There has been a lot of talk recently about the Mesa light rail extension and the effects it could have on the neighborhoods along Main Street. According to a recent press release, the proposed light rail station locations are as follows:
Recommended station locations on Main Street:
East of Alma School Road
East of Country Club Drive
East of Center Street
East of Mesa Drive
These locations were identified for their proximity to activity centers and bus connections, least impact to adjacent property and curbs, economic development potential and convenient pedestrian access.
This past week, people were talking about the possibility of the Chicago Cubs coming to a location near the Mesa light rail line. The East Valley Tribune quoted Mesa City Manager Chris Brady as saying “If there were property available, we’d like to see the stadium as close to light rail as possible.” According to Mayor Smith in the same article, there are several downtown scenarios possible.
While something like moving the Cubbies close to the light rail might be a little more than this baseball fan thinks he could really hope for, the scenario does play into a trend that has been occurring around the nation.
Stadiums new and old from around the country have allowed people to easily get to games. In Phoenix, we have seen huge ridership numbers in relation to the Diamondbacks, Suns, Mercury, Sun Devils etc. While many stadiums are built far from public transportation, there is talk of new demand concerning the development of stadiums near light rail lines. Cities like Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, New York, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia among others are said to see transit as a big part of their appeal.
So, could Mesa become “trendy” in following suit with a somewhat smaller scale project than a major stadium? Where would they put it? Will it help or hurt the area?
It will be interesting to see what happens and where the Cubs end up. You never know, they just might end up rockin’ the Rail life with us…