When the Recession of 2008 occurred, it was felt on every level throughout the nation — budgets were slashed, benefits cut, and programs were shut down. Nowhere was it more evident than in the public sector, where infrastructural improvements were suddenly halted. In 2004, the Glendale lightrail was approved and was due for completion in 2017, but with the impact of the recession, the project was delayed indefinitely. With the resurrection of the project through a federal work system, where 50 percent of the project’s budget is sometimes required up front, the pressure is on to reach the proposed deadline of 2026, and the City of Glendale isn’t taking any chances.
“At this time there are at least six alternatives in the downtown area alone.
The Glendale City Council along with Valley Metro is gathering as much public opinion, good or bad, on the alignment and mode possibilities into downtown,” said Matthew Dudley of Glendale’s Transit Manager. “This includes the formation of a 47-member Downtown Glendale Community Working Group comprising of citizens, business owners, landowners, community groups, etc. to help provide an advisory recommendation on an alignment in downtown Glendale,” Dudley added. With plans to be finalized in early 2016, the City of Glendale is making a large effort to educate concerned citizens as much as possible by working with any concerns locals might bring up with the DGCWG. With its neighbors slowly introducing the light rail further into their infrastructural expansion, Glendale risks losing the possible economic improvements many others may enjoy. But with it, and with greater ease of access to Glendale’s stadiums and arenas, Glendale would look at getting a large economic boom.