mover then would have to turn east/west. That turn would take up a ton valuable real estate and so unbeliveably congest an already congested airport that it makes no sense.

District8
May 3, 2007, 4:53 AM
I glossed over the transfer station, but what a complete joke! Walking distance! Hopefully we're reading to much into it, but I highly doubt with the geniuses that run this city. The city should fork out some cash, and send the planners to any city that has a subway/metro transfer station so that they can see what one looks like.... Get off train A, ride escalator up or down to other platform, get on train B. Pretty fucking easy, but it sounds like they're planning on screwing it up.

I think they should model it after the Newark Liberty International transfer station. I know the people mover at Newark is on an elevated rail, so it's easy to bring it in above the trains, but the overall design should work.

The people mover is being designed to connect with vehicle parking lots, not necessarily the light rail. No matter how successful the light rail is, the vast majority of people going to the airport will be doing so in their cars that they will then park, long term, in the City owned parking lots either off site (at the people mover terminus) or on site. Either way it serves most of the people traveling to the airport and, most importantly, it will be a f'ing cash machine for the City.

If the light rail was more utile, like Chicago's train system, the people mover would terminate at the light rail station, not a surface parking lot that is within walking distance to the light rail station. The City of Phoenix knows its customers.

combusean
May 3, 2007, 5:00 AM
Phoenix OKs studies that could accelerate light-rail lines (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0502phx-lightrail0502-ON.html)

Casey Newton
The Arizona Republic
May. 2, 2007 06:20 PM

Phoenix agreed Wednesday to fund transit studies that could speed the addition of rail lines to Interstate 10 and carve a new path for a light rail extension to Glendale.

The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to advance Metro $6 million to study the 11-mile freeway transit corridor on the freeway between roughly 83rd and Central avenues.

The acceleration could lead to freeway trains as early as 2015. Expanded transit options will likely come as a relief to beleaguered commuters on I-10, where traffic has increased 86 percent in the past 10 years.

"Ultimately light rail or any other public transit system doesn't work unless it's truly regional," said Greg Stanton, a Phoenix councilman.

Consultants will consider putting light rail and other forms of mass transportation within a 50-foot median that Arizona transportation officials reserved for transit when they built I-10. If rail were chosen for the median, trains would travel up to 55 mph between stations spaced two miles apart.

The study team will work with the Arizona Department of Transportation, which will begin its own study this summer of new lanes on I-10 in the West Valley.

"We've been working with them to see if maybe there's a way to do some joint work," said Maria Hyatt, light rail coordinator for Phoenix. "We really thought it was worthwhile not to miss the opportunity."

Officials said it was too early to estimate how much time or money could be saved by combining the lane expansion and transit projects. In Denver, building light rail along an expanded freeway allowed both projects to open two years ahead of schedule, at a savings of $300 million.

"They saved big dollars by doing this a single project as opposed to doing two separate project, so we see that there might be some opportunities in this," said Wulf Grote, director of project development for Metro.

It is possible but unlikely that the study would find that another form of transit, such as express buses, would be a better choice for freeway transit. An ADOT study last year found that light rail was the most expensive transit option based on the number of miles traveled per rider.

But forcing transit users to transfer to other technologies can discourage use of the system, officials said.

The Phoenix council also approved making a $100,000 contribution to a study of three potential transit routes in Glendale.

Maricopa County's current regional transportation plan would connect Glendale to the 20-mile starter line now under construction with an extension running through the city's downtown.

But that route fell into disfavor after the opening of University of Phoenix Stadium and the Westgate Center. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and business leaders have since endorsed a route that would connect visitors to Westgate and the sports complex.

The original route, stadium route and a route serving Arizona State University West will all be considered in the eight-month study. The study will help Glendale and the Maricopa Association of Governments decide which route to pursue, said Marty McNeil, a Metro spokeswoman.

Phoenix chose to support the study because of the effect the chosen path will have on its own transit users, officials said.

"It impacts our community, too, so we want to be involved in how they get where they want to go," Hyatt said.

Glendale will pay the remaining $150,000 to fund the study. Scruggs was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

The extension is scheduled to open in 2017.

sundevilgrad
May 3, 2007, 1:43 PM
The people mover is being designed to connect with vehicle parking lots, not necessarily the light rail. No matter how successful the light rail is, the vast majority of people going to the airport will be doing so in their cars that they will then park, long term, in the City owned parking lots either off site (at the people mover terminus) or on site. Either way it serves most of the people traveling to the airport and, most importantly, it will be a f'ing cash machine for the City.

If the light rail was more utile, like Chicago's train system, the people mover would terminate at the light rail station, not a surface parking lot that is within walking distance to the light rail station. The City of Phoenix knows its customers.

That's exactly the short-sighted planning that has plauged this city for decades!

jvbahn
May 3, 2007, 4:15 PM
Yeah, how about we give the "customers" a new concept to chew on, like....hmmm...lemme think....parking their cars for free at a Park & Ride lot in any given suburb at the ends of the lines, then taking the light rail to the shuttle. Then they don't have to pay a dime for the airport parking. Novel idea?: NO. Done all over the US and world already?: YES.

UGH.

As for the West Valley, I think there should really be two or three lines. It's such an enormous expanse that having one line down I-10 doesn't cut it. I think the I-10 like would be great, then also the Metro Center line could be branched into two lines going to downtown Glendale and the Stadiums, and another via ASU West to Arrowhead Mall. My only possible problem with the 1-10 line is that there would have to be major incentives to build transit-friendly housing, commercial and retail, but this area is already covered with warehouses and distribution centers. Not exactly high-density.

andrewkfromaz
May 3, 2007, 7:11 PM
Who is paying for the people-mover? I guess I had some idea in my head the the Federal Gov't would pay for it, similar to how they paid for the new tower. Too bad, I was hoping my share of the national debt would expand to something like $30,000. Oh wait, it's already at $29,000.

Azndragon837
May 3, 2007, 8:00 PM
I completely DISAPPROVE of the LRT alignment on I-10. Jvbahn is correct, there isn't any great opportunity to build high density TOD stuff at the major intersections (27th, 35th, 43rd, 51st, 59th, 67th, 75th, etc). The area is indeed, covered with warehouses and awful truck traffic, not the best place for pedestrians.

