Transit Supporters Push Back in Phoenix

Three votes and several long-range transit plans should have sufficiently insulated transit plans in Phoenix from obstructionist tactics, according to the opinion piece.
January 24, 2019, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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J. Doug Pruitt, former chairman and CEO of Sundt Construction, former national president of AGC of America (2009), and served as chairman of the Yes on 400 Committee in 2004, bolsters the case for funding and building the vision established by transit planners in the Phoenix area over the years:

More than 20 years of transportation planning and investment have made the valley one of the most attractive places to start a family and build a business. Our quality of life, cost of living, improved air quality and reduced congestion are why we are one of the fastest growing and most attractive markets in the entire country.

Pruitt details the voter approved funding initiatives and transit plans going even further back, to the 1985 Regional Transportation Plan. The case: that Phoenix residents want balanced public transit investments, and planners have done a good job delivering on the envisioned projects.

But recent months have seen a groundswell of resistance to transit investment in the Phoenix area. Plans to extend light rail have encountered stiff resistance and the City Council upended funding plans for $30 billion approved by voters in 2015 to shift funding away from light rail.

Pruitt cites that latter action as an example of the transit opposition emerging in recent months. But there are also transit proponents pushing back. The Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America has filed a lawsuit to overturn that decision to defund light rail.

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Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in The Arizona Republic
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