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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