Statement from Councilman Daniel Valenzuela on His Vote on the South Central Light Rail Extension

“From day one, I supported this project. Light Rail serves as a critical tool for economic development and neighborhood revitalization. More importantly, it is a low-cost transportation alternative which allows our citizens to connect across Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport, Tempe and Mesa. Providing greater access to jobs, schools, entertainment, medical care and other professional services.

The City Council approved the two-lane configuration along South Central in 2014. Voters approved Proposition 104, a transit tax to help fund the expansion, in 2015. Keeping our promise to the residents who voted for the expansion of light rail is very important.

In recent weeks, it became apparent that many south Phoenix residents were not aware of the impact of the light rail expansion.

The Council vote today allows for a review to see if Central Avenue can maintain 4 lanes of traffic along portions of the 6-mile long route. There is the potential the city risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money. However, I feel confident that staff and Valley Metro will make an honest attempt to listen to residents to try and resolve their concerns while keeping the project on track to meet important deadlines.”

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