Grab your wallet, the royal rulers of Mesa and Tempe want to
bring more light rail and streetcar pork to Tempe and Mesa.
The cities of Mesa and Tempe are planning on building more light rail and streetcar pork as part of their corporate welfare program for rich baseball teams.
As Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith have said many times no millionaire owner of a baseball team should have to pay for their baseball parks or public transportation to the baseball park when the government can shake down the "little people" for the cash.
I think it is part of George W. Bush's "No millionaire should be left behind" program, which I understand both Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith are part of.
Mesa to study more light rail, streetcar from Tempe to Cubs complex
Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012 3:59 pm
By Garin Groff, Tribune
Mesa is kicking off studies to extend the Metro light rail line to Gilbert Road and to explore linking Tempe’s planned streetcar to the new Chicago Cubs complex.
The projects would greatly expand the amount of rail passenger service in Mesa, which has just a 0.9-mile section of light rail today and a single station.
The $750,000 light rail study will look at the feasibility of additional Metro service and it will explore what would be the Valley’s first roundabouts on the rail line.
Mesa wants to study roundabouts at three-way intersections where Main Street intersects roads into neighborhoods. The idea came after transit officials saw a roundabout on Salt Lake City’s rail system and watched it closely to see how traffic flowed, said Mike James, the city’s transportation director.
“We can probably move traffic more efficiently through roundabouts,” he said.
Three to five roundabouts are possible, he said. The city is considering them because drivers would face fewer traffic signals and red lights, James said.
Mesa is also looking at whether Main Street would remain a four-lane street or be reduced to a single lane in each direction. Metro will begin construction on a light rail segment to Mesa Drive this spring, which involves reducing Main to just a single lane in each direction through downtown. The segment is scheduled to open in 2015, extending Metro service to Mesa Drive.
Because roundabouts require more land than a traditional intersection, Mesa would only construct roundabouts with a two-lane Main Street, James said.
The city will hold public forums this spring and summer to get feedback from residents and businesses along the possible extension to Gilbert.
The new segment is projected to boost ridership by 3,100 a day. Already, Mesa’s single light rail station is the busiest on the 20-mile line. It had nearly 978,00 passengers in 2011, up 7 percent from the previous year.
Mesa hasn’t identified funding or a timeline for a segment to Gilbert Road.
The city is also joining Tempe and Arizona State University to study a streetcar on Rio Salado Parkway/Eighth Street. The two-year, $2 million project will evaluate ridership and cost estimates to a line that would end at Dobson Road and improve access to the Cubs complex and the Mesa Riverview shopping center.
If built, it would tie into a 2.1-mile, $130 million streetcar line that is scheduled to open in 2016 on Mill Avenue. The streetcar will run from Southern Avenue to Rio Salado.
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