The first extension of our (current) 20 mile light rail system is projected to begin construction (approximately?) August of 2009. This 3.2 mile extension will continue North on 19th Avenue from the current end of the line station (at 19th Avenue and Montebello) to Dunlap Ave. This "phase 1" project is part of the Northwest Extension and is estimated to cost approximately $300 million and is to begin serving nearly 20,000 residents, more than 20,000 employees and nearly 10,000 housing units in the area by the end of December, 2012.
In an effort to help minimize traffic problems in the areas along 19th Avenue during construction, the city of Phoenix is creating the "METRO Northwest (NWX) Neighborhood Construction Traffic Mitigation Program." This program will be used to work with neighborhoods to get input on traffic concerns as well enabling temporary restrictions, enforcement and education in the neighborhoods. The programs primary goal is to reduce cut-through traffic in surrounding neighborhoods once construction begins. Two of the ways they will slow traffic is through speed humps and additional police enforcement.
Some features of the NWX traffic control program will be:
Speed Humps (local streets only)
Local Traffic Only signs
Radar Speed Trailers
Additional Police Enforcement
Temporary Time-Of-Day Turn Restrictions
This program is still in the developmental stages with implementation beginning "Spring/Summer 2009." The contact number for community information is 602-262-4613. ( Rail Life is NOT associated with the city of Phoenix or with METRO)
While construction is scheduled to begin soon, there are still design and use decisions to be made. This Northwest section will consist of three light rail stations and a park and ride lot. The park and ride lot (if I remember correctly) will be located at the southwest corner of 19th Ave and Dunlap and will be similar in design as the station and lot at Central and Camelback in that, it kind of "cuts the corner" instead of being in the middle of the intersection. The other two stations will be located at Northern and at Glendale Avenues and will be located just south of those intersections. (in the middle of the street.)
Currently, there is still discussion of how the park and ride lot will be built. I have heard of a covered "garage" type structure or the possibility of a surface lot with a deck. (one level of covered parking) Details should be available in the near future. Site considerations and construction design are under review with some of the determining factors being: Estimated parking need, effect on existing business and neighborhoods, efficient connection to light rail station and platform, efficient bus connection, overall safety and efficiency etc. This park and ride facility sounds like it will hold more than most of the others. Currently, the "end of line" park and ride lots each hold approximately 800 vehicles and a study is being done by MAG to model demand for projections of year 2030 ridership numbers.
Another interesting aspect of the park and ride area and station at 19th and Dunlap is the creation of an "open space" area for the public to use. An artist was on hand at this weeks public meeting and spoke of incorporating shade, trees and even a "stage" area where music could be played, a farmers market set up etc. The mention of a stage area of "at least" 20′ x 20′ was discussed. Sorry, I don’t recall many more details than that. However, it was mentioned that a public restroom is being considered.
Several more public meetings are scheduled. I continually ask Metro to notify us of public meetings and will let you know as we hear more.