Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fares needed on board METRO tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2009

After five successful days of free rides, carrying upwards of 280,000 people on board METRO, tomorrow begins revenue service. Fares will be required with the rollout of service on Thursday, Jan. 1 at 4 a.m.

Fares can be purchased from METRO fare vending machines – a minimum of two per station area – or existing bus fare media can be used. Because METRO and bus service share the same fare system, pricing and passes are also the same and can be use interchangeably from bus to rail, rail to bus.

Fares start at $1.25 for a single ride (on bus or rail, not both) and up to $45 for a 31-day pass. Passes must be activated before boarding.

An all-day, 3-day, 7-day or 31-day pass only needs to be activated once; with activation, the pass will be stamped with its expiration date. If you have a platinum pass (or plastic bus card), you must tap this card on the orange validator pad located on the fare vending machines before each boarding.

And make sure to keep your pass handy as METRO works on a proof-of-payment system; you are likely to run into a security officer who will ask to see your valid transit pass. If you cannot present a valid pass, citations can be issued ranging from $50 - $500.

Source: Metro Rail

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

METRO station celebrations on Dec. 27

Come celebrate METRO light rail’s grand opening with several unique, community-inspired station celebrations in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa on Saturday, Dec. 27.

While METRO’s grand opening is that entire weekend, Saturday is for those who like celebrations. Please join us for any of the following station celebrations occurring across the METRO line from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In addition to the following attractions, all station celebrations will include exhibitions from local businesses and community groups.

Thomas and Central Ave. – Health and Wellness

· Sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

· Health and wellness fair including the MOM (or women’s health) Mobile

· Live entertainment with performances by Jonnie and Brookie, Billy Cioffi Band and David Bernstein

Source: Metro Light Rail

3rd Street Promenade (Meeting Notes)

The following information constitutes a description of items discussed at the November 25, 2008 meeting between the Community of 3rd Street and Otak:

Pedestrian Friendly

· West side is hard to walk

· Not comfortable to stroll, not exciting

· Parts are good

· North of Thomas is hot and dusty

· Traffic is bad and mean

· South of Thomas, several locations where there are no sidewalks. Lovely.

· No – not a comfortable street to stroll along – gaps, not as exciting on Central

· Some places, north of Thomas, facilities but not friendly, south of Thomas, attractive but lack facilities

· Best way to get Downtown increasing access from the east to freeway

· Less car friendly not so much; make it less car friendly to improve it, less cars

· Not too much commercial

· Needs shade and multi-family

· Lack of sidewalk is a huge problem

· Virginia and 3rd is dangerous; lots of student traffic on Virginia – intersection is a difficult pedestrian crossing

· Hard to find n/s bike routes east of central

· Nice street to walk on compared to other streets

· Sometimes there are trees and buffers and these are great

· Like to see more mixed-use

· Encourage multi-family use and more sidewalks

· South of Palm Lane and McDowell – No sidewalk – historic house has a fence almost to curb

· Don’t see many pedestrians, not adequate for school foot traffic

· Lots of student traffic along Virginia but the crossing is not safe

· Most intersections lack ramps

· Not comfortable to bike

· Public art along 3rd would be nice

· Nice to be a parade route

· Sea of asphalt north of Thomas

· Might not be one ADA ramp on the west side of the street

· Street lights are not uniform and not as many as needed for pedestrians; old style

· Need wider sidewalk to encourage seniors safety

· East side has moot businesses

Greatest Asset

· Historic neighborhoods and their residents

· Mature trees, especially around the historic corridors and older areas

· Schools

· Vehicular circulation and direct access Downtown

· Historic neighborhoods

· Cultural/urban identity

· It doesn’t go anywhere – lends itself to slower traffic

· Wider lanes – limited visual clutter is good for cars

· Less congested, less stress with vehicles than other streets

· No visual distractions

· Turn lanes are more controlled

· Residential character

· Buildings at Earll and 3rd are assets

· China Chili is an asset

· Area north of McDowell is great

· Public art opportunities

· Parks

· Possible tie to Roosevelt District and Urban Form Project

· Street has a distinct beginning and end


· Money

· Property owners giving up some property; maybe some won’t cooperate

· Maintenance is needed and no money is designated

· Need to move too many cars in the downtown area

· More land doesn’t make it nicer

· R.O.W.