Light Rail would be better off serving downtown Glendale first, then a branch off to Westgate. It seems to me Glendale is ditching their downtown for the more fashionable Westgate. This is not good. NO city should ever turn their backs on their own downtown. They should embrace it, and call upon their city to make it a destination. Glendale has an advantage here:

1) Build a new branch line connecting 19th Avenue and Glendale Avenue (where a planned LRT line is being built on 19th Avenue), and run it down to downtown Glendale, and connect it to Westgate. 9-10 new miles of track along a portion of Glendale that can become a major urban hub, stretching from the entrance to Glendale all the way to Westgate!

2) Build a new branch from MetroCenter all the way to ASU West.

If light rail were to run down the freeway (I-10), up Loop 101, and to Westgate...there isn't really a major potential to develop good transit-oriented development along a freeway path. It makes more sense to build on existing roads to spur TOD and infill. That's my 2-cents.

-Andrew

JCarp
May 4, 2007, 2:46 AM
:previous:
I second that "2-cents". :yes: :yes: Could't have said it better myself...

Back to the People Mover...
I am a bit new to the valley, but does the 153 just east of the airport get much traffic? Wouldn't it be possible to put the PM down the 153 without having to acquire the privately owned land described previously? You could ‘T’ into the LTRail at 44th St & Washington, put a large parking lot on the NE (or SE) corner, follow the 153 south to a stop at long term parking (with the giant parking garage), then West through the terminals to the rental car lots.

What do you all think? :shrug:

nbrindley
May 4, 2007, 3:18 AM
the 153 is the most useless stretch of freeway in the valley. why in the world was it built?

District8
May 4, 2007, 3:33 AM
That's exactly the short-sighted planning that has plauged this city for decades!

I know that it is not the planning that you like but it is the definition of coherent planning. The design of the people mover must conform with the existing dominant usage patterns, not what some theory says is best. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars and years to build this thing. The last thing that any responsible planner, administrator, contractor, decision maker is going to do is impose his/her academic preferences on reality. We are lucky that a people mover is even being built.

sundevilgrad
May 4, 2007, 4:09 AM
I know that it is not the planning that you like but it is the definition of coherent planning. The design of the people mover must conform with the existing dominant usage patterns, not what some theory says is best. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars and years to build this thing. The last thing that any responsible planner, administrator, contractor, decision maker is going to do is impose his/her academic preferences on reality. We are lucky that a people mover is even being built.


The reason for light rail is to break Phoenix out of that kind of thinking. Drive your car 35 miles to ride a people mover for 1? That's backwards thinking and not what mass transit systems are intended for.

Tfom
May 4, 2007, 4:45 AM
Is there no way they can plan this so people can park there cars and it connects seamlessly with the light rail? Maybe I'm stupid, but this doesn't seem like it should be that difficult. I also don't understand why this thing should take as long as they are saying. Is it being made out of lego's?

District8
May 4, 2007, 6:20 AM
The reason for light rail is to break Phoenix out of that kind of thinking. Drive your car 35 miles to ride a people mover for 1? That's backwards thinking and not what mass transit systems are intended for.

In less than three sentences, tell me what it should be. It is way too late for coherent mass transit systems here in Phoenix.

HooverDam
May 4, 2007, 7:12 AM
the 153 is the most useless stretch of freeway in the valley. why in the world was it built?

You shut your mouth! The 153 is the most glorious stretch of road ever devised! I used that thing as a short cut to get around traffic ALL the time, its like no one knows its there and its my own private highway.

plinko
May 4, 2007, 7:21 AM
the 153 is the most useless stretch of freeway in the valley. why in the world was it built?

I don't recall the specifics, but it was almost entirely paid for with federal funds (there was something specific about funding for freeway access to international airports). So the state jumped on the funds and built it. Pork barrel at its finest. :koko:

combusean
May 4, 2007, 11:44 AM
The reason for light rail is to break Phoenix out of that kind of thinking. Drive your car 35 miles to ride a people mover for 1? That's backwards thinking and not what mass transit systems are intended for.

How many other airports have you been to that has the terminals lined up between the runways? Oh, none. That's right, Phoenix's airport design is relatively unique. It makes way more sense to build a people mover to connect 5 miles of airport stuff (terminals, parking lots, and the rental car center) than to have the light rail even try to serve all of that going all of maybe 25 MPH through the airport with stops everywhere while every idiot with their luggage bumbles off. One single stop at a "multimodal" point that could even integrate with future commuter rail is a lot better than the tired and infeasible "light rail needs to go to the airport" argument.

jvbahn
May 4, 2007, 12:21 PM
Who is paying for the people-mover?

It's being paid for by you and me and whoever else lands at the airport through higher landing fees. Sky Harbor is making a 1.2 billlion expansion and raising the prices for everything to pay for it. I'm not sure the Feds are picking up the tab for much if any part of that....have to do some further checking.

sundevilgrad
May 4, 2007, 2:43 PM
How many other airports have you been to that has the terminals lined up between the runways? Oh, none. That's right, Phoenix's airport design is relatively unique. It makes way more sense to build a people mover to connect 5 miles of airport stuff (terminals, parking lots, and the rental car center) than to have the light rail even try to serve all of that going all of maybe 25 MPH through the airport with stops everywhere while every idiot with their luggage bumbles off. One single stop at a "multimodal" point that could even integrate with future commuter rail is a lot better than the tired and infeasible "light rail needs to go to the airport" argument.

I'm not arguing that the LTR should go to the airport.

I know that the people mover will connect to the LTR, terminals and economy lots. Just to recap: Originally we were discussing the people mover/LTR station, where a PHX official said that the connection between the trains would be a short walking distance from one train to the next. The debate started because there isn't agreement on how the people mover will connect to the LTR. Will it tunnel under the runways, or will it align with the surface streets at the edges of the airport, will the connection be indoors so people don't have to walk through the heat to catch the LTR? Personally, I don't really care how they do it, as long as you don't have to walk across a blazing hot surface lot to get from the people mover to the LTR. They should be in the same station and it shouldn't take any more than riding an escalator to one platform or another.

Will the people mover connect all the terminals? Yes. Will the people mover connect to the economy lots? Yes. Should the focus of the people mover be on getting people to and from the economy lots to the terminals? No. Should the focus of the people mover be on getting people to and from the terminals to the LTR? Yes. Obviously, these are my opinions.

