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Here’s where light rail could be built in west Phoenix

Five years after rejecting a plan to extend light rail into west Phoenix, the city is changing direction.

Based on community input, the council will consider two extensions along Indian School Road. Both would run from Central Avenue to 79th Avenue, but one would also connect the line from Indian School to the light rail station at 19th Avenue and Camelback Road. 

Markus Coleman with the city said the final decision would be about 12 years away. That’s when engineering work could begin.

“Not only does it allow for the community to be able to react to this as we get closer to the implementation, but it also helps us to guide development that is looking to propose on either one of those corridors,” he told the council’s transportation subcommittee on Wednesday.

“The main focuses were ensuring that we had strong access to activity centers as well as providing access to that core of the Maryvale village, ensuring that we were solving for time and cost savings for folks that are looking to go to downtown Phoenix for both work as well as special events,” said Marty Ziech with Valley Metro.

The subcommittee approved the proposal, which will now go before the the full council for a vote. If approved, Valley Metro’s light rail board will review it and send it to the Maricopa Association of Governments, which oversees the regional transportation plan. 

In 2019, city leaders rejected a planned extension from Camelback west to 43rd Avenue after businesses lobbied against it. 

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.