The Town of Queen Creek is encouraging residents to provide public comment to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) regarding a proposed passenger rail system. The current proposal lists two alternatives from Phoenix to Tucson, the yellow alternative which would include a stop in Queen Creek and the orange alternative which would not include a stop in Queen Creek. While there is currently no construction schedule and no funding for the project, ADOT is conducting long-range planning to help identifying the cost, impacts and benefits of a future passenger rail system.
What is the construction timeline?
There is currently no construction schedule for the project. ADOT is conducting long-range planning for a future passenger rail system. If the project is approved, construction is not anticipated to begin within the next 5 - 10 years (or longer) and could be completed phases depending on how funding becomes available.
Is this for high speed rail or light rail?
The current project is not light rail with frequent stops in various communities. The passenger rail is proposed as a blended service with an express service offering few stops between Phoenix and Tucson, and a local service stopping at several communities along the way.
How many stops will there be in Queen Creek?
While the specific location of the track and stops will be determined in a later phase, the current draft of the yellow alternative includes one stop in Queen Creek and the orange alternative does not include a stop in Queen Creek. The location of the proposed Queen Creek stop in the draft yellow alternative is in the Town Center.
How is this project being funding?
There is currently no funding for this project. ADOT is conducting long-range planning for a future passenger rail system.
Will my property tax dollars be used to fund this project?
It will be up to the public and policymakers to decide if the project is feasible and how to generate the funding to pay for the project.
What’s the difference between the orange and yellow lines?
The map outlines the draft routes for the orange and yellow alternatives. The brown areas on the map indicate a common corridor, where all alternatives would use the same alignment.
Who is supporting the yellow line?
The communities along the yellow alternative all support that option, including the towns of Queen Creek and Gilbert. ADOT is also recommending the yellow alternative due to the cost and environmental impact.
How will the yellow line help Queen Creek?
A passenger rail system through Queen Creek will help draw more businesses to the area. More businesses will increase job opportunities for residents and provide additional tax revenues. The passenger rail will also increase connectivity to larger metropolitan areas and job centers.
Won’t a rail line bring crime and negatively impact the environment?
ADOT conducted an extensive environmental study and determined that the yellow alternative will have less of a negative impact on the environment than the orange alternative.
A specific study on the current proposed rail system related to the impact on crime has not been conducted, however according to a study prepared by the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, it is uncommon for serious crime to occur on rail transit systems. As for whether or not rail transit brings crime to a community, the study reports that like any new development, rail systems can bring crime. However, being aware and having a proactive crime prevention component of the rail development is key to crime prevention and reduction.
Will the rail line reduce my property value?
While a specific study on the current proposed rail system related to impact on property value has not been conducted, new passenger rail systems, like new bus systems, roads, highways or freeways, are an overall asset to a community that raises the quality of life, as a part of a more diversified infrastructure and economy. Anecdotal research indicates mixed results dependent on a variety of factors, however a study conducted by the American Public Transportation Association indicated that the value of homes located in close proximity to public transportation, including passenger rail, were less negatively impacted during the last recession. Additionally the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD) reported a “transit premium,” which is when property values increase as a result of close proximity to high-capacity transit stops.
How can I voice my opinion on the project?
ADOT is seeking public comment through Oct. 30. Input can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed directly to ADOT.
o Online: emailed to email@example.com
o Fax: 602.368.9645
o Mail: ADOT Passenger Rail Study Team, c/o Central Creative, 24 W. Camelback Rd #479, Phoenix, AZ 85013