If that fucking people mover stops at every stop the economy busses stop at in those parking lots it'll be a joke. I don't think there should be more than one stop by the people mover at each economy lot. The incentive should be for people to ride the LTR to and from the airport. If you ride the LTR and transfer to the people mover and then have to wait through 10 stops to get to the terminal, people won't do it. That's my point. Use the people mover to encourage people to ride the LTR to and from the airport people mover, not to drive their cars 35 miles to the airport like they already do.

soleri
May 4, 2007, 7:22 PM
^I don't think the people mover will have that many stops besides the LTR stop, the terminals and the rental car center. There's going to be a lot of pressure to ratchet down its huge costs, so it's unlikely to travel in loops picking up passengers from parking facilities. For that, there will be shuttle buses.

I was really irritated when I learned LTR wouldn't stop directly at the airport but the more I think about it, I realize how difficult that would be - and expensive. Even BART's stop at SFO doesn't go directly to the terminals. There's a connector/people mover there, too. Boston's legendary subways are tantalizingly close to Logan, but you'll still need to catch a bus to get there. OTOH, you can take rail to Chicago's airport terminals, Reagan airport in DC, and Portland's.

The incentive for LTR in Phoenix will still be there. Those private parking lots are now charging around $40 a week for parking. Those costs will only rise. I suspect a lot of people will get dropped off a LTR stop and make the journey from there. More evidence, if you needed it, that mass transit will be functional in this, the most autocentric of cities.

vertex
May 4, 2007, 7:53 PM
Here are some meeting minutes from the Citizen's Transportation Oversight Committee, from a couple of years ago (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:yrlM1RSPn6IJ:www.azdot.gov/ADOT_and/CTOC/pdf/2005/min100405.pdf+sky+harbor+terminal+4+station+underground&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us). They explain the route in a little more detail. Keep in mind, this is before they went back and trimmed some of the features from the system. Not sure just yet how that affects the path. In this description, it appears the APM will be mostly underground.

The system will start at the 44thStreet and Washington light rail station where it will connect with the light rail system. All of the infrastructure for their system will be put into place as the light rail system is constructed, making construction and connection of their system quick and easy. Until the system is operational, a transit center will be constructed and a bus operation will connect the light rail station to the airport. From that station, the system will go over the SRP canal and under the Union Pacific Railroad. We will continue to use ADOT right-of-way at that point so we do not have to build another bridge under the Union Pacific railroad. Current plans call for the system to move into ADOT right-of-way paralleling SR153 and elevate over the east entrance roads. The first on-airport station will be located in the east economy parking lot. Passengers will then have a short walk to the APM station where they will continue elevated over the eastbound roadway system at which point the system will go underground to a station located in Terminal 4. From Terminal 4 the system will continue underground to a station in Terminal 3 and to the new west terminal area. The system will then cross under 1-10at Mohave Street using existing right-of-way, connecting to the new rental car facility being constructed. It will be one of the largest APM systems constructed in the world and the largest land sight system in the United States. The train supplier who designs and builds the system will also operate and maintain the system for at least five years and the money the contractor earns will be directly related to the amount of time the system is up and running.

andrewkfromaz
May 4, 2007, 10:35 PM
So that's what they're building on 44th and Washington, I keep riding by there on my bus (I ride 44) and wondering what they're building. Sounds like we're not totally sure what the route and station features will look like. I'm cool with that. If it doesn't work, we can always shell out another few billion and remodel it...

nbrindley
May 5, 2007, 12:35 AM
wait, you have to take the light rail to 44th/washington. then take the "system" from there to the east economy lot. then you have to walk to another part of the "system", and get on it before you arrive at the terminal, all while dragging 200 lbs of luggage and 3 screaming kids in 120 dedgree heat? Before it just sounded like you would have to walk between the light rail and the people mover, now it sounds like you have to change systems twice.

vertex
May 5, 2007, 1:26 AM
:previous: The system is in 2 stages; the first (already approved) will start at the east economy garage, go underground, and head west to terminal 4, then to terminal 3.

Stage 2 (still in the planning stage) will head north (above ground) from the east economy garage, along the 153, to the LRT station. It will also go west from terminal 3 (underground) to the new terminal/old terminal 2, underneath I-10, and over to the Rental Car Mall.

The description above is misleading, it will eventually be a continuous system. Once stage 1 is complete, you'll take a shuttle from the LRT station to the APM terminus at the east economy garage.

Here's a map (courtesy of Sky Harbor).

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3719/skyharborpeoplemoverns5.th.gif (http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3719/skyharborpeoplemoverns5.gif)

combusean
May 5, 2007, 7:12 PM
^ I'm hoping they're not taking the corner and its connection to the UP tracks is just a coincidence. If they use the whole 13 acres to connect it to heavy rail too--wow. Who knows what that corner could like in 15 years? Likely, if we're really serious about commuter rail, when it eventurally rolls in, Phoenix will have probably integrated most of the space with a private developer. They really don't intend to tear stuff down around the tracks to keep it a parking lot. It could be our new Union Station; connecting every mode of transit possible.

Maybe if for no other reason than shits and giggles Phoenix could have the cajones to get an Indian tribe to put that casino we were bullshitting about earlier there too. Why not?

Anyways, it appears from the map they will be able to construct the bulk of the new West Terminal while Terminal 2 is still in operation, then they raze T2 and have room to grow for the new complex.

It also appears as if the space between the gate clusters (i dont know aviation terms) is larger than in T4. Is the new terminal being built to accommodate the A380?

I can't wait till they build all this stuff up, but by then the costs might be so enormous as to drive T4 heavyweight Southwest out to Williams Gateway...or maybe Buckeye or Tonopah will get crafty and decide to build their own grand scale airport...yikes--let's just hope in its place PHX will get the higher end international airlines in its stead. We will be ready for them like no other time in our past.

Upward
May 5, 2007, 7:38 PM
My complaint with the people mover is the same as it was the day I first saw a preliminary map: why does the connection to the light rail have to be all the way at the east end of the airport? It's silly that downtown-bound travelers need to take the people mover all the way east to the 44th street station to catch the light rail, when the people mover practically goes downtown itself by serving the consolidated rental car center. For someone flying in to Terminal 2 and wanting to go downtown, the trip will probably be half an hour longer than it needs to be because they have to backtrack all the way through the airport to reach the light rail. That same delay would likely prevent residents along the rail like on Central from using it to get to the airport, if they are able to drive. People won't take public transportation instead of driving if it is much slower.

