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View Diary: Obama reversed Tom Delay's ban on Houston Light Rail (100 comments)

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  •  Phoenix (0+ / 0-)

    HCMTA and Phoenix' Valley Metro have exactly the same strategy for light rail.  Take major thoroughfares through densely-populated neighborhoods and lay tracks in the street.  It is not simply laying down tracks and stringing up overhead wire.   In Houston it also involves a complete makeover of the street.  New paving, traffic signals, sidewalks (bike and wheelchair friendly) relocation of utilities and new fiber optics.  I can't speak for Phoenix but I suspect they have done something similar.

    I would not short-change Valley Metro however.  The North Central, Camelback Road and North 19th Avenue section carries quite a lot of riders and most of them are not going to ASU.  I hiked this line in October 2009 and, though I got a lot of photos, I also got an earache from a strong northwester while walking north on Central.

    I guess this is the tradeoff.  You can run light rail as a high-speed commuter service to suburbs at dump your riders off at some industrial park miles from where anyone actually lives like Dallas (Bachman Station):

    Or you can opt for a slower operation but get close to where people live and work like Houston and Phoenix (North Central at McDowell) :

    The point of my article is something we Daily Kos contributors often forget.  These red states like Arizona and Texas have big cities which are progressive and loyal to the Democratic party.  There are really two Texases.  Eventually, I believe in my lifetime, and I am retired, Texas will become a blue state.

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