Tempe streetcar designers looking for feedback on proposal

TEMPE, AZ - Wednesday night is your chance to get a look at the new design concepts for the streetcar being built in Tempe.

Work starts this summer on a new streetcar system and the design team is ready to show off some of the concepts, street placement, and artwork -- and they're looking to get your feedback.

The streetcar will have 14 stops, mostly along Mill Avenue, which could look like smaller light rail stops. 

Also similar to the light rail, the streetcar would run on its own track, leaving room for car, bicycle and foot traffic.

A planned three-mile route stretches from Marina Heights, down Mill Avenue, winding around the downtown core and continuing on to Dorsey and Apache Boulevard. Riders will be able to connect to the light rail system at two points, near the Mill Avenue/3rd Street Station and at the Apache Blvd/Dorsey Station.

It's a big opportunity for local businesses to make Mill Avenue more of a destination and draw people further into town from big events at Tempe Beach Park. The streetcar will also help locals in the city connect to the light rail so they can more easily access other Valley cities.

"We really hope that this will help people connect to the events, all the different activities in Tempe and it will connect too with the regional system, Valley Metro rail." said Corinne Holliday with Valley Metro.

Project managers expect to move out of the design process and start underground street work this summer.

The Tempe streetcar project capital costs are estimated at $186 million and will be funded using regional proposition 400 funds, local funds and federal grant dollars.

Wednesday's public meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tempe Transportation Center's Don Cassano room at 200 E. 5th St. 

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