By Jeff Grant for YourWestValley.com
Valley Metro is continuing to study extension of its light rail system into the downtown Glendale area, though the arrival of service — if it does come — is more than a decade away, an official with the Valleywide public transit agency told the city council recently.
“We have three different phases of analysis. We’ve been through the first two,” Valley Metro Director of Planning and Development Wulf Grote told governing body members during their March 17 workshop at City Hall.
Research to this point has included surveying the public, primarily businesses, on the desire for some type of high-capacity service — either light rail or rapid-transit buses.
Two areas were contacted: Glendale Avenue and 43rd to 51st avenues; and Lamar Road to Myrtle Avenue, and 51st to 59th avenues. Methods included email, regular mail and door-to-door canvassing.
While Valley Metro will continue to seek input on the type of service, the agency will ask about three potential routes, all originating at a stretch of the current system along 19th Avenue working its way west.
- Camelback Road west, from 19th Avenue to 43rd Avenue, north to Glendale Avenue, then west on Glendale Avenue to 51st Avenue.
- Glendale Avenue west, from 19th Avenue to 51st Avenue.
- Camelback Road west, from 19th Avenue to Grand Avenue, northwest to 51st Avenue, then north to the Glendale Avenue area.
A series of six downtown route options will be analyzed as well.
Grote also talked of eventually linking to Westgate though there is no plan under consideration for that now.
Glendale officials believe there is no doubt the area will require high-capacity transit.
Funding for a light-rail extension into Glendale would come from a combination of sources, including matching funds approved by Glendale voters in 2001 and a transportation sales tax authorized in 2005 by Maricopa County voters.
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