By Dustin Gardiner
When Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego looks at the Grand Canal that flows through her district, she sees beyond the waterway’s eyesores and thinks about its potential.
She imagines its banks being transformed into a bustling transportation route, a safe haven for bicyclists and pedestrians away from cars. Land adjacent to the canal eventually becomes prime waterfront property, attracting new businesses and gathering spaces.
That vision to reclaim the blighted canal — more often regarded as a back alley or dumping ground — isn’t new. Restoring the Phoenix Valley’s canals has been on the minds of urban planners and neighbors for years.
What is the plan?
But the concept is being fast-tracked along the Grand Canal after the city received a coveted $10.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The money would help Phoenix catch up with East Valley cities that have made significant upgrades to their canal banks.
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