Downtown-bound business travelers are probably the group most likely to use a rail connection to the airport, because it saves them from having to rent a car or take a taxi. Admittedly, the location of the connection is beneficial to ASU Main, but I still think there should be connections to the light rail at BOTH ends of the people mover track.

vertex
May 5, 2007, 8:10 PM
My complaint with the people mover is the same as it was the day I first saw a preliminary map: why does the connection to the light rail have to be all the way at the east end of the airport? ...

Downtown-bound business travelers are probably the group most likely to use a rail connection to the airport, because it saves them from having to rent a car or take a taxi. Admittedly, the location of the connection is beneficial to ASU Main, but I still think there should be connections to the light rail at BOTH ends of the people mover track.

I agree, it would see to make more sense, although there appears to be more airport-owned property at the northeast corner, not only for the terminus, but for the maintenance facility too. The old plans called for the APM to start at 24th st. anyway; I haven't been able to find out why it was moved.

vertex
May 5, 2007, 10:28 PM
^ I'm hoping they're not taking the corner and its connection to the UP tracks is just a coincidence. If they use the whole 13 acres to connect it to heavy rail too--wow.

Sean, space in the corner is set aside for the apm terminus, as well as the maintenance facility. However, I don't know if both will take up all 13 acres, there may be room for other things.

It also appears as if the space between the gate clusters (i dont know aviation terms) is larger than in T4. Is the new terminal being built to accommodate the A380?

I don't think the Sky Harbor has made plans for the A380. The north runway is still too short, given the extra distance required for the planes to takeoff in the summer. The taxiways may be too narrow as well.

All the more reason to build a new airport in Pinal county.

District8
May 6, 2007, 5:46 AM
wait, you have to take the light rail to 44th/washington. then take the "system" from there to the east economy lot. then you have to walk to another part of the "system", and get on it before you arrive at the terminal, all while dragging 200 lbs of luggage and 3 screaming kids in 120 dedgree heat? Before it just sounded like you would have to walk between the light rail and the people mover, now it sounds like you have to change systems twice.

NO, the people mover will be a discreet system that starts at approximately 44Th and Washington, proceeds south to the east/west airport road alignment, and then proceeds west to 24th Street where it goes north and connects with the light rail station at 24th and Washington. It goes each way, so that the route I just described to you is round trip. There will undoubtedly be stops at all of the on site long term parking lots. Whatever the hell everyone wants is irrelavent, the system is set up to cater to cars driving to the airport and parking for more than one day. It is not set up, nor should it be, for the utopian situation where a person who has a flight at Sky Harbor, rides the light rail to the airport and checks in and gets on his/her flight. It will never happen that way.

sundevilgrad
May 6, 2007, 5:48 AM
It should...

District8
May 6, 2007, 6:02 AM
It should...


I agree, but it won't. The harsh reality is that the light rail, if it has any utility at all, will adapt to the existing commuter patterns. I just paid $72 to fill up my car, so I know it sucks.

Don B.
May 6, 2007, 3:21 PM
All the more reason to build a new airport in Pinal county.

Ain't never gonna happen, because this state is too cheap to do anything so grandiose. In other words, where is the $10 billion supposed to come from to build a new mega-airport in BFE? Our tight-fisted state legislators, who pinch every penny until it screams in agony? Not hardly - they still insist on paying employees who drive their own vehicles on state time a whopping 32 cents per mile, even though the IRS reimbursement rate is now 40.5 cents per mile. They can't even properly fund education or build a decent capitol complex - they'd rather "cut taxes" to get re-elected.

Plus, Phoenix would fight it tooth, nail and claw to the bitter end.

--don

SimPhoenix
May 6, 2007, 3:58 PM
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-06-49.pdf
48.5 cents for 07

Our company is still capped at 30 cents.

Don B.
May 6, 2007, 5:05 PM
^ Then you are working for the wrong company, my friend. 30 cents per mile barely covers your out of pocket gas expense, much less depreciation, insurance, etc.

I fixed my post above. Thanks for the link. :)

--don

plinko
May 6, 2007, 6:40 PM
NO, the people mover will be a discreet system that starts at approximately 44Th and Washington, proceeds south to the east/west airport road alignment, and then proceeds west to 24th Street where it goes north and connects with the light rail station at 24th and Washington. It goes each way, so that the route I just described to you is round trip. There will undoubtedly be stops at all of the on site long term parking lots. Whatever the hell everyone wants is irrelavent, the system is set up to cater to cars driving to the airport and parking for more than one day. It is not set up, nor should it be, for the utopian situation where a person who has a flight at Sky Harbor, rides the light rail to the airport and checks in and gets on his/her flight. It will never happen that way.

I've never seen a plan, blurb, write-up or anything that says that the people mover will turn north to hit lite rail at 24th Street. Where are you getting that from? That's not even listed in the environmental report.

I've always had the same stance all along with regard to connecting at 44th Street. Hmmm, downtown to the Sheraton...10min. $10 cab ride? Or 24-30 minutes on two trains that may or may not be convenient to transfer between?

I actually think the people mover should be EXTENDED so that it connects directly to downtown at some multi-modal station...say...Phoenix Union Station? Under CityScape? Then again, that's a little too much forward thinking...

sundevilgrad
May 6, 2007, 7:23 PM
Then again, that's a little too much forward thinking...

Got that right. What a novel concept. Build a mass transit infrastructure that actually encourages people to use it instead of their cars? Not in this town! Unfortunately, most people (including the law makers) want the system to be something like District8 has been talking about... Something that makes it easier for them to drive their cars... You'd think that $3-4/gallon, maybe even $5 per in the next year or two would really facilitate forward thinking when it comes to mass transit. Unfortunately, just like with everything else in this damn city, our planners will be 10-20 years behind the curve and won't realize their mistake until it’s to late.

Successful ideas are funny... Before they become successful they're usually considered a big risk. The people in charge of this city are so afraid of making a mistake they won't take any risks. They take the conservative approach, over plan and usually end up with systems/facilities that are woefully inadequate. It’s too bad that we can't replace the Phoenix officials with Tempe officials. Tempe might not be the best, but they're much better than Phoenix.

Azndragon837
May 7, 2007, 12:54 AM
^I agree with you on your Tempe quote, hehehe.


I also agree on the 44th Street and Washington Station as being the airport transit stop for light rail, and why? Because:

1) The 24th Street Station and the 44th Street Station are about 10-12 minutes apart MAX.

2) Some travelers may need to go to Downtown Tempe or Scottsdale (by the way of a private resort bus picking up passengers at the 44th Street Station) as well, and therefore the station is perfect in situating itself in-between the two cities (Phoenix-Scottsdale-Tempe).

