Mesa light rail should bypass Main Street - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Mesa light rail should bypass Main Street

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:35 pm | Updated: 12:44 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Scott Rychener: Bringing the light rail straight down Main Street is yet another prime example of the most money spent for the least people served. I offer a route that is probably not for cheapskates, but would be my perfect Mesa. The rail would continue on Main from the Sycamore light-rail station to a transitional split at Country Club Drive, where it would become single-track routes.

Bringing the light rail straight down Main Street is yet another prime example of the most money spent for the least people served. I offer a route that is probably not for cheapskates, but would be my perfect Mesa.

The rail would continue on Main from the Sycamore light-rail station to a transitional split at Country Club Drive, where it would become single-track routes. The east route would follow First Avenue and then turn south at Center Street, running parallel to the Union Pacific tracks, sharing that right of way to a point just before the rail interchange at Baseline Road. The Arizona Republic no longer prints newspapers at its Mesa facility, which has several switches and sidings in place that would put Mesa conveniently on the commuter rail path to the main line and the Chandler spur on the day that commuter rail arrives. The Arizona Republic property and the adjoining employee parking would make an excellent hub station to interchange rail, light rail, buses with a park-and-ride.

The west route would return north through the rail/freeway underpass and turn to follow the freeway right of way to Mesa Drive. North again to First Street and turn back west to merge the line again at Country Club Drive. Imagine all the large businesses and industry that would be served with customer and employee transportation. Much of the distance requires no relocations or business disruptions.

Downtown Main Street rail will have all the charm, glamour, practicality and expansion possibilities of a child’s HO scale model railroad empire crammed on a 4 feet by 8 feet sheet of plywood. No thanks, no ride.

Scott Rychener

is a Mesa resident

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