· Traffic speed

· Lack of shade

· Flat suburban street

· Utilities – overhead wires/poles conflict with footpaths and street character

· Sidewalk connectivity has gaps

· Historic properties

· Palm and 3rd is accident prone


· Tree-lined street

· Urban residential feeling

· Park Central Mall to be really interesting

· Building are not too tall/high

· 3rd and Elliott – become focal area

· Traffic circles with art

· Pedestrian shelters

· Small shops

· Will be like 3rd Avenue with roundabouts and frontage

· Lawns

· Connectivity to other districts

· Informal wayfinding

· Curb cuts, rainwater harvesting, night sky, curb cuts

· Quest building coming down with a proposed potential senior living development – process is stopped

· Qwest building redevelopment 3 – 5 story building

· Small commercial, pull back to Park Central

· Commercial along Earll – multi-family residential

· North of Indian School, nice small infill

· 3rd Street to Earll becomes the focal village

· Foster what is there

· Promote open space on edges

· More trees

· Intermediate intersection – traffic circles

· Pedestrian facilities with benches and tables

· Transition height and spacing between business and residential

· More shade and less traffic

· It is the street that you walk up

· Nicely landscaped

· High rise and condo in the urban area

· Street meets MAG Standards

· Buildings against sidewalk, especially on west side

· Access mitigation

· Mixed-use

· Public art

· Strong connection between DT and Park

· More diversity

· Like Central between Bethany Home and Northern

· Street becomes a destination. All 3rd Street utilities are underground

· There's a traffic light at Indian School, Thomas, McDowell, and maybe Osborn. All other controlled intersections are managed with traffic circles.

· In addition, a traffic circle at Coronado manages traffic entering for the art museum and theater

· The traffic circle at Coronado and the first one south of Indian School would be prominently branded to point out that drivers are entering a special zone shared with pedestrians and cyclists.

· Car traffic is one lane in each direction, with a shared turn lane in the center

· Bike paths have been added

· Easements have been widened to accommodate wider sidewalks and planting beds

· Seating would be available. A mix of benches and tables/chairs (anchored for security and sheltered by canopies and/or vegetation) would be nice.

· Sidewalks are surfaced for pedestrian comfort and safety.

· Street lights are softer and provide a suffused light, avoiding the glare-and-shadow effect that actually limits night vision.

· Cross streets closest to light rail stops on Central would have visual and/or tactile markers guiding pedestrians to 3rd Street

· And, of course, there would be a pub.


· Water harvesting

· Permeable pavement

· Night sky lighting

· Needs a pub

· It becomes an attraction or it needs an attraction

Source: Otak

Sunday, December 21, 2008

METRO free-ride days

METRO light rail will offer five free-ride days from Dec. 27 – 31, 2008, plus a few extra hours on New Year’s Eve. We encourage everyone to come out and experience the system, learn how to ride and how light rail can be integrated into your travel plans.

Below are the hours of free-ride service each day:

Saturday, Dec. 27 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; station celebrations will occur from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 28 – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 29 – Regular service hours (4 a.m. – midnight with the first full trip, across all 20 miles, occurring at 4:40 a.m. and the last full trip at 11 p.m.)

Tuesday, Dec. 30 – Regular service hours (4 a.m. – midnight with the first full trip, across all 20 miles, occurring at 4:40 a.m. and the last full trip at 11 p.m.)

Wednesday, Dec. 31 – Regular service hours will begin the day; however, METRO will stay open late to support New Year’s Eve patrons offering the last full trip, across all 20 miles, at 2 a.m. from either end.

