When it comes to light rail parking, most people think of the Park and Ride lots and maybe the effect its had on different types of riders. But I recently received a call asking me to come see how a "parked" light rail car was blocking the view of a business on Main Street in Mesa. It turns out that Metro leaves an empty, parked light rail car at the end of the line each day. I was aware of the "turn around" area where the tracks cross at the end of each line in order to change directions, but I did not know a train was left there so that an empty train can leave the end of the line at the end of the service day. To an ordinary passenger boarding the train at Sycamore this empty light rail car does not really stand out. But it would if you were Jeff Ginzel or some of the other business owners East of Sycamore on Main Street.
Jeff Ginzel owns Rayco Car Service located at 1728 West Main Street in Mesa, which is just East of the end of the line at Sycamore and Main Street. The problem, for Jeff, is the large train parked in the middle of Main, directly outside of his front door, and cars traveling East on Main Street can not see his business or even the large sign out front. Jeff says it is hard for people to find his business, even if they know the address or have been given directions. "They don't see me when coming from the West and sometimes end up at Alma School before turning around or calling for directions".
The first Metro operator Jeff spoke to didn't seem to want to be bothered with his concern; the second was very polite but nothing has been changed. Trying a third time, Jeff placed a call to a Metro line section coordinator who promises to get back with him. In talking to Jeff, you quickly realize he thinks the light rail is great. "I am a fan of the light rail and look forward to taking the train to see the Diamondbacks this year." Ginzel doesn't want to cause problems or come off as a complainer. He would just like some answers and to see if there is a way they can move the train further down the line (where it would probably block other people), or see if they can park the train at the maintenance facility until it is needed. Without a doubt, parking an empty train in the middle of Main Street blocks the view from what should be some very valuable frontage road on a busy street. "There have been customers who have dropped off their cars and taken the train to work", said Jeff.