Phoenix voters approved last week a sales tax increase to pay for extensions to their city’s light rail, which increases the odds that Glendale will connect with that system in the next decade.
Acting Deputy Public Works Director Debbie Albert provided this newspaper with a statement Aug. 28 about the outcome of the election.
“The passage of Proposition 104 sends the City of Glendale the message that our partner to the east, Phoenix, is committed to developing a high capacity transit system that will reach the eastern borders of our city,” she said.
Construction on the light rail system in Phoenix is moving towards Grand Canyon University, along Camelback Avenue, and Metrocenter Mall, via an extension on 19th Avenue.
One of those routes is expected to head toward Glendale in the middle of the next decade.
“It gives us confidence to proceed with studying and identifying the type of transit technology we will use and the corridors we should consider to connect with the Valley’s roughly 23 miles of light rail system existing today.” Albert added.
That development could fulfill promises made to Glendale voters when they approved their own transportation sales tax in 2001.
“Transit improvements in the Transportation Election Package include expanding local and express bus service and launching new neighborhood circulators and light rail service,” Valley Metro wrote in a newsletter shortly before the election.
“Estimates allocate 65 percent of expenditures for transit, 31 percent for streets, and four percent for other modes of transportation,” the transportation authority for Maricopa County added in its preview of Glendale’s 2001 election.
Glendale City Hall expects to receive $24.21 million, during the current fiscal year, from the transportation sales tax, according to its 2015-16 budget book.