[Source: Rebekah L. Sanders and Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Glendale is pushing to change the route of the first light-rail line planned for the West Valley, seeing greater value in taking the line to the city’s bustling stadium district than its quaint downtown. But it’s likely an uphill battle, as Phoenix officials say they can’t provide the financial support that Glendale needs from them.
Building the alternative rail route would cost hundreds of millions of dollars more, require months of extra planning and support from other Valley cities. Backers of the new line argue it would boost regional economic growth and reduce the crush of rush-hour traffic along congested stretches of freeway. It could also ferry football fans to University of Phoenix Stadium, as well as hockey and baseball fans to nearby games.
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs says Glendale can’t afford to build light rail anywhere in the city alone. So, officials are pitching the route with the most benefit to Phoenix, along Loop 101, in the hope of persuading Phoenix to pay for a part of Glendale’s line. “I don’t believe we will ever have light rail in Glendale if we go by what’s on the map,” Scruggs said, referring to the current proposed route to her city’s downtown. “The Loop 101 option is the only one that has a chance of getting any financial support from Phoenix, and we can do nothing without that.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]