Glendale Sets Gears In Motion For Proposed Light Rail Route In West Valley

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 3:14pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 9:30pm
Valley Metro
Valley Metro light rail.
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers listens to a citizen worried about the light rail construction.

Extending the light rail into Glendale has been a process for 15 years. After a vote Tuesday night, the Glendale City Council finally put the wheels in motion.

After nearly three hours of discussion, the city council voted 4-3 to pass a measure agreeing on which route the light rail extension would take into Glendale.

The council heard input from local business owners and citizens, and both supporters and opponents of the light rail.

Some concerns were safety and how the route will impact local businesses.

Glendale business owner Dan Pratt, who was also on the route input committee, says it was the least disruptive one they could find.

“I saw a pattern as we went through that committee," Pratt said about the process. "Someone would say 'well I live here' or 'my business is here and so I definitely want light rail over here, away from that.'”

Donna Cheung came to express concerns that her civic group, which is located along the proposed route, would have to stop offering senior services.

“It’s very hard for us to imagine the construction of light rail not impeding their quality of life, their safety, as well as their well-being in general,” Cheung said.

This is the first step toward approving a final route. Now, the city will examine the logistics of where to put stops and how to change traffic patterns.

Valley Metro’s proposed light rail route runs through downtown Glendale, but doesn’t cross Grand Avenue. Instead, after it passes Grand Canyon University on Camelback Road, it goes north on 43rd Avenue and heads west on Glenn Drive.

Glendale city engineer Debbie Albert said the vote is a way to move the project along.

“The idea is that there’s been enough of an analysis done that those fatal flaws have been vetted and there shouldn’t be any fatal flaws that come up within the project,” Albert said.

The project is still in planning stages and could see other minor changes.

The light rail extension isn’t expected to be finished until 2026.

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