Last Week to Comment on ADOT’s 5-year Transportation Plan!

The ADOT Five-Year Transportation period is coming to an end on Friday, May 17. This link provides all of ADOT’s PDFs of plans and proposal of 5-Year Transportation options and plans, http://www.azdot.gov/fiveyearprogram/, then click on the “Online Comment Form” to add your comments. You can also follow the link, https://www.research.net/s/2014-2018, to Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program Comment Form.

akimel o’odham youth collective protesting the 5 year plan in Flagstaff az, thanks to the Taala Hoghan Infoshop for helping out also!

Below is a sample comment form that one Phoenix City resident wrote. Feel free to adopt this form for your comments or vary them in any way you think is necessary. For more information to include in your comment form, here are some links:

https://nosouthmountainfreeway.wordpress.com/
http://aoycblog.wordpress.com/
http://gilariveragainstloop202.wordpress.com/
http://protectazchildren.org/
http://www.dontwastearizona.org/particulate.html
http://stopcanamex.blogspot.com/

from the May 10th rally in Flagstaff!

Scenario A:  This plan of action seems to be the most long-sustaining solution for Arizona roadways, which projects that pavement quality will fall below standard until 2031. ADOT’s experience of declining revenues for state roadway projects puts itself in a situation that it must make long withstanding and careful plans to maintain our current roadway system in suitable shape for the longest amount of time. The nation’s economic health appears to be recovering in short upticks and the loss of federal funds is hitting nearly every sector of publicly-funded programs. The economy seems to be at a languishing recovery pace, one that may not quickly enough reach the accelerated rate deemed strong and further continue to extend the government slashing of budget spending. At this rate, when will ADOT expect to have a transportation facilities construction program that does not rely on the assistance of the federal government? If ten years down the line, things never recover soon enough to continue to fund public projects, then Arizona will be sitting at the same place it does now. The stance of Scenario A to focus on preservation would keep existing projects in good repair for nearly two decades and does not make the assumption that there will necessarily be more funds to build more projects.  The option to bypass Scenario A is uncertain because a decade later Arizona could stand at a place that it cannot maintain its roadways because it has spent so much of it away with the hope that the economy would recover sooner than later.

Scenario B: Taking into consideration the forces that brought ADOT to the current highway funding issues, it poses an extremely risky prospect for the existing roadways to be kept in good repair. In a matter of just 3-4 years, pavement quality will fall below acceptable standards.

Scenario C: Though a better prospect than Scenario B, this scenario assumes that ADOT’s revenues for projects will return to normal within five years, which cannot be currently be determined or even assumed. ADOT is relying on a quick economic recovery, increase in federal funding, and increase in gas collection which are all too many unpredictable variables in the current state of affairs.

100_1521

Maricopa Association of Governments Program:

ADOT’s Regional Transportation Plan Freeway Program continued efforts to expand the South Mountain Freeway is an imposition on an entire regional community. Recently, The Joint Air Toxics Assessment Project (awarded a 2013 National Environmental Excellence Award) found that the highest health risks, such as higher incidences of development of cancer, are inflicted on communities exposed to toxins near freeways. The research study found that exposure from diesel fuel toxins appears to correlate with increased chances of developing cancer. Given this burdensome cost on residents, it appears that ADOT’s inclusion of the South Mountain Freeway is not so concerned with the well-being of Arizona residents.

The inevitable disturbance and destruction from the freeways expansion would severely displace Awhatukee, Laveen, and GRIC communities, as well as the treasure that is South Mountain Park Preserve.

Pima Association of Governments Program: No comment

Aviation Program: No comment

General Comments: The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five Year Plan outlines 3 scenarios for the future maintenance and expansion of Arizona’s road infrastructure. Though, the public comment period allows Arizona residents to weigh in on the possible scenarios