Peoria park and ride users want to know their vehicles are safe when they lock them and leave them to catch their bus. Beyond that, they probably don’t give specific design elements much thought. But transportation planners did. The Peoria Park and Ride at Old Town recently opened at 8323 W. Peoria Ave. It provides connections to the Grand Avenue Limited, with express-like service to downtown Phoenix. It also serves bus routes 83 and 106. The new facility offers features ranging from security to sustainability. “One unique feature is the use of ‘pervious’ concrete that reduces runoff and allows water to penetrate the surface and go into the ground below, instead of into the storm water system,” notes Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “This porous concrete prevents puddling and can absorb more than 76,000 gallons of water, equal to about four residential swimming pools,” she says. “I didn’t know that, that’s really good,” says commuter Brian Husar, who always liked the feel of the concrete but did not know of its use. Husar also appreciates that the new location is more open, well lit, and has more shade. “Being out in the open and right here, I think it is safer,” says Husar. “It lets people know that people are using the bus, and I definitely like it.” Commuter Rebecca Rivera also likes the improved security. “Before, we were more secluded. I feel safer leaving my car here, because I know it is monitored with the security features,” says Rivera. “I really enjoy using this new park and ride.” The $2.5 million project was a partnership between the city of Peoria and Valley Metro, using a mix of federal funds and regional funds that came through Proposition 400, a half-cent sales tax for transportation. The location of the facility, adjacent to Grand Avenue and the BNSF Railway, was selected to best meet Peoria’s short-term and mid-term transportation needs. It provides an opportunity for future expansion, including support of potential express service and commuter rail. The arrangement meets the needs of commuters as well. Husar, who catches the Grand Avenue Limited every morning at 6:39 a.m., calls it a more convenient way to get to work. “I don’t want to get stuck in traffic on my own on Grand Avenue,” he says. “I think the bus is a lot safer than me using my own car. I’m not burning up miles, I’m saving on gas as well, and it’s just a lot easier to get where I’m going downtown.” Peoria Park and Ride Features 71 parking spaces (49 are covered, 4 accessible parking spaces). 6 secured bicycle parking spaces with Bike Lids that provide protection from the elements, vandalism and theft. 2 “fast” charging stations for electric vehicles. 31,325 square feet of pervious concrete to prevent puddling and reduce “heat island” effect. Security cameras and high efficiency AccuLED Optics technology to maximize efficiency and lighting. Awning lights are timed for increased night visibility. 600 plants of varying species, including trees, shrubs and ground cover, as well as metal plants along the covered walkway to help designate the walkway and add aesthetics that don’t require water.