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June 22, 2018

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Cult profit in concrete:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/southwest-valley-traffic/2018/06/21/south-mountain-freeway-metro-phoenix-more-than-halfway-done/707104002/

I’m sympathetic to light rail but I feel like this topic is really complicated and a deeper analysis is necessary.

While the community may support light rail IN THEORY a lot of local folks will probably be displaced by this development. Knowing how the state likes to minimize damage estimates (I’m thinking of the I-10 eminent domain debacle) people may be right to protest the extension—especially if light rail leads to gentrification and displacement (as it inevitably would in a place like South Phoenix). I thought the Glendale yokels were nuts to turn down light rail (they’re probably just too racist to spend good money on brown communities) but at least the vegan storefronts popping up over there are small, local investors—not the corporate behomeths that accompany light rail. The business owners on south central may be best off being left alone. So while they probably are being played by Koch money, is South Phoenix really ours to fight over? I’d love light rail in So. Phx but not at the cost of losing what’s there, and since i don’t live or work there I don’t know why to care. I mean, outside of thumbing to Sal. I’ll admit that’s pretty important.

And besides, Phoenix has to crash and burn before it can rise out of the ashes again. But Hopefully we can get rail transit all over the valley. If we’re lucky even in our lifetime. Just a thought!!

Interestingly lite rail speeds easterly forward in the rather white city of
conservative Mesa.

Nothing new here. Any area south of the river has always been kept "tamped down". The prevailing thought of the so-called "movers and shakers" of Phoenix has always been to pretend that that area did not exist.

Without a Sneltram, Phoenix's light rail is a POS. I rode it once. Amsterdam's system would have cut the nearly life long trip time by 90%.

Face it, the same corrupt politicians and same corrupt businesses benefited, not citizens.

"Kyle,"

I'd be very interested in specifics. The political elite was opposed to transit, especially LRT. Leaders who supported it took a big chance, although the voters did support it.

"Same corrupt businesses"? Huh? Business has been slow to see LRT's potential. The ruling Real Estate Industrial Complex has always opposed it and seeks to locate businesses in its car-dependent, polluting suburban office "parks."

Start making sense or don't show up.

Say hi to the boys in Wichita.

I think there might be some value in critique of this project if these supposed grassroots opponents of light rail were discussing the potential of the area to gentrify, but that doesn't appear anywhere in their public statements (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). It's disheartening to watch this unfold as the City Council so cavalierly wishes to throw away nearly $600 million of federal funding because one lane in each direction of Central Avenue will be lost in the project's current iteration. Oh the humanity! It's not as if there are bridges to downtown on 7th St and 7th Ave...oh wait.

Phoenix is an amazing city but it could be so much more than an endless horizon of strip malls if the people of Phoenix demanded a better vision for the city and region. But considering how deeply the kookacracy is entrenched - with the physical environment of our sprawling AZ cities built to inhibit the formation of civic spirit - it's open question if Phoenix and enough of Arizona will undergo a paradigm shift to get away from the bleak, polluted, and dreary future the right-wing is building for our state.

Es Verdad

Houston is still building freeways, though technically not "free"ways since they are toll roads. I'm not a fan of the tollways, but that seems to be the way around here for new roads. At least Valley freeways are all still free.

Freeways aren't free. Their costs include climate-change causing greenhouse gas emissions, unhealthy local pollution, inefficient sprawl, damage to center cities and loss of valuable farmland and desert.

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/14/8605917/highways-interstate-cities-history

Take away the "freeways" and the CAP and you have Phoenix 1966. No hordes of immigrants from the heartland. A viable downtown and livable city.

simón

With all due respect I am pasting this here and on the last blog also.

Trump Adviser Rips Into Stephen Miller: 'He's Waffen-SS'

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-adviser-rips-into-stephen-miller-he-s-waffen-ss-1.6192214

A couple of things in response.

First, gentrification of South Phoenix is already happening. This is especially true east of 24th street, where new home development prices range from the upper $200k to $600k. Some of the newcomers are happy to live in a diverse neighborhood, while others want to make it another predominantly white suburb.

Second, there is a core of residents who are making it our business to show up at planning committee meetings and council meetings to look out for the community. The light rail issue is already on our radar and we will show up for it.

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