It has been 18 years and 32 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.
Valley Metro has released its recommended route for light rail for West Phoenix/Central Glendale. It will be hosting two public information meetings this week. On Tuesday, January 19, 2016 from 6 PM to 8 PM there will be a meeting at the Washington Activity Center Multipurpose Room at 2240 W. Citrus Way, Phoenix and on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 there will be another meeting 6 PM to 8 PM at the Glendale Women’s Club, 7032 N. 56th Avenue, Glendale.
Here is their recommendation: West along Camelback Road from 19th Avenue to 43rd Avenue; North on 43rd Avenue to Glendale Avenue; West on Glendale Avenue; somewhere in the vicinity of 51st Avenue it will go north to Glenn Drive; West on Glenn Drive to 59th Avenue. There is no mention of whether the route would be light rail, express bus service or street car.
Funding would be:
- Federal ………………………………………………………………………………. 50%
- Regional sales taxes (Proposition 400) ……………………………..10-15%
- Local sales taxes (Glendale GO transportation tax
- and Phoenix Transportation 2050) ……………………………..35-40%
Should light rail or some form of express transportation come to Glendale? Without more information about its effects on Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa it’s difficult to make a decision. There are some factors that would seem to indicate that it’s time may have come. Glendale is the gateway to the rest of the West Valley. If Peoria and Surprise ever hope to have light rail in their communities it is only logical that it would have to route through Glendale. Westgate with the stadium and arena would most certainly benefit from light rail. Glendale is the 6th largest city in the state with 70-80% of its population commuting to work outside of Glendale.
Factors that work against it are its cost and the routing. Today the cost per mile is pegged at $70 million dollars. Federal funding would be about $35 million per mile. Regional sales tax would cover $7-$10.5 million per mile. Glendale through its Go Transportation Tax would have to pay $24.5-$28 million per mile. Since going northward on 43rd Avenue, a boundary street shared by Glendale and Phoenix, it is assumed that the two north 43rd miles would be a shared cost between the two cities. Glendale’s exclusive portion for which it would have to provide funding would be the two miles from 43rd Avenue west to 59th Avenue. That funding would presumably be funded by Glendale’s GO Transportation Tax.
In addition to sharing information about a possible route and the form of mass transportation it is incumbent upon the Glendale City Council to hold a workshop on exactly where the revenue would come from to support this project. Will it come to Glendale? Right now there is no definitive answer.
© Joyce Clark, 2016
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