Blog Archives

April 2013 Meeting Agenda

DVCblocksOur April 13, 2013, meeting is coming up very soon! We meet from 9:30am to 11:30am at the Roosevelt Commons Clubhouse, 825 N 6th Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

On our agenda: 

I. Call to Order and Introductions

II. Consent Agenda (for information only)

  • Treasurer’s Report

III. Community Updates / Guest Speakers

  • METRO South Central Ave project – Sonya Pastor
  • Roosevelt Streetscape planning – Sean Sweat / Kevin Rille
  • Shipping Container Infill Project – Cole Van Norman
  • Reinvent PHX – Kurt Upton

IV. Updates on DVC Action Items 2013 as needed

V. Old Business

  • DVC as 501(c)(3) organization
  • DVC t-shirt comments and/or approval
  • Follow-up and Action Items from The Arizona We Want forum
  • Hance Park Master Plan team
  • Greening Grand Avenue project
  • Downtown Phoenix Inc. updates

VI. New Business

  • DVC Officers’ Nomination Committee
  • City of Phoenix FY2014 Budget and Food Tax
  • DVC 10th Anniversary Planning Committee
  • Novawest/BIG proposed “The Pin” and DPI involvement
  • Downtown Phoenix dog parks

VII. Open Floor 2 minutes each, please!

VIII. Adjournment – A meeting of the Officers may follow.

Phoenix debates land use near light-rail stations

Camelback/Central LR station public artThe City of Phoenix is holding a forum to get citizen input on land use planning near light rail stations. For the Camelback/Central Ave light rail station, the forum is being held at the Days Inn at 502 W Camelback Rd on Thursday at 6:30pm.

State law requires cities, towns, and counties to update their general plan every 10 years and this is the first revision of Phoenix’s general plan after the development of METRO light rail.

Phoenix is amending the city’s general plan for land-use planning near light-rail stations and is asking residents for input.

A public meeting to discuss the station at Central Avenue and Camelback Road is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Days Inn, 502 W. Camelback Road.

The general plan is a blueprint that outlines land-use and policy guidelines on how the city should grow and redevelop for decades into the future.

State law requires cities, towns and counties to update the plan every 10 years but legislation the state passed last year extended the deadline to 2015 to give budget-constricted local governments short on planning staff more time to update their general plans.

Attendees will discuss a general range of appropriate building heights for future real-estate redevelopment.

By having stakeholders identify what they want to preserve, promote and will accept in advance, the general plan can better guide future real-estate development.

The meetings are not about property ownership, existing zoning or uses, city officials have said.

Properties along the light-rail route are in a transit-overlay district, which means less space is dedicated for parking due to the proximity to the train.

Read more here.

If you go, the nearest light rail station is 7th Ave/Camelback Road (Melrose District). For more information, call 602.256.5648.

METRO light rail western extension open house set for tomorrow

[Clarification appended, see bottom of post]

METRO light rail is holding an open house on their I-10 West extension that would travel west along Washington and Jefferson Streets from Central Ave, toward the State Capitol, and through the St. Matthew neighborhood immediately west of the Capitol. The open house is set for tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) starting at 6:00pm at Neighborhood Ministries, 1918 W. Van Buren Street.

From The Arizona Republic:

The proposal under consideration by Metro’s advisory board involves laying track on Jefferson Street beginning at Central Avenue, then past the Capitol and state buildings to the Black Canyon Freeway. It would proceed north to Interstate 10 and then run west to 79th Avenue.

St. Matthew Neighborhood is the largest residential area that would be affected by the proposal. The rest of the route would parallel freeways. But Metro is facing some difficulties communicating with the St. Matthew neighbors that it did not encounter when proposing the current line, which runs from Phoenix to Tempe and Mesa.

One neighbor, John Maurin, opposes the extension because he believes it will hurt the historic homes in the neighborhood. He collected 250 petition signatures to oppose Metro’s idea. Some businesses along the Black Canyon Freeway are on his side, as is the group, Downtown Voices Coalition.

The committee will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Neighborhood Ministries.

Gruver said Metro officials expect the proposal will go to a City Council vote sometime late in the fall or early next year.

Read more here. In addition, the Downtown Voices Coalition is drafting a statement regarding this proposed METRO extension.

Clarification: METRO light rail held two of its own open houses last week. The July 19 forum at Neighborhood Ministries is independent from the official METRO light rail forums.

Public meeting on west Phoenix light-rail extension

azcentral.com

Metro light rail is inviting the public to a meeting next Wednesday so residents can learn and comment on details of the agency’s plan for light rail’s west extension through west Phoenix.

The proposal under consideration by Metro’s advisory board involves laying track from Central Avenue along Jefferson Street, past the Capitol and state buildings to Interstate 17, then north to Interstate 10, where it would then head west to 79th Avenue.

Barring any serious funding issues, the 11-mile west extension could be up and running by 2021.

Some residents in the St. Matthews neighborhood near the state Capitol grounds oppose the proposal, fearing the extension could affect the historic homes in the area. But representatives from various neighborhoods, including Maryvale, have supported the proposal.

And some critics have argued Metro light rail should create a faster commuter line, instead of using the much slower light rail trains, to serve west Phoenix.

Metro has been studying the west Phoenix area for a possible extension since 2007.

The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at the Isaac Middle School cafeteria, 3402 W. McDowell Road.

For more information, contact Terry Gruver at (480) 664-2631or via e-mail,tgruver@metrolightrail.org.

