How light rail could link the West Valley to downtown Phoenix
Last year, we brought you Sanjeev Ramchandra’s plans of how to link Scottsdale to the Metro light rail line.
Now, Ramchandra, who’s been an adjunct professor at local colleges and now works at Mesa Community College, has blueprints for a new light rail line out of downtown Phoenix on Grand Avenue and connecting that to a West Valley commuter rail line and other parts of the region.
Ramchandra proposes a so-called yellow Metro line that connects downtown Phoenix to downtown Glendale with stops along Grand Avenue.
His light rail line would link to a light rail extension the city of Phoenix is already developing from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain area.
“My plan embraces a regional transportation perspective and should provide higher ridership numbers, greater land use efficiencies, and economic redevelopment along this corridor,” he said.
Ramchandra’s plans call for seven Grand Avenue stops including at Roosevelt Street, McDowell, Indian School and Camelback roads and ending at downtown Glendale.
A potential West Valley commuter rail line would connect to the light rail system at the Glendale stop.
Phoenix voters approved a business-backed sales tax measure last year to fund new lines and extensions of the light rail system.
A Grand Avenue line is not part of current plans.
Ramchandra — who previously advocated for ASU West and ASU Polytechnic be spun off from Arizona State University — said the Glendale to South Mountain line would run 16 miles and have 17 stations.
His plans call for express buses to the Capital District area west of downtown, along Interstate 10 from Loop 101 into downtown Phoenix. and along Camelback Road between the current Metro line at 19th Avenue and the Grand Avenue link at 43rd Avenue.
He contends the Grand Avenue line would bring new development and jobs to the industrial corridor which is already home to a railroad line.
The Grand Avenue area includes plenty of industrial space but also some lower-scale commercial and retail development. The plans, which are just Ramchandra’s proposal for what West Valley transit could look like, include some elevated light rail tracks and reconfigured stoplights along Grand Avenue as well as several real estate redevelopment areas.
There would also be shuttle buses along the Grand-South Mountain line linking to Phoenix College, South Mountain Community College, GCU and Glendale Community College.