[Source: Chad Graham, Arizona Republic] — When it comes to Washington Street, think of Metro light rail as a ribbon that could tie together economic opportunities. The roughly 8-mile stretch from downtown Phoenix to Tempe was neglected for decades, but it could become a dynamic corridor that better links Arizona State University’s campuses, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and GateWay Community College, as well as biotech and green-energy companies. It would put tourists in easier reach of the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden, and Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon calls it the “opportunity corridor,” and in 2005, he began calling for a revitalization of the area between the Salt River and Van Buren Street and from the Capitol complex east to the Tempe city line.
Progress has been slow, and the meltdown of the financial markets has dried up capital for some promised private-sector improvements. Existing businesses have suffered, too, with light-rail construction shutting down some mom-and-pop shops and crippling others. [Note: to read the full article, click on http://www.google.com/gwt/n?q=%22Downtown+Phoenix%22+Arizona&hl=en&source=news&start=11&ei=02kdSZD6G4SkhgLyipiWAQ&ct=res&cd=us%2F0-7&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.azcentral.com%2Fw2%2Fnews%2Farticles.php%3Ffrom%3Dnews.xml%26articleid%3D781710%5D