By Jason Leach
Published April 20, 2009
I stumbled across an amazing photo tour from Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, Phoenix: the dead city in the desert, as I usually refer to it.
I remember being excited for my first visit to Phoenix five years ago, only to arrive and be perplexed the entire time as to why anyone would move there. It's such a sprawling, suburban city it made Mississuaga look like Manhattan.
However, a few years ago Phoenix decided to construct a light rail line linking their 'downtown' (trust me, there wasn't much of a downtown when I was there) with one of the local universities.
Ridership is higher than projected on the LRT line, and many people have closely watched the experience in Phoenix to see if LRT could actually work in such a car-oriented, suburban city.
So far, the results have been positive. As always seems to be the case with LRT projects is the re-urbanization and rediscovery of urban neighbourhoods and urban living - even in the sprawling desert.
These photos are of a new urban park with a very cool art installation in downtown Phoenix. In one of the photos you can see the LRT gliding by.
There will always be those folks here in Hamilton, and in every city, who say "it can't work here". They've come to love and accept the status quo.
Having been to Phoenix, and now closely following their experience with light rail and all the new residential projects that are being built downtown along the LRT line, I can say confidently that if it can work in Phoenix, it can work anywhere!