The newly opened Northwest Extension Phase II of the Valley Metro Light Rail, as seen from the new elevated platform of the Thelda Williams Transit Center, is the focus of the city’s newest planning outreach (photo courtesy of Valley Metro).

In 2020, the City of Phoenix was awarded a $1 million Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to engage with the communities located along the Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail extension (NWEII), a 1.6-mile connection from Valley Metro’s light rail system at 19th and Dunlap Avenues to the former Metrocenter Mall area in Phoenix.

The NWEII TOD Study Area was established, roughly 19th Avenue west to 35th Avenue, Butler Drive north to Peoria Avenue, and a living document will be created and implemented with the local community — a TOD policy plan specific to the area. According to the project website, this plan “will serve to attract, guide, and prioritize strategic investments in infrastructure, housing, economic development, transportation, and other areas to realize a shared community vision for the future of the area.”

With the launch of the city’s General Plan 2025 outreach in late 2023, the Planning Department shifted from the use of TOD to TOC (Transit Oriented Communities) to better align with its vision of “a more connected city,” but the definition remains the same: Transit Oriented Communities feature “compact, pedestrian-scaled, mixed use development strategically located within a short walk of high capacity transit.” (

The Planning Department will host a five-day workshop, Feb. 26-29 and March 2, to further the process of creating the NWEII TOC policy plan, and it is seeking input from the community. The workshops will be held for roughly two to three hours each day at Cortez High School, 8828 N. 31st Ave. At press time, the workshop hours had not yet been determined.

A community input survey and more details can be found online at


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