Council Stays On Track For South Phoenix Light Rail

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 8:29am
Paul Atkinson/KJZZ
Riders board the Valley Metro light rail at a station.

Light rail is on track to move into south Phoenix. After months of debate, the City Council reaffirmed the two-lane design which would reduce traffic along Central Avenue south of downtown to one car lane in each direction.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, opponents, including Rose Moreno, said light rail should not be the priority.

“Streets in south Phoenix are terrible,” she said. “The sidewalks are dangerous, I know people who have, with the sidewalks, they have seriously been injured.”

Former state legislator Cloves Campbell reminded the council that voters approved the project in 2015.

“And I think you need to understand that when people speak and we exercise the right we’ve had for so long and fought so hard and for you all to sit up there and have the unmitigated gall to take this opportunity away from us, I think that we need to start looking at who’s sitting there and who needs to be removed,” he said.

The vote to keep the two-lane design also requires the city to develop a plan to address redevelopment and gentrification concerns.

Critics wanted to see either four lanes for cars along the 5.5 mile extension — or no train at all. Recently, opponents formed a political action committee to try to get the issue of light rail funding on a ballot.

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