Source: Metro Rail

Street closures for METRO grand opening

The following street closures will occur to allow for set-up and execution of METRO’s large station celebrations in Phoenix:

Third Street between Monroe and Jefferson streets 7 p.m. on Dec. 26th through midnight Dec. 27th

Washington Street between 2nd and 5th streets 7 p.m. on Dec. 26th through midnight Dec. 27th.

Source: Metro Rail

METRO citations extend to misconduct on board the trains or stations‏

METRO citations extend to misconduct on board the trains or stations

METRO has a zero-tolerance policy for violators of its code of conduct. The cities in which METRO runs through – Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa – have approved a set of ordinances and policies that are designed to protect the health, security and safety of passengers. Violators are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $500 dollars and may lose their public transit privileges.

In addition to citing for fare evasion, the ordinances and policies allow security officers to quash negative behaviors on the train or platform that have an impact on the overall customer experience and reliability of service.

A few of the key ordinances and policies to watch for are:

· Eating is not allowed on the train, although you may carry groceries.

· Non-alcoholic beverages are permitted if carried in an unbreakable, spill-proof container such as a commuter cup or screw-top plastic bottle.

· Earphones are required when using audio or video devices.

· Alcohol and tobacco are prohibited.

· Vandalism or willful destruction of METRO property is punishable by fine.

· Do not lie down or place your feet on the seats. Always yield the priority seating area to seniors and people with disabilities.

· You may not spend more than one hour at a METRO station.

· Leashed or harnessed guide or service animals are permitted on the train. All other animals must be carried inside a completely enclosed and secured cage or carrying case small enough to fit on a rider’s lap and must not endanger or disturb other passengers.

These ordinances apply to all transit vehicles in the Valley, including local bus.

For more information on how to ride the train, download the METRO “Ride Guide” at

Source: Metro Rail

Friday, November 21, 2008


· Improved pedestrian signals – Improvements include countdown signals, new walkways and landscaping to reduce jaywalking. Special attention has been given to safety in school zones with the installation of new signals at some crossings.

· Protected turn lanes – Automobiles may turn across the METRO tracks only from designated turn lanes controlled by red and green arrows.

· Train-only guideway – METRO travels in its own guideway, separated from traffic by six inch curbs. Auto traffic may cross only at controlled locations, and special traffic signals and warning signs activate when train approaches.

· Station design – Stations are designed to discourage jaywalking. Each station has two access points, reachable be signalized crosswalk. Station platforms and vehicle floors are the same height, providing passengers with a no-step entry.

· Signals at frontage roads – Frontage roads near the tracks are controlled with traffic signals and are designed to handle large trucks and emergency vehicles.

· Vehicle design – Cameras inside and outside allow METRO operators to ensure that passengers clear the doors while boarding and deboarding. Doors must close before the vehicle can move. Smooth stops mean that no wheelchair tie-downs are needed.

· Light rail coupler design – To minimize injuries in the event of a collision, the couplers that connect the light rail vehicles are covered in an energy absorbing material. This cutting-edge design is likely to be used nationwide on future light rail systems.

Source: Metro Light Rail via Phoenix Police Department - Squaw Peak Precinct

Friday, November 14, 2008

METRO plans for system-wide parties on Dec. 27

PHOENIX — Come celebrate METRO light rail’s grand opening with several unique, community-inspired station celebrations in Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 27.

While METRO’s grand opening is that entire weekend, Saturday is for those who like celebrations. You’ll find something of interest at every METRO station, including nine large-scale station celebrations at locations across the 20-mile alignment.

The current station celebration closest to the Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association's boundaries and its respective party theme is identified below. METRO is grateful to its station celebration sponsors who are also listed and key to the creation of these events.

