Extension of Phoenix rail debated in Latino community

PHOENIX (AP) — The proposed extension of Phoenix’s light-rail system into the city’s poorest neighborhood is running into eleventh-hour opposition from some business owners in the Hispanic and black community.

Shop owners say reducing car traffic from four to two lanes on an affected thoroughfare will harm business.

Activists say history matters and residents of low-income minority neighborhoods often assume they will be bypassed or harmed by such projects.

Hundreds of Mexican-American families were displaced from Los Angeles’ Chavez Ravine, now home to Dodgers Stadium; Phoenix’s Golden Gate Barrio was razed for the expansion of the international airport.

Transportation experts say long-mistreated communities need to be brought on board as major projects near reality. The transit authority held six more meetings, but supporters fear the extension may be up in the air.

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