Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:
Please keep the discussion going on the future of light rail in Glendale. We need more definitive projections of cost before a final decision is made. I would hope that you would consider the advancement of light rail to at least a transition point of say 52nd Avenue, so that the mile stretch from 43rd to 51st avenues can have the potential of development that is needed to revitalize that area of town. I believe there are developers who are just waiting to see if we will have light rail before they commit to bringing investment dollars to Glendale.
I have concerns, like many of you, about the cost and the negatives of light rail, but know that a lot of those concerns can be mitigated. Light rail is infrastructure and more and more people will be using public transportation in the future. The connectivity of our regional transportation system is critical.
Glendale has paid in millions of dollars and we don’t want to lose that money. We can’t use it for anything else so let’s find a way to get light rail done. The residents of Glendale voted for the light rail and have paid the taxes to bring it to Glendale. Please don’t give our future transportation to Phoenix and the East Valley.
As of Oct. 17, Glendale City Council has given direction (4-3 vote) to end pursuing light rail. As a member of the West Phoenix/Central Glendale Transit Corridor Working Group, I am very disappointed that the recommendations the Working Group made (35-4) to continue looking at options have been ignored and that the discussion of the future of light rail transportation is closed. This workgroup was made up of business owners, property owners and residents from the area that light rail would affect.
My suggestion would have been to send it back to the Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee for further study.
I am also a member of the Government Affairs Council for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. We support the economic development of Glendale and encourage public policy that supports it. This council has made a decision that does not support our position on light rail and the economic development it would bring.
I’m frustrated with the lack of vision for the future. We don’t get anywhere looking in the rear-view mirror and trying to keep Glendale the bedroom community it no longer is. Unless Glendale promotes a regional transportation system like light rail, good luck to the rest of the West Valley.