Finding The Way Forward With The Valley’s Transportation Challenges

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 1:58pm
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Finding the way forward for the Valley’s transportation challenges has been daunting. What should the overall system look like? How much money should be devoted to freeways, high-speed rail or buses?

In 2009, a group of civic leaders came together as the T.I.M.E. Coalition with a transportation-focused initiative, but it never made the ballot. That was followed by the deep economic downturn.

Now the iArizona Committee has been formed with the overall goal of helping Arizona’s economy and making it a true transportation hub. How will it be paid for? The ideas are still in their early stages, and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith who is leading the committee told the Arizona Capitol Times that five or six different ways have been floated around for all or part of the funding. Could that mean a tax increase?

Before we got too far ahead of ourselves, we talked with Marty Shultz, former vice president of Pinnacle West and now with the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Shultz is a member of the iArizona Committee and was a key member of the T.I.M.E. Coaltion.

Other big cities are facing some of the same transportation infrastructure challenges that phoenix is, but have they done more, and what projects make the most sense?
Dr. Clifford Winston, senior fellow in the Brookings Institution's economic studies program, discussed this question.