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Community Outreach Coordinator
In 2013, Valley Metro initiated a transit corridor study for the West Phoenix/Central Glendale area to identify high-capacity transit service options to connect downtown Glendale to the existing light rail system. In partnership with the city of Phoenix, city of Glendale and the community, the study goal was to determine a route location and a type of transit that will best serve the area.
Valley Metro has completed three levels of technical analysis, evaluating numerous criteria such as: population densities, employment and activity centers, ridership potential, potential right-of-way and traffic impacts, economic development potential and cost. Public input was collected throughout the study process.
Additionally, Valley Metro convened a Downtown Glendale Community Working Group (CWG). The 47-member CWG was chosen from applications received in May 2015 and met eight times in June - October 2015. The group was charged to develop an advisory recommendation to the Glendale City Council and Valley Metro on a route for the downtown Glendale area. After creating evaluation criteria and studying numerous route options, the CWG recommended a downtown Glendale route, which is reflected in the leading alternative.
After over two years of technical analysis and working with the local community, the recommended leading alternative is light rail, connecting to the existing light rail system at 19th Ave. and Camelback Rd., continuing west on Camelback Rd. to 43rd Ave., north on 43rd Ave. to Glendale Ave. and west on Glendale Ave. to downtown Glendale. Within downtown Glendale, the route would transition to Glenn Dr. near 51st Ave., continuing west on Glenn Dr. and terminating in the vicinity of 58th Ave. (see map). This recommendation includes two areas where further study is needed to determine the final route: the I-17 crossing and the transition from Glendale Ave. to Glenn Dr. near 51st Ave. Additionally, further evaluation will occur to determine if extending the end-of-line to cross Grand Ave. and the BNSF Railway will result in additional project benefits. Proposed station locations will be determined in the next phase of the study with input from the community.
This route is recommended because it has the highest estimated ridership and cost-effectiveness, as well as direct connections with the growing Grand Canyon University and Alhambra High School. Light rail investment in this corridor would also support local economic development opportunities.
Valley Metro will begin the project definition phase to refine the areas of additional study (the I-17 crossing and the Glendale Ave./Glenn Dr. transition), identify station locations and traffic configuration, and evaluate the feasibility of extending the end-of-line to cross Grand Ave. Public outreach will be conducted throughout the technical analysis. Valley Metro will seek approval on a final route from the Phoenix and Glendale city councils in late 2016/early 2017. Operation is scheduled for 2026.