Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Light rail in Mesa sluggish to help commerce

Merchants along the light rail line in Mesa aren't seeing the financial benefits from being near the busiest stop on the system. Blogger Joanna Allhands blames the problem on the wrong types of merchants and the wrong type of development.

We agree with Allhands on her points, but we also think that there is an even more simplistic answer to the problem. Mesa's only stop is at the absolute end of the line. The traffic is mostly limited to those coming in from further out to board the train and to those coming home at the end of their journey. Therefore, people are close to their car.

If they are just getting out of their car, they have had the chance to stop somewhere else and get what they need. Same goes for when they are done at the end of the day, many would rather get into their vehicle and head toward home instead of doing their shopping right at the end of the line. Having a car gives them the ability to select whatever they want, far beyond the limited options at the end of the line.

The other problem is that there isn't any sort of destination near that stop to draw people from elsewhere on the line. Is there any draw for people to come to Mesa from Phoenix or Tempe?

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

No there isn’t, but our city loves to boast that we have the busiest stop. It is important to our city to see people getting on at this location. I agree with allhands that the businesses are no where close to Transit oriented developments. When the line is extended, this stop will go dead because like you said, there is no reason for anyone to stop here.

Second is, its been ten months since this system opened and we are in the midst of a huge economic downturn? This shows the impatience’s and how out of touch some of these businesses are. The Dobson and main intersection needs to be more urban than suburban use. It encourages people to drive, not walk. Its going to take another 10 years to see this system start working in the way many people planned and envisioned. It has taken even longer for that to happen in Portland and up here in Denver.