Some are calling for South Phoenix light rail expansion to stop

Some are hoping to derail a light rail expansion that would take place in South Phoenix.

As currently proposed, the extension would run from Downtown phoenix to Baseline Road, in a six-mile route. The project was voted on and approved, and should be ready to ride in 2023, but now, people against the project want it stopped, and many of them voiced their concerns at a special Phoenix City Council meeting that was held Tuesday.

"When the Proposition 104 came in 2015, we were lacking knowledge about the process and design, so the voters voted with a lack of knowledge," said a woman at the meeting.

The design only includes a lane in both directions, and people against the project are worried business traffic would be affected, and emergency vehicles couldn't get to people in need.

"It's already congested a good part of the day," said a person who is against the extension, identified only as "Steve". "Even if you got more than one lane, you're going to have problems with the emergency vehicles."

Many at Tuesday's meeting, however, were in favor of the extension. They say it will provide opportunity for that part of town, as well as the people who work and live there.

"Allow for opportunity for development of South Phoenix, but more importantly, to connect people," said Francisca Montoya. "South Phoenix has been disconnected for many, many years, and it's about time that it become part of the entire city."

"I help take care of my father, and sometimes just to get there, I have to take three busses and a train," said Johnny Hernandez. "So I can only imagine how long it would take me to get there without the train."

Action will be taken on the issue at a City Council meeting Wednesday. In order for the project to be stopped, it will have to go to the voters in November. Those in favor of the project are worried about that, because the deadline to submit plans to the government for the $600 million in funding is July 31. If the project is stopped, that money can't go towards anything else.