Published in Phoenix Business Journal in MyView section on August 16, 2019
Phoenix Light Rail Proposition Does Not Move Phoenix Forward
The Phoenix Community Alliance op-ed published in the Phoenix Business Journal on August 9, 2019 highlights the benefits of light rail and why Phoenix voters should vote “NO” on Proposition 105. There are additional reasons Arizona Forward is urging Phoenix business leaders and other voters to consider.
For 50 years, Arizona Forward has supported multi-modal transportation, healthy communities, economic growth and preservation of our natural environment in effort to create a resilient and sustainable Arizona. Through on-the-ground projects, advocacy and education, quality of life for Arizonans has been at the forefront of Arizona Forward’s efforts.
In statewide surveys conducted by Arizona Forward, Arizona’s No.1 transportation issue revealed is the need for expanded public transportation. A light rail system in Phoenix is an important way to support that need. Throughout the years, Arizona Forward has partnered with city of Phoenix mayors and community leaders to advocate for a light rail system.
Dramatically reducing greenhouse gas, air pollution emissions, lessening impacts of land use and increasing community connectivity is essential as Phoenix continues to grow in its rank as one of the largest cities in the nation. One thing is for certain: the dynamics of Phoenix will be different in the future. Technology is already altering how we operate our cars and travel. Planners tell us that in the future, improvement of mobility and transportation choices will be necessary for a diverse, changing population – including a segment of Phoenix that is aging and will no longer be able to drive. The expansion of a light rail system is a low-cost transportation choice to accommodate the residents who live here.
Arizona is at a juncture related to its environment and quality of life. The livability and economic vitality of Arizona’s cities and towns will be impacted by pivotal decisions made by citizens today. Widespread adoption of clean transportation solutions, a public transit system and transportation choices have started to become and will continue to be transformative for Phoenix. Light rail in Phoenix has begun this transformation and for the sake of the state’s economy and its environment we need to continue this progress. By voting “NO” on the Prop.105 initiative, you will help Phoenix continue to move forward for a better Arizona.
Phoenix citizens approved advancing light rail at the ballot box three times, most recently in 2015 which supported light rail as part of a comprehensive transportation plan. Since 2015, Phoenix has leveraged its position to accumulate billions of grant dollars to develop a more robust light rail system that cannot be allocated to other transportation projects, all of which would now be lost if Prop. 105 passes.
Arizona Forward and our diverse membership of nearly 200 large corporations, small businesses, municipal, county and state agencies, educational institutions, related nonprofits and concerned Arizonans who help ensure smart growth and development, efficient transportation, improved air quality, responsible water management, energy alternatives, forest health and meaningful education urge you to vote “NO” on Proposition 105.