It seems like we have been talking about this on again / off again Tempe Streetcar project for a LONG time. The potential route has been analyzed over and over again, just like the funding mechanisms, the demographics, etc. Heck, the thing is applauded one day and scorned the next. For now, it seems like more progress is being made and there seems to be some forward momentum.
Check out this press release from today that talks about the next steps for the Tempe Streetcar line. This environmental clearance is a good sign. Hopefully, we hear more about the next phase of the saga early in 2016.
For immediate release
November 19, 2015
Tempe Streetcar Receives Environmental Clearance
PHOENIX, AZ — The Federal Transit Administration announced that the Tempe Streetcar received a Finding of No Significant Impact (or FONSI), which indicates that the three-mile project will have no significant environmental effect on the neighboring communities.
“With this environmental clearance, we are one step closer to providing another option for the growing number of Tempe residents, students and workers who rely on public transit every day,” said Tempe Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Vice Chair Mark Mitchell. “The finding that there are no significant environmental effects on our neighborhoods is not only good for our residents, but it means that we can continue to compete for federal dollars for the project.”
The Environmental Assessment includes review of potential impacts to the neighboring environment such as noise and vibration, traffic and parking, historical and archaeological resources.
The streetcar will travel on Rio Salado Parkway from the Marina Heights development west to Mill Avenue. It will make a downtown loop on Mill and Ash avenues and continue south to Apache Boulevard and east to Dorsey Lane where it will connect with the Apache Blvd/Dorsey Lane station. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017 with completion scheduled for 2019.
At this time, Valley Metro and the City of Tempe await notification from the Federal Transit Administration in early 2016 on the application submitted to receive funding through the Small Starts grant program.
For more information on the Tempe Streetcar, visit valleymetro.org/tempestreetcar.