Thomas and Central Ave. – Health and Wellness
Sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, enjoy entertainment and educational activities that will help you safeguard and improve your health.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Phoenix to Reduce Valley Metro Bus Service in December

Early Morning and Late Night Weekday Trips as Well as Saturdays Affected

The city of Phoenix Public Transit Department received approval from the Phoenix City Council to make cuts to its Valley Metro bus service in December because of rapidly declining sales tax revenues. The move will save the city $7.4 million dollars over the next 18 months. More service cutbacks are expected in July 2009; but city council hopes to restore service in better economic times.

On Dec. 29, 2008, cuts will be made to all Monday through Friday bus trips that start within Phoenix before 5 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Effectively, that eliminates 172 weekday trips during non-peak times impacting an estimated 3,600 daily passenger boardings. Phoenix buses carry about 161,000 daily boardings or about 70% of all bus riders in the Valley.

Included in the service changes, are a reduction of trip frequencies on Saturdays to match Sunday service levels, which run less often.

A trip is one-way travel from beginning to end of a route, which is the bus’s designated path. Frequency is the number of trips a bus makes in an hour.

Other changes effective on Dec. 29, that were approved previously by city council, will reconfigure or eliminate certain Phoenix bus routes to complement light rail service: the Red Line is eliminated and replaced by rail service; the Blue Line south of Camelback is eliminated; and Route 15-15th Avenue is extended to serve both the Metrocenter Transit Center and Sky Harbor.

The bus schedule changes will be available in the December 2008 edition of the Valley Metro Transit Book and on-line at


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Metro Light Rail Celebration Exbitor and Volunteers Needed

With celebrations across the 20-mile alignment and more than 200,000 people expected, METRO light rail is seeking volunteer support for the launch of Arizona’s first light rail system on December 26, 27 and 28, 2008.

Volunteers, or “METRO Ambassadors,” are needed to support the many aspects of a launch party this large. Ambassadors will be asked to perform such key duties as greeting and queuing passengers at station platforms; providing information about the days’ events and how the light rail system works; assisting in set-up and break-down of the events; and monitoring for safety.

METRO Ambassadors will receive proper training, including an up-close look at the METRO light rail system, a uniform as well as a “token” of METRO’s appreciation. So, if you’re a train fanatic, transportation enthusiast or just interested in being a part of this historic event, we have a grand opening post for you.

A complete outline of the volunteering opportunities are available at:

Complete the volunteer application at:

A complete outline and application of exhibitor opportunities are available at:

The deadline to apply is November 14.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Thursday, October 16, 2008

METRO free-ride weekend has been extended

PHOENIX — Your window to experience the new METRO light rail system for free has been extended through Dec. 31.

Fares will be required beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

The original plans for METRO’s grand opening included a free-ride weekend on Saturday, Dec. 27 and Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 only. But with a recent Board decision, the opportunity to offer a greater number of free rides and exposure to this new system was approved.

Free rides will be offered from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28; and as part of METRO’s regular service hours on Monday, Dec. 29 – Wednesday, Dec. 31.

More information on the METRO grand opening will be forthcoming.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Comic Book Star Designs METRO Pass

Comic book superstar Todd McFarlane to design Preview Pass commemorative ticket

PHOENIX — One of the region’s hottest tickets this year will also be one of the most collectible. Phoenix-based and internationally-renowned artist Todd McFarlane (Spawn, Spider-man) will create original artwork for the limited-edition METRO Preview Pass.

McFarlane’s design will serve as the “golden ticket” to get you in the door of the preview ride on Dec. 26 and as your keepsake of METRO light rail’s historic grand opening.

METRO’s Preview Pass event will permit a select group of residents, dignitaries and local celebrities to ride the final test train on Friday, Dec. 26 – the day before the public grand opening.

Members of the general public who are passengers on this preview ride will have won their McFarlane-designed Preview Pass from a media outlet. Media outlets from across the Valley are currently submitting proposals to METRO for how they would creatively distribute passes to their listeners, readers or viewers. [REMINDER to media: proposals are due by Friday, Oct. 17 by 5 p.m.]