3) The 44th Street station is near an office and hotel hub - the Phoenix Gateway Center, which might redevelop into a new mixed-use area once the station opens and hotel and office development increases.

4) Terminal 4 gets the bulk of all the flights, and will in the future. Travelers will mainly be going to a T4 destination first than the West Terminal.

5) It will probably be more expensive to build a APM to 24th Street, since it would need to acquire more ROW from private property beginning from the Rental Car Center up to the 24th Street Station on Washington/Jefferson Streets.

6) Again, there is a 10-12 minute difference MAX between the 24th St. & 44th Station (there is only ONE other station between those two, and it's the 40th Street Station that connects to Gateway Community College). Other than that, the train is going to be speeding down a largely industrial area with not a lot of passenger pick-up after it exits Tempe or Downtown Phoenix.

Those are my reasons to support the 44th Street Station, and I think having a remote luggage and ticket check-in at the LRT and APM station is awesome. In the meantime, I can take a train to the 44th Street Station and take a free shuttle to the Terminal until the people mover is built.

-Andrew

vertex
May 7, 2007, 1:03 AM
I've never seen a plan, blurb, write-up or anything that says that the people mover will turn north to hit lite rail at 24th Street. Where are you getting that from? That's not even listed in the environmental report.

I've always had the same stance all along with regard to connecting at 44th Street. Hmmm, downtown to the Sheraton...10min. $10 cab ride? Or 24-30 minutes on two trains that may or may not be convenient to transfer between?

I actually think the people mover should be EXTENDED so that it connects directly to downtown at some multi-modal station...say...Phoenix Union Station? Under CityScape? Then again, that's a little too much forward thinking...

Plinko, the old design called for the apm to hook up at the 24 st. station. They changed it early on. Now it only goes under 24th st. and the I-10, on the way to the car rental mall.

plinko
May 7, 2007, 1:15 AM
Plinko, the old design called for the apm to hook up at the 24 st. station. They changed it early on. Now it only goes under 24th st. and the I-10, on the way to the car rental mall.

Didn't know that...but then again I don't follow it as closely as you locals do. And I totally get economically why they went with the 44th Street location (startup costs, not lifecyle).

Still, it just seems shortsighted...the Car Rental Center is already at what...20th Street? That's a mere 3 miles from Van Buren and Central and they could actually use a portion of the rail ROW's that already exist to get there.

One would think that the City of Phoenix who owns the airport and already struggles to compete with its two neighbors for economic development would take a risk and go long on this. You know, actually put in something that is efficient? Then again, politicians and boards go in 4 year cycles typically...

What's wrong with the route as-is with a downtown extension? A loop if you will, that gives Phoenix the multi-modal hub that it can use and serves Tempe and Scottsdale equally from the east end?

DevdogAZ
May 7, 2007, 4:32 AM
While I'm sure it's already been said, and it's too late to do anything about it, but they really should have just run the LRT through the airport. That would have made so much more sense.

Azndragon837
May 7, 2007, 4:37 AM
...

Azndragon837
May 7, 2007, 4:38 AM
While I'm sure it's already been said, and it's too late to do anything about it, but they really should have just run the LRT through the airport. That would have made so much more sense.

^No, it wouldn't make much sense. By running light rail through three massive terminals, two economy parking garages, and one giant rental car center, it would have slowed down efficiency, with passesengers competing against airport travelers with luggage in tow.

Other cities who have light rail systems running to the airport are usually at the end-of-the-line, like Portland's airport being the terminus of their MAX line. Because our airport is situated in the middle of the city with three terminals, it's hard to design a system that is efficient running through an entire airport.

It wouldn't have made anymore sense, and it's too late now for Phoenix to build the people mover into DT PHX. I am sure it will work out fine, time will only tell.

-Andrew

sundevilgrad
May 7, 2007, 1:59 PM
I am sure it will work out fine, time will only tell.

-Andrew

Yeah, it probably will, just like the freeway have. Only 20 years too late.

andrewkfromaz
May 8, 2007, 6:45 PM
I'm still curious about what they're going to do with the Red Line. For people living on/near Central (south of Camelback) it seems like the Red Line is a no-brainer. I know lots of airport employees use it, something I think is tremendously important. I hope they don't completely eviscerate the line when LRT is completed.

combusean
May 15, 2007, 10:21 PM
11th hour S. Mtn. Freeway deal? (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0515ar-southmountain-ON.html)

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
The Arizona Republic
May. 15, 2007 01:42 PM


A leader of the Maricopa Association of Governments says talks between the state and the Gila River tribe over the alignment of the proposed South Mountain Freeway are underway.

But the tribe says that's an overstatement.

Alia Maisonet, a tribal spokeswoman, said while the tribe and state talk regularly, it is not formally negotiating with the state about the freeway. Nor has it met with MAG or other state and Valley leaders.

"One of Gila River Indian Community's biggest concerns on the South Mountain Freeway on or off the reservation is the environmental impacts that will occur in this part of the valley," she said in an e-mail Tuesday.

"We, too, understand that traffic is an issue, a lot of our Community members live in the city, we feel the effects from the rapid population growth just as much as anyone person in the metropolitan area." Phoenix City Councilwoman Peggy Neely last month had asked the MAG's executive committee to delay asking Gov. Janet Napolitano to intervene in the freeway fight.

"It is my understanding that discussions are taking place on a variety of issues between the State of Arizona and the Gila River Indian Community," Neely wrote in an April 16 e-mail obtained by The Arizona Republic.

"Before the MAG Executive Committee formally requests in a letter that the Governor intervene on the location of the South Mountain Freeway, we should be cognizant of deliberations taking place and not have MAG weigh in before we have more facts."

Neely, Phoenix's MAG representative, convinced the committee the same day of her e-mail to postpone sending the letter to Napolitanpo. Committee members discussed the letter during a scheduled meeting that Neely participated in via a conference call.

The committee is comprised of Neely and the mayors of Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Surprise, Goodyear and Litchfield Park.

The full MAG council has 32 members who represent ever governments in Maricopa County plus representatives of the three Native American communities and members of the state transportation board.

Thomas Remes of the city's Intergovernmental Programs drafted the letter at Neely's request.

Neely was successful in convincing other MAG executive committee members last month to postpone the issue for 30 days. But the committee didn't take up the issue at its meeting Monday, May 14 and discussion of the draft letter doesn't appear on future MAG executive meetings.

