Report: I-11 Connecting Phoenix, Las Vegas Not In Interests Of Taxpayers

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 9:13am

The $2.5 billion construction of Interstate 11 connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas is not in the interests of taxpayers, according to the Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG.

Diane Brown, the executive director of PIRG in Arizona says a new study shows construction of the freeway assumes Americans will drive more in the future, but that vehicle miles driven were down 11 percent between 2005 and 2012. Brown believes the money would be better spent on projects like the light rail in Phoenix and Tucson’s streetcars.

"The use of taxpayer dollars should increasingly be going toward the options that people are choosing, which continues to be more public transportation, more bikeable and walkable communities," Brown said.

Brown says research also shows the majority of Arizonans favor improving existing roadways over building new ones.

Supporters of I-11 say it would improve traffic flow between Phoenix and Las Vegas, the two largest U.S. cities not linked by an interstate freeway.

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