Grammy- and Emmy-winning producer/director Todd McFarlane is the force behind McFarlane Toys, one of America’s top action figure manufacturers. McFarlane Toys' hotly anticipated Halo 3 and Guitar Hero lines are slated to hit stores nationwide late October. The company also produces officially licensed NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL figures. Visit and the McFarlane retail store at Westgate City Center in Glendale.

Source: Metro Lightrail

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reversible Lane Update‏

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the discussion about the reversible lanes on 7th Avenue and 7th Street. In particular, I would like to thank our friends at SAMA and the various neighborhood associations who worked so diligently on this issue. There was a packed house yesterday at the City Council meeting with residents representing many different views. This was a great example of how the democratic process works.

After public input and debate among my colleagues, it became clear that we did not have the Council votes to eliminate the reversible lanes at this time. On the bright side, Council members reached a compromise to continue to review our options. The reversible lanes will remain as is for now, but we will continue to study possible alternatives to make them safer, taking into consideration how light rail and other traffic conditions may change in the near future. I also convinced my colleagues that we should analyze the feasibility of permanent photo radar speed enforcement along the Sevens. Permanent radar enforcement could provide a safer street environment, as well as provide a source of potential revenue to fund improvements on both of these streets. My colleagues also agreed to install a pedestrian crosswalk light at Glenrosa and 7th Avenue and to further explore additional pedestrian crosswalk lights along the Sevens. Safety is a priority, so I am pleased that pedestrian crosswalks were included.

The City Council will reconsider the issue before our Council recess next summer. Hopefully, the Council will agree to make changes that will improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians, if not eliminating the reversible lanes completely.


Source: Tom Simplot, Councilman, District 4 E-News

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reversible Lanes Update

The Phoenix City Council will be discussing the future of the reversible lanes on Tuesday, October 7th at 2 pm.

The meeting will be held at the Council Chambers located at 200 W Jefferson.

I believe that the reversible lanes create a dangerous environment and have a negative impact on the quality of life of our neighborhoods. This is a very important issue that will affect many Phoenix residents, so I encourage you to attend the City Council meeting and voice your opinion.

Councilman Tom Simplot, District 4, E-News

Friday, September 26, 2008

Suicide Lane Challange

I am offering a suggestion to anyone who doesn’t understand why residents who live around the suicide lanes dislike them so much. Take the “Suicide Lane Challenge”!

In order to play, you will need to use your imagination, and visualize yourself running a few basic errands on your way home from work, but imagine that you live in any neighborhood between McDowell and Dunlap off of 7th Ave or 7th Street. Picture yourself leaving work at 4:30, getting in your car and heading off to buy stamps, purchase a birthday gift, and pick-up groceries in central Phoenix. First you would head to the post office to buy stamps, then you would drive to Spectrum Mall or Target to buy a birthday gift, next you would head to a grocery store to pick up groceries for dinner, and finally you would drive to your chosen neighborhood.

Now on your path, count how many cars you saw trying to turn at the main intersections illegally. Also count how many cars going against traffic were trying to turn east mid intersection, and had to stop traffic flow, backing up cars behind them waiting for them to turn.

Which neighborhood did you cut through in order to get to Spectrum Mall? Did you pick that neighborhood street to cut through solely because it was the only chance traffic would allow? Did you speed through the neighborhood? How did I know that you cut-through a neighborhood? Because that was your ONLY option. Did you pick the grocery store solely because what side of the street you were on, or have you already com to the conclusion that it really isn’t worth the trouble to patronize these businesses at all?

Think about your new quality of life, now that you have moved to central Phoenix. Is running errands a pleasurable experience? Think about your state of mind because of the number of people who were irritated at you for turning where you chose? Did they throw you the finger? Did they honk? Did they almost ram into your car?

Through this challenge, were you:

A. Tempted to pick a grocery store not on 7th Ave or 7th St?

B. Wait until after suicide lane hours to run your errands (remember what time the post office closes)?

C. Reschedule your life around this lane? D. Buy a gift at the grocery store instead? (Nice gift!)

Is all this hassle for a central-Phoenix resident worth the extra 10 minutes or so it’s going to take a north-Phoenix commuter to drive? Can the small percentage of north-Phoenix residents who commute to downtown not take the extra ten minutes so that ALL of the 114,000 central-Phoenix residents can have a turn lane and be able to turn at major intersections?