The pace of building the South Mountain Freeway has frustrated some MAG executive committee members.

The MAG executive committee wrote that in a draft letter considered at its April 16 meeting that it is concerned by continuing delays in building the 22-mile freeway to complete the Loop 202 circling the Valley.

"The South Mountain Freeway has been approved twice by the voters - in 1985 as part of Proposition 300 and in 2004 as part of Proposition 400. Since 1985, the South Mountain Freeway has continuously been approved by the MAG Regional Council as part of the MAG Regional Transportation Plan," the letter states.

ADOT chose 55th Avenue as the west-side alignment but has yet to settle on the east-side alignment through Ahwatukee Foothills.

Opponents to the Pecos Road freeway alignment think recent delays in preparing a draft environmental impact statement are due to behind-the-scenes negotiations to get the freeway built on tribal land.

"I think there's been enough hints that there is something going on," said Jim Jochim, an Ahwatukee resident and officer in the grassroots, anti-freeway group, Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children.

"Long-term, the freeway is a very positive economic engine for the GRIC," he said.

Asked whether the tribe would benefit if the freeway were built along Pecos Road, Jochim said, "Only half of it. And it depends on where there's access points."

Interchanges are planned along Pecos Road as it heads west and through the southern tip of the South Mountain Preserve.

Tribal members have said they object to destroying part of the mountain, which they consider sacred.

"I think the South Mountain is more sacred than the land," Jochim said. "In the short term, they're going to reap millions of dollars by putting it on their property."

combusean
May 16, 2007, 10:47 PM
New route from Phoenix to Tucson proposed (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0516ar-bypass16-ON.html)

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
May. 16, 2007 02:22 PM


Cars and trucks rumble along Interstate 10 to and from Tucson and metro Phoenix in increasing numbers.

But a large number of the daily traffic is headed outside the state, creating major wear and tear on the freeway.

That's why a Tucson real estate attorney is pushing the idea of building a new interstate the would move vehicles from Tucson by bypassing Phoenix.

So state freeway planners are beginning to look at a route other than Interstate 10 to drive from Ahwatukee and other parts of the Valley to Tucson and back.

ADOT hasn't drawn any lines on a map indicating a study area for the route, which could allow cargo trucks to bypass Phoenix on their way to California or other states.

The study is in the early stages with meetings in Benson, Tucson and Eloy the past three days.

A fourth and final meeting is planned for Thursday in Buckeye.

The meetings are designed to get input from the public about possible ways to bypass the busiest portions of I-10 in Phoenix and Tucson.

The bypass idea is the brainchild of Si Schorr, vice chairman of the State Transportation Board of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

"It is essential for the economy of Southern Arizona that the travel time between Southern Arizona and the Phoenix area be reduced," he said.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said the bypass study is "as preliminary as it can get."

The public meetings will help ADOT decide whether to continue with the study. A new route would likely not be constructed for 10 to 15 years, Schorr said.

Schorr said he stumbled on the idea while freeway planers were talking about widening I-10 through Tucson.

"There is the Santa Cruz River, manmade constraints like the railroad, pipelines (Kinder Morgan, the Southern Pacific Railroad) and other utilities which would be most difficult to move, not to mention the sheer costs," Schorr said of the project to widen the freeway through Tucson to four lanes.

"The right-of-way costs would be exorbitant alone."

So Schorr decided to propose at a December board meeting to look instead to an alternative to I-10.

"Tucson area of I-10 traverses the largest urban area from Florida to California with no viable alternate," he said. "You have alternates in Phoenix. We don't. It's I-10 or nothing. We've reached the limit of what we can handle."

With the board's approval and buy-in from the Arizona Department of Transportation, freeway planners began looking at building a completely new freeway.

The route being studied so far starts in the Wilcox/Benson area, heads north and east to the San Manuel area, and attempts to avoid the ecologically sensitive areas of the San Pedro Valley while swinging around a mining operation and then picking up Interstate 8 near the Eloy/Casa Grande area.

That bypass that would avoid most of Tucson and Phoenix.

"The engineers tell me that would decrease the trip (from Phoenix to Tucson) by about 30 miles, from 246 miles to 215 miles," Schorr said. "I-10 is more L shaped, and a more-direct route would lessen the trip by half an hour to two hours" depending on traffic.

It also would lessen the average weekly traffic volumes in Tucson, which counts 150,000 vehicles a day through the Tucson portion of I-10.

"Thirty percent of that is vehicles going interstate -- going outside of Arizona, west to California or east to Mexico or Texas or beyond," Schorr said.

And of the interstate traffic, about 38 percent are trucks hauling goods. That's about 8,000 vehicles a day.

But Schorr said it's also the equivalent of 40,000 passenger cars in size and up to 95,000 passenger cars in wear and tear on the freeway and a greater need for maintenance.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel said the alternative corridor idea is something freeway planners were interested in exploring because of continuing growth in the Valley and the state.

"It would be to alleviate congestion from Phoenix to Tucson expected in the next decades," he said.

plinko
May 17, 2007, 12:07 AM
^Of course this is proposed by a real estate attorney! Maybe they should run it through the west portion of Saguaro National Park! Don't forget that exit for Kitt Peak and another for Old Tucson... :rolleyes:

Phoenix will have a bypass for trucks (the upgraded 85 corridor to I-8). Is there really that much a need to bypass Tucson (and create whole new cities along the way!) as well? Then again I disagree with building the 202 around South Mountain.

vertex
May 18, 2007, 9:51 PM
I know this has been talked about frequently here, but I thought this story might offer a slightly different twist to commuter rail, with regard to the east valley and Tucson.

Tempe mayor Hallman also is positioning the idea as an alternate plan to the I-10 Broadway curve expansion.


Heavy rail pushed for transit (http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/0518tr-heavyrail0519.html)

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
The Arizona Republic
May. 18, 2007 02:33 PM

Arizona leaders are toying with the idea of using the trains that carry freight to shuttle passengers in the future and alleviate street and highway traffic as the state's population grows to 16 million by 2050.

The idea is in its earliest stages. Community transportation leaders say labor union concerns could hijack the idea and that such a plan would require cooperation from a host of agencies and private companies.

"Heavy rail takes planning and it would require preserving the right of way now, working with Union Pacific now and working with the kinds of facilities (roads and businesses) that would come in the future," Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said.

