This is an article from the September 2008 edition
of "Tempe Town News" which I got at the Tempe Public Library.
It was on page 4.
Just listen to the BS that Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman shovels
about light rail.
If you beleive this article light rail will be the salvation of the universe.
Tempe set for new era of transportation
By Mayor Hugh Hallman
After decades of visioning and planning, we are almost there. Our light rail line, and its opening celebration this December will help strengthen our economy, sustain our environment, and offer cultural connections that reach across boundaries. We are witnessing the results of the very best efforts of citizens, government and the business community.
In December, we will mark the opening of light rail, but really we will be celebrating our success at efforts building an integrated public transportation system. We began this journey decades ago by including bike paths, walking trails and other intra-city connections throughout our community. These features have allowed our residents to get from home to community amenities without getting into a car. We have added a ubiquitous bus system that provides the means to travel longer distances, primarily for the commute to work.
To increase the convenience and efficiency of the system, we launched Orbit, a neighborhood circulator system that brings mass transit to our community’s front doors. We added the youth transportation pass to the program. That allows young people to travel throughout the area at no charge, as a reward for staying in school and as one more way we can reduce the strain of transportation costs on family budgets. Families can avoid buying an additional car, and can decrease time spent transporting kids to school programs, the library or part-time jobs.
Now Tempe’s portion of the light rail system is coming on line. It will be completed under budget, on time, and at the highest quality standard in the nation. The light rail is the latest strand in the powerful web of our strategically planned and robust public transportation system.
We are proud to have partnered with the cities of Mesa and Phoenix in developing the Valley’s first light rail system. In the same way that traffic jams do not know city borders, we must ignore borders when it comes to solving regional transportation issues. We have initiated a new era in local and regional cooperation—collaborating as neighbors to solve issues and ensure an exceptional quality of life for our residents.
Next, we will work to tackle commuter rail, giving those from outside the immediate area the means to get to and from the heart of the Valley without waiting hours on a freeway. This solution will help Tempe by reducing pressure on our surrounding roadways and thereby reducing cut-through traffic in our community.
Tempe will welcome future residents who will be making homes in the redevelopment projects near light rail stations. The private sector has joined our effort in significant ways to make the best use of light rail’s presence within our community. Whether you have supported or opposed light rail, I believe we all can agree that it is in our community’s best interest to continue working together to ensure its success. As gas prices likely will continue to climb, these efforts show the value in the foresight we have applied to our community’s development.
This December, we anticipate several hundred thousand people will come together over the course of an entire week to celebrate one of the most exciting and historic events of our region’s history. This event harkens to the time in 1932 when the “new” Mill Avenue Bridge was dedicated. With our new light rail bridge across Tempe Town Lake now complete, we can look even farther into the future. We know there is still much work to be done on our transportation system. As the pieces of our integrated transportation plan come together, the picture becomes more clear and we know we are making excellent progress that will improve our residents’ quality of life.