I ask that before you make a decision to keep the suicide lanes, that you take the “Suicide Lane Challenge” so that you understand where most of the residents come from. And realize how this important City Council vote will affect the central Phoenix residents’ quality of life.

Disclaimer: When doing the challenge, make sure you are wearing your seatbelt is tight, you use the rearview mirror often, and be very careful.

Source: Teresa Stickler, Carnation Resident and Melrose Pharmacy Owner

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ASU Traffic Study

What the ASU Traffic Study showed us...

The reverse lane study done by ASU showed us that there is major discontent with the reverse lanes. Only 10% of the people polled were satisfied with the lanes as they are. The study also pointed out that in cities where they have removed the lanes (such as Tucson), more people are satisfied with the roads, even if there is an increase in congestion. Returningthe lanes to normal flow is the most cost effective remedy to changing the lanes.

Source: Councilman Tom Simplot, District 4 News

A Message from the Councilman...

Many of our neighbors have already contacted me about their wishes to remove these lanes. I have been told stories of accidents, near misses, road rage, rampant cut-through traffic, and the hassles and lost time spent by central residents who have to avoid these roads intheir daily commute.

The facts are plain -- these lanes cause a lot of unnecessary hassles to our neighborhoods, all to provide a few minutes savings on the commute for others. I think we are all for efficient traffic regulation, but not at the expense of our neighborhoods.

Considerable time, efforts and resources have gone into revitalizing our city's core areas. These lanes are one of the last remaining vestiges of a time when the downtown was simply a place to go to work in the morning, and leave at night. Now, we have numerous cultural sporting and dining options, and a reason to stay or to godowntown in the evenings as well.

Getting rid of these lanes would further our goal of creating a vibrant and thriving downtown urban experience.

Source: Councilman Tom Simplot, District 4 News

Reverse Lane Update

For thirty years, the reverse lanes, or so called suicide lanes, have cut through our neighborhoods in an effort to speed traffic on its way to the northern suburbs of our city.

These lanes were put in place before we had the 51, and before the upgrades to the I-17 freeway.

Our neighborhoods have been fighting to remove these lanes for years. I am happy to say that we are making progress towards that goal, but still have a long way to go.

On October 7th, my colleagues and I will be holding a study session to discuss the future of these lanes, and whether they stay, go, or are in some way changed to make them work better.

Personally, I would like to see them go. They are a dangerous aspect of our area that encourage speeding, cause way too many accidents, cut our neighborhoods in half, and make it difficult for our businesses to thrive.

Some of my colleagues agree with me, and some do not. I encourage you to let them know just how you feel about these lanes, so that they may fully understand the impact they have on our central city and our quality of life in general.

Source: Councilman Tom Simplot, District 4 News

Route 582 N. Mountain Alert

Route 582 - North Mountain Express AM Inbound alert from 09/08/08 05:00 AM - 10/15/08 05:00 AM.

Regular route to 29th Ave. and Greenway Rd.

South on 29th Ave.

West on Country Gables Dr.

South on 30th Dr.

West on St. Moritz

South on 31st Ave.

Resume regular route at 31st Ave. and St. Moritz

Source: Valley Metro

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Are you interested in being a volunteer Transportation Blog roving reporter?

We encourage you to share your news and comments on this daily Blog. Feel free to use this news Blog to distribute information about unrepaired pot holes, warning signs, street and traffic lights in our neighborhood. Press releases about bus and light rail changes and development in our neighborhood are also encouraged. Email links are provided to submit content and must include your name, so we can include it into the Blog post.

You must at least 13 years of age.

Please include your name, so that we can cite you as the post's author.

Alton Jones
Chair, Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association