Hallman is among Southeast Valley leaders pushing for commuter rail, sometimes called heavy rail. They said they believe the idea is a better alternative than widening Interstate 10 through Tempe, Ahwatukee and other parts of Phoenix.

"It's a cost-effective alternative to building another dozen lanes of freeway," Hallman said of a plan to double the number of lanes along Interstate 10 to 24.

"This is an extraordinarily large facility. And if we're trying to jam another 400,000 people through the Broadway Curve, the only way to do that is with heavy rail."

ADOT has undertaken the I-10 Corridor Improvement Study to determine the feasibility of building a "collector-distributor system" similar to freeways in Santa Monica, Calif.; Detroit, Chicago and Toronto.

The freeway-within-a-freeway design would allow motorists driving long distances, such as Phoenix to Tucson, to use a dedicated freeway separated by barricades from an adjacent freeway along a similar path. Motorists commuting from places such as the Southeast Valley to downtown Phoenix would use the local freeway.

But Hallman and others think projected growth estimates for the Valley and the state mean it's time to start thinking about commuter rail systems to keep people moving and businesses healthy.

"Heavy rail, commuter rail, exists in other cities, like in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, where the BART is so popular and picks up travelers at the airport," Hallman said.

Roc Arnett, president and CEO of the East Valley Partnership, is also talking up commuter rail.

He said commuter rail also could be used to transport travelers from Sky Harbor International Airport to parts of the Southeast Valley before continuing onto Tucson and back again.

"Just count the number of 15-passenger vans from Tucson to Phoenix to the airport," he said. "I'd bet there are 50 vans every day."

Arnett, a member of a key transportation policy committee of the Maricopa Association of Governments, said he thinks commuter rail is vital to businesses and economic growth in the long run.

"And I think if they (planners) studied that very issue, they would find a huge demand for commuter rail from Phoenix to Tucson," he said.

Although details and cost estimates are unavailable, one option reported to be under study is whether freight trains operated by the Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads could add passenger cars that would carry commuters for three to four hours in the morning and again for three to four hours in the evening.

ljbuild
May 19, 2007, 1:08 AM
11th hour S. Mtn. Freeway deal? (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0515ar-southmountain-ON.html)

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
The Arizona Republic
May. 15, 2007 01:42 PM

THIS south Mountain freeway has been planned (in the same spot) for over 20 years. So this is not something that has just crept up over night like the awhatuckee people are thinking. It just that the developers failed to disclose to them that a freeway was planned nearby. They were just out for the
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ check $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ !!!
but any way the state needs to quit haggling over whether the Indian tribe wants the freeway on their land or not. If they havent said NO by now
guess what? THEY DONT WANT IT !

With that said ADOT needs to get busy and build this dam thing. The longer they wait to build it the more money it will cost. By then they will be asking for another PROP 400 to fund it.

No matter how beautiful you slice the pie, someone will always remain unhappy. This project is to help a major portion of the valley. Instead of all the Tucson traffic and traffic from points east driving thru and clogging up central phoenix just to get to the west valley, the cardinals stadium or california, they will be able to bypass central phx.
So just because "A FEW IGNORANT" awhatuckee residients dont like the idea (even though the idea has long been in place before they arrived unfortunately)
doesnt mean the project shouldnt be built.
In that case they should just pack up and move to Alaska ,North dakota or south dakota or the nortwest territiores, where they wont have to worry about issues like this. There they can just be recluses in thier own "freewayless" world.
PHOENIX IS A GROWING CITY, so get used to "NEW FREEWAYS BEING NECESSARY" and more road construction to follow or just GET OUT!!!!!!!!

soleri
May 19, 2007, 2:22 AM
As much as I hate freeways - and I think the damage they've done to American cities is incalculable - this freeway probably should be built if only to get trucks off the inner loop. We might as well be clear, however, that the Happy Motoring phase of American life is fast drawing to a close. The cost of oil is going skyrocket over the next ten years. People are going to live in smaller places closer to their work. Endless suburban sprawl is simply unsupportable, both from an energy and a personal cost perspective.

There's always been a bias that the future is going to resemble the present, only more so. More this, more that, on and on. What we're seeing, however, should congeal that conceit in aspic. From global warming to peak oil, the future promises to be a lot less like the recent past and much more like the pre-World War II past. I know lots of folks think we're just a techno-fix away from endless sprawl, always-cheap junk food, and permanent obesity. Don't bet on it.

jvbahn
May 19, 2007, 3:14 PM
Thank you soleri, you're like the replacement for Jon Talton in my life.

combusean
May 23, 2007, 9:58 PM
More Phoenix commuters carpooling, taking bus (http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/0523phx-busriders0523-ON.html)

Kerry Fehr-Snyder
The Arizona Republic
May. 23, 2007 01:34 PM

Meteoric gas prices and traffic tie-ups are driving more Phoenix commuters to carpool, take the bus, organize vanpools and telecommute.

"Gas prices have been really high so I didn't have much choice," said Caleb Ebuehi, a consultant for a downtown Phoenix firm who took the bus for the second time Wednesday morning from park-n-ride lot in Ahwatukee Foothills. There are park-n-rides throughout the city of Phoenix and seats on them could become even more popular as gas hits record price highs with no end in sight.

In April, the average total weekday bus ridership grew by more than 6 percent compared with March, said Valley Metro spokeswoman Susan Tierney.

Ridership on the express/commuter bus routes jumped even more by 6.4 percent in April compared with March.

Commuters rode the bus more than 5 million times last month, a 3.4 percent increase compared with April 2006.

Carpool and vanpool match requests also climbed higher in April and May, Tierney said. Valley Metro maintains a list of available carpool partners on its web site, www.valleyMetro.org. Spaces in existing vanpools are also listed on this site.


Let's hope the train is in by the time gas hits $4/gallon--I'll need it!

andrewkfromaz
Jun 9, 2007, 11:46 PM
Anyone got any new station pics? Has anyone seen the landscaping between the tracks? It seriously looks like tiny weeds, but it's actually landscaped. Kinda funny looking.

Archdevil
Jun 14, 2007, 2:50 PM
Yesterday I noticed that the canvas sails are being installed on the station at Central and Van Buren. They look cool but they don't look like they will provide much shade. sorry no pics.

Vicelord John
Jun 14, 2007, 5:29 PM
Let's hope the train is in by the time gas hits $4/gallon--I'll need it!

um.... or lets not. I enjoy being able to cruise around.

xymox
Jun 14, 2007, 8:12 PM
Spotted these recently on ADOTs website - apologize if already posted elsewhere.

