19th Avenue residents say light rail damaging Phoenix neighborhood

Camelback at 19th Avenue light rail station (2008 photo)/Wickipedia

By Brenna Goth | The Republic

Police, Valley Metro plan security expansion to respond to concerns by residents near 19th Avenue and in other cities

As soon as the trains started rolling along Phoenix’s 19th Avenue light-rail extension last year, George Immerso said he noticed worrisome changes near the RV and mobile-home park where he lives across from the Dunlap Avenue station.

The once-calm Arizona Canal trail behind his property now attracts people who use drugs and harass him, Immerso said. They leave behind trash, soiled clothes and needles that sometimes fall into his backyard.

Passers-by enter the gated community for people ages 55 and older, Immerso said, and panhandlers line the adjacent convenience store. Concerns from the mostly retirees who live there grew so great that he started a block watch to patrol the park about six months ago.

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