We have been watching the news about funding for the Mesa light rail extension for quite some time. Yesterday, the East Valley Tribune reported about “Grants to aid Mesa merchants along light-rail route.”
There has been a lot of discussion in the past about how to best help business owners along the line during a lengthy construction period. METRO has reached out to the community, and task forces have been in place to study what can / should be done.
The EV Trib mentions that the grants will be available for businesses between Mesa Drive and Sycamore in downtown Mesa, and that they are intended to help people access businesses while Main Street is restricted.
Fortunately, for some of the businesses along Main Street, there is decent access from behind many of the buildings as some of the street-facing shops already have parking in back. I have said several times in the past that I like the way downtown Mesa is set up for transit development. Many people are not aware of some of the cool old buildings, nice museums, shops and housing options near downtown Mesa.
Last October, Mesa Vice Mayor Kyle Jones talked to Rail Life about the progress of the Mesa Light Rail extension. We talked about the extension, possible changes to the area, and how they would like to “maintain that character that already exists”. While they are interested in bringing more people to the downtown Mesa area and attract new businesses, they hope to “maintain the flavor of the architecture of the buildings”.