Thursday, October 9, 2008

I am in my car listening to Ben Folds before class, blogging from my phone. I am looking at the downtown buildings; they look bright and vivid in the fading afternoon. The light this time of year is much softer then in the summer and fall sunsets in Phoenix are awesome!

One of the reasons I love my Masters program is because of the downtown campus location. I have spent a lot more time downtown since I began my program two years ago then I did in the previous four living here.

The great thing is, downtown Phoenix is looking good and is on it's way to looking better - from the north end at Camelback and Central, to down south in the civic/sports district there are a lot of good things happening in the way of urban development.

For one, light rail has added a great dimension. While it doesn't begin running until December, the rail construction and all the stops are done and it looks great. It's so clean and new. Just the physical architecture alone adds something to downtown Phoenix's look and feel.

With the addition of the rails - they run down the middle of Central Avenue, with lanes on either side and the stops in the middle - the streets seem tighter in a way. While it is a new driving experience, my sense is the tighter streets will lead to slower driving and easier street crossings. I think it will encourage pedestrians to get out and walk. I can see how it will be good for businesses along Central Ave.

I think the architecture of the rail line and the presence of the trains will create a great urban environment, especially along the Central corridor. It is a great thing for Phoenix!

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