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Phoenix, Mesa and Valley Metro Rail Receive EPA assistance to Promote Transit-oriented Development

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149,

(PHOENIX) - Phoenix, Mesa, and Valley Metro Rail are getting assistance from EPA in developing a regional strategy that will encourage compact, mixed-use and transit-oriented development. A team of national experts, assembled by the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has developed options designed to promote transit-oriented development along Phoenix’s new light-rail line in ways that are also consistent with Arizona’s statewide private property rights act, Proposition 207.

Staff from EPA will be in Phoenix April 14-17, 2009 to present the team’s analysis at meetings with the Phoenix city council, municipal staff, and a statewide smart growth interagency committee. There will also be a public workshop to present these ideas to developers and property owners.

If implemented, the options are expected to alleviate congestion on heavily traveled commuter corridors and help create more walkable, distinctive neighborhoods. Investment in development in conjunction with the rail line is expected to yield substantial environmental benefits by helping reduce the projected increase in air pollution as the area’s population grows.

“This project demonstrates effective regional collaboration that will result in increased opportunities for creating transit and amenity-rich neighborhoods” states project lead Kevin Nelson of EPA.

The 18-month project began in 2007 when the city of Phoenix and its partners, Valley Metro Rail and the city of Mesa, sought assistance through EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program. Other local supporters include the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Sonoran Institute and the Urban Land Institute. EPA’s assistance included an assessment of how tools and incentives to promote transit-oriented development could work within the context of Proposition 207, and a summary of the financial benefits of transit-oriented development to local stakeholders, including developers and property owners..

A final report that incorporates input from these meetings and next steps for implementation is expected to be delivered to the local team by June 2009.

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More information about EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program: