Author Topic: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix  (Read 6401 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« on: January 06, 2009, 05:00:00 AM »
METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix



Sixty years after Phoenix's old trolley system was shut down, the city rejoins the growing list of American metropolitan areas investing in rail based mass transit.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/978

jeh1980

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 05:18:10 AM »
Just another reason why Jacksonville will soon get the same thing! Kepp the faith! :D

reednavy

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 05:32:29 AM »
If we can manage to double our population by 2030 like Phoenix has in the previous 20 years, then maybe so.
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thelakelander

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 08:03:04 AM »
The other end is Detroit.  They've lost over half of their population since 1950, yet still have decided to move forward with light and commuter rail plans.  Ditto, for conservative Cincinnati and their streetcar plan between downtown and Over-The-Rhine.  We have no excuses for moving slow.  These things really stimulate development and most places are finding creative ways to take advantage of their benefits.
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Doctor_K

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 09:40:56 AM »
Am I the only one who's having text-wrap/disappearance issues with the article?  :(
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Lucasjj

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 09:49:09 AM »
No, I am getting it too.

thelakelander

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 09:53:44 AM »
Strange.  But I just fixed it.
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BridgeTroll

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009, 10:04:07 AM »
Looks to me like there was a large public relations campaign before construction, during and after construction, followed by aggressive promotion to convince skeptical riders to give it a try.  I remember a huge and constant public relations campaign in San Jose Ca. during the construction of the brand new light rail.  Most had to be convinced that it was even needed.  Most had to learn how to use it.  Most had to learn how to interact and coexist on the roadways with it.  For quite a few years ridership was well below expectations... It took a long time to convince people to get out of their cars...
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Joe

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2009, 10:04:40 AM »
Quote
Ditto, for conservative Cincinnati and their streetcar plan between downtown and Over-The-Rhine.

Unfortunately, the Cincinnati streetcar is still twisting in the wind. It's a complicated issue, but basically streetcar opponents inserted requirements that the city can only build the 4 mile $100 million streetcar if they can also finance an additional $80+ million extension. On the surface this might seem like a good thing since they've mandated a bigger system. However, it could kill the entire project, or at best delay it.

Also, the NAACP of all people are essentially trying to BAN THE CONSTRUCTION OF ANY RAIL, PERIOD by a public referrendum. It's really astonishing.

So anyway, not that anyone here cares much about Cincinnati, but it should serve as an instructive example that Jacksonville's metro could easily double in size (Cincy is around 2-3 million depending on whether you add Dayton) and we still might not have rail transit.

thelakelander

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2009, 10:16:47 AM »
The NAACP must not want the streetcar in Over-The-Rhine?  Interesting.  I guess this must revolve around the issue of gentrification. 

I wonder if going basic "no-frills" without the bells & whistles, would help stretch Cincy's line out?  This Cincinnati situation should also serve as another example.  That example is to keep things simple even if it means avoiding some areas initially.  You're success rate to get something off the ground improves when you keep costs down and things simple.
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thelakelander

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2009, 10:30:50 AM »
Very interesting. I wonder how this is going to play out.

Quote
CINCINNATI: Local NAACP leaders have no desire to see streetcars in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati chapter president Christopher Smitherman says the city project shouldn't take priority over repairing streets and helping neighborhood business districts. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has begun a petition drive to change the city's charter to block the streetcar project.

City officials are still trying to raise enough funds for a $100 million first phase of the project.

The NAACP also joined other groups last year to defeat a proposed county jail tax, and earlier this year to successfully oppose a plan to use red-light cameras at Cincinnati intersections.

http://www.ohio.com/news/ohiocentric/36685939.html

Quote
The Cincinnati NAACP now has trolley/streetcar petitions available at the NAACP office for all City of Cincinnati Registered Voters to sign. The Cincinnati NAACP voted at its December General Membership meeting to move forward with a petition drive to block the "Choo Choo" train for downtown Cincinnati. Within the first 48 hours of rolling out our newest petition over 200 citizens have signed the trolley/streetcar petition and returned them to the Cincinnati NAACP office.

The Cincinnati NAACP will begin pre-checks at the Hamilton County Board of Elections within the first quarter of the new year. Anyone who would like to sign or circulate the trolley/streetcar petition please come to the Cincinnati NAACP Office at 4439 Reading Road, or call (513) 281-1900. The Cincinnati NAACP is confident that it will get the needed signatures to place this issue on the November ballot. "A $200 million trolley is not the priority for Cincinnati while City Council continues to cut basic services to citizens while expanding their own council budgets," Smitherman says.   The Cincinnati NAACP will initiate two other petition drives for 2009.

http://naacpcincinnati.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=169&Itemid=1
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tufsu1

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 11:11:36 AM »
This statement tells the story...

"Plans for the system were first envisioned in the 1980s, but voters rejected several ballot measures before finally approving a sales tax to help finance light rail. Federal funds paid roughly half the cost."

So, while its frustrating to many that Jax. doesn't have rail transit yet, we need to understand that it takes time.

Premium transit was first studied here less than 10 years ago....and the outcome of that study was BRT....then MetroJacksonville helped get things moving and now JTA is seriously studying rail....since BRT is morphing into express bus (which costs far less), there may still be $ left to start rail!.

thelakelander

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2009, 11:22:30 AM »
I think the most frustrating thing has been plans for a local regional system were first proposed in the early 1970s.  What's on the table now is just the latest attempt.  So we're going on 40 years, which means its already been a while. 

As for BRT, I agree.  The more it converts into express bus on existing corridors, the more money it frees up for rail.  However, we still have to push for rail to become the priority (which it isn't right now) and to preserve as much of the existing BJP money as possible.  If this can be done, it will speed up the process.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 11:24:54 AM by thelakelander »
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Joe

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 11:25:24 AM »
Regarding Cincinnati again ... it's sheer lunacy on the NAACP's part. It's basically anti-gentrification, but it's also a pretty clear power struggle too. Cincinnati has seen a massive diffusion of poverty in recent years, as Projects and Section 8 units in the city center have been demolished or rehabbed by the thousands. One project alone demolished about 2,000 public housing units, and replaced them with 1,500 market rate and workforce housing units.

It's been great for Cincy's urban core, but it's messing with the political hegemony enjoyed by "community" organizations which prey on destitute minorities. Now that the city's poorest are being spread all over town with apartment vouchers (which is the best result according to accepted planning theory) groups -apparently including the NAACP - are furious.

The real tragedy is that this $180 million plan would be funded mostly with federal and even private funds. So if they kill the streetcar, it's not like there will be money for these other needs. The money will simply dissapear!

Anyway, this isn't a Cincy forum so I'll stop now. However, it is relevant to Jax to the extent that we face very similar problems.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 11:27:12 AM by Joe »

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Re: METRO Light Rail: Rail Comes to Phoenix
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 11:28:58 AM »
I love Jacksonville, and hope we do someday get something like this but I believe not soon.  I agree with the poster that said maybe in 2030 if we double our population.  Phoenix is a city of over 1,000,000 people urban/core; Our population is deceiving as the whole county is the same population, in general as the City.  Everyone keeps forgetting that Jax is really not a City of a million people or the population that we now say we have if you want to look at "pure urban."  Old city boundaries along with areas that would have been annexed since 1968 would probably field a population of 120,000 people (core/urban) if we are lucky.  Jax just cannot support or even justify, at this time and in my opinion, such a rail system.
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