– Emily Gersema, emily.gersema@arizonarepublic.com

Light Rail 101

Tony Arranaga (aka Light Rail Blogger), has developed the following tip sheet for incoming ASU students. The advice was so good that I wanted to share it with DVC readers.

[Source: Light Rail Blogger]

Tony Arranaga; Photograph Courtesy LightRailBlogger.com

Phoenix is gearing up for an influx of new residents as students arrive for the first week of school at the downtown campus of Arizona State University. In an effort to get more people using light rail, Barrett Honors College asked me to list some information for incoming freshman on how to use our public transportation system.

Specifically, the organizers of the Barrett Urban Experience are looking to show points of interest along the light rail, instead of how to use the light rail in this part of the Valley. Below is a list of some popular destinations north of the downtown campus. The information should be helpful to those who are new to our urban core.

1st Ave and Jefferson Station (Eastbound trains only) Use this stop for bothPhoenix City Hall (and the courts) in addition to the new CVS Pharmacyinside CityScape, which is across from the street from the station. CityScape is the new entertainment destination in the heart of the city, with several restaurants, a bowling alley and a comedy club expected to open soon.

Central Station Station ASU campusPhoenix Public Market and the Lincoln Family Y are popular destinations at this station. The market, located two blocks north of the station, offers a wide selection of locally grown produce and other grocery store items, in addition to local coffee bar favorite Royal at the Market(here). Many students usually grab a cup here before class.

McDowell and Central Station The restaurant My Florist Cafe (five blocks west of the station) is a good place for a date, Giant Coffee is a great place to read while enjoying a cup of coffee, and next door is Bunky Boutique (both are one block east of the station) where you can find stylish fashion for him and her . Also, with Hallooween around the corner, you’ll want to look for Easley’s Costumeswhich is directly across the street from My Florist. Easley’s has one of the largest selections of costumes and accessories in the city.

Thomas and Central Station St Joseph’s Hospital is three blocks west of the station on Thomas, in addition to Park Central Mall (north end of platform) which is home to popular breakfast joint The Good Egg (here).

Campbell and Central Station Central High School is located here, but you’ll be more interested in hot spots Lux Coffee BarPane Bianco for killer italian gourmet sandwhiches, and Slippery Pig Bikes.

Camelback and Central Station is directly across the street from popular record store Stinkweeds, the old school candy store Smeeks, in addition to Francesand Red Hot Robot, which are great locally owned stores where you can buy gifts for all ages.

In addition to these places, you might also want to check out a recent post by guest blogger Si Robins on how he lives car-lite in downtown Phoenix. I also have two short videos on popular destinations near the 3rd and Washington Station and the Central and Washington Station.

Keep in mind that some of these destinations are a bit of a walk from the light rail stations, which is why I use a bike whenever possible. If you’re carfree and need access to a rental, there are two Zipcars at the corner of 1st Street and Fillmore, which is the parking lot on the north side of the Cronkite School. In addition, there are also several taxicab services to help you get around. For more information on these and other transportation services, be sure to read my post on DowntownPhoenix.com. Information on how to ride the light rail can be found here.

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eBikes: A new way of getting around Downtown Phoenix

[From azcentral.com]
When it’s too hot to walk and too boring to ride in a car, take in a new view of downtown Phoenix through Copper Square Adventures’ eBikes. The idea for the electric bikes came when owners Silverio and Susan Ontiveros visited Vancouver, British Columbia, last summer and saw the bike rental shops around the city.

The couple who runs Copper Square Adventures hiking and tour company wanted to bring the idea to the Valley so visitors and residents could get a new perspective on the city. Last fall, they began renting seven eBikes with baskets and helmets in downtown Phoenix, including maps of hotspots to visit, local parks and coffee shops.

This fall, the Ontiveroses will initiate guided city tours on the bikes, which can go as fast as 20 mph and travel 60 miles when fully charged. The hybrid between a bike and a scooter has pedals in case it runs out of juice, a hand accelerator and hand brakes.

“We are hoping to make Phoenix more approachable and more exciting with these bicycles so people get to see parts of Phoenix you don’t normally see, the unique neighborhoods and businesses and shops in the arts district,” Silverio Ontiveros said.

The bikes can be brought aboard Metro Light Rail to ride around Tempe and other areas near the rail line.

But don’t expect to drop by the rental and touring agency for a peek. The Ontiveroses rent the bikes from the building where they live on Lincoln and Second streets in Phoenix. They will deliver the bikes to customers and to hotels.

Silverio, who was a Phoenix police officer for 33 years, says as long as riders are familiar with bike lanes and traffic laws, they will be OK riding in downtown traffic. However, there are steps the city could take following other large cities’ examples to promote safe bicycling, he said.

“In Mexico City, the municipal government is encouraging people to ride bikes,” he said.

Several European cities have bike-rental programs with stations outside of tourist areas and subway stops.

“I still have a positive feeling that this will take off (in the U.S.),” Silverio said. “In China, there are over 100 million of these electric bikes. I think in the U.S. there are 100,000.”

So far, about half of the customers who’ve rented the bikes have been Valley residents. The couple ride the bikes to church and on errands about town.

“People see it, write down (our) number and ride with their friends,” Silverio said.

Details: EBIKE RENTAL

Cost: 2-hour ride, $29; 2-4 hours, $39; all day until 6 p.m., $49; each additional hour, $15. Discounts available on rental of three bikes or more.

Reservations: coppersquareadventures.com, 602-330-3620.

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