I-17 alternatives:

http://tpd.azdot.gov/planning/Files/i17alternatives/I17AlternativesBoard.pdf

I-10 Bypass Alternatives:

http://tpd.azdot.gov/planning/Files/i10bypass/alternatives.pdf

Personally, with the feds behind the I-10 bypass, I expect that one to be sorted out and constructed first. I-17 alternatives will take much, much longer thanks to the terrain - but I do like the 'extend AZ-51 north' route the best. They just need to be sure which ever one(s?) is/are build are at least 4 lanes in each direction with a number of connectors to I-17 to handle traffic problems on either route.

phxtempe
Jun 17, 2007, 11:47 PM
I know there was that 90 day extension on that study to see if rail should be
built in the valley to help ease traffic congestion and also to run between tucson and phx. Does anyone have any insight or inside information on this study? When will it become public? If anything, they should build commuter rail in phx rather than focus on light rail, which is more expensive.

Sekkle
Jun 20, 2007, 2:38 PM
Just thought I'd let you all know that KJZZ (91.5) is supposed to have a discussion regarding local transportation (they mentioned commuter rail specifically and some other stuff) today from 11am-noon. It will probably be worth a listen for those who are interested. They usually post an MP3 of the program on their website after it airs, too.

Sekkle
Jun 20, 2007, 11:48 PM
I just listened to the broadcast on MP3 (you can check it out at http://kjzz.org/news/arizona/archives/200706/hereandnow6-20-07
). Tempe’s mayor, Hugh Hallman was on and was a big proponent of commuter rail. They also had a representative from Valley Metro who called in and mentioned new and expanded bus service starting in late July. Apparently they are adding an express route from Surprise to Scottsdale, among other things. There was a lot of talk about improving transit as an alternative to driving, but nothing extraordinarily encouraging as far as actually getting it done soon (“we need to create a statewide transportation plan,” “we need to find funding for transit,” etc). There wasn’t much news that you can’t find in articles and discussions posted here on this thread, but if you’re interested, check out the MP3.

plinko
Jun 20, 2007, 11:54 PM
Spotted these recently on ADOTs website - apologize if already posted elsewhere.

I-17 alternatives:

http://tpd.azdot.gov/planning/Files/i17alternatives/I17AlternativesBoard.pdf

I-10 Bypass Alternatives:

http://tpd.azdot.gov/planning/Files/i10bypass/alternatives.pdf

Personally, with the feds behind the I-10 bypass, I expect that one to be sorted out and constructed first. I-17 alternatives will take much, much longer thanks to the terrain - but I do like the 'extend AZ-51 north' route the best. They just need to be sure which ever one(s?) is/are build are at least 4 lanes in each direction with a number of connectors to I-17 to handle traffic problems on either route.

I weep for the future of Arizona. Yikes! :yuck:

soleri
Jun 21, 2007, 2:52 AM
We're staring at peak oil, energy scarcity, global warming, and a worsening drought. Maybe in some alternative universe you can keep paving Arizona until everyone can get where they want to go without mass transit.

On the bright side, it will keep the sprawl machine humming.

jvbahn
Jun 21, 2007, 10:32 AM
:previous: With all the things you mention coming simultaneously, there is no way the sprawl machine can continue much longer.

DevdogAZ
Jun 21, 2007, 10:59 PM
I really wish Valley Metro would simply make bus routes that ran up and down every major arterial and ran every 10-15 minutes. You'd never have to look at a bus schedule or map, you'd just know that you can go to the nearest major intersection (never more than 1/2 mile away) and hop on a bus within the next 15 minutes. When it crosses the arterial that you need to take in another direction, hop off and the next bus will be along shortly. It seems like for the money that is being spent on light rail, they could have funded something like this and blanketed the valley with a bus nearly every mile or two in every direction.

Sekkle
Jun 22, 2007, 3:06 PM
^ The Regional Transportation Plan, which you can find on MAG's website (http://www.mag.maricopa.gov/detail.cms?item=7091), has some mention of "supergrid" bus routes, which, if the figure they show is accurate, looks like it would do just what you're talking about (I don't have time now to copy the PDF to a jpeg and post the figure they have, but you can check out the report, figure 10-4)

from the RTP...
Regional Grid bus routes, which are also commonly referred to as “Supergrid Routes,” include bus routes that are situated along major roads on the regional arterial grid network. The supergrid addresses the need for a consistent level of service across all served jurisdictions. Regional funding of bus operations along the arterial grid network ensures a degree of consistency in service levels across jurisdictions, which may not otherwise be possible due to varying funding limitations at the local level. Regional funding has been allocated for bus operations on the Regional Grid throughout the RTP planning period. This represents approximately 17 percent of the total regional funding budget allocated for transit. There are a total of 32 Regional Grid routes identified for funding. It should be noted that regionally funded bus routes will be phased in over the 20 year program to allow for the acquisition of transit fleet and the construction of supporting infrastructure (i.e. operations and maintenance facilities, passenger facilities, road improvements, etc.) Figure 10-4 depicts the Regional Grid transit services that will be regionally funded.

DevdogAZ
Jun 22, 2007, 10:36 PM
^ The Regional Transportation Plan, which you can find on MAG's website (http://www.mag.maricopa.gov/detail.cms?item=7091), has some mention of "supergrid" bus routes, which, if the figure they show is accurate, looks like it would do just what you're talking about (I don't have time now to copy the PDF to a jpeg and post the figure they have, but you can check out the report, figure 10-4)

from the RTP...

Thanks. From the text you posted, it sounds very promising, but Figure 10-4 from the report still looks pretty sparsely filled. Several areas in the east and west valleys only have planned bus routes every 3-4 miles instead of every mile. I just think that with our excellent arterial grid layout, running a bus system like this should be a no brainer. Making it more complicated by trying to "strategically" place routes where they think people need them will just serve to reduce ridership as people won't ever know when or where the busses run. But if they just automatically knew that if they are on Rural and Baseline (for example) and they want to go to 24th St. and Camelback, all they have to do is jump on the Rural/Scottsdale Rd. bus and get off at Camelback, then hop on a Camelback bus and get off at 24th St. You wouldn't have to look at routes or schedules. You'd just know that every major street has a bus on it, and it's not going to turn off that street and go somewhere different. It's just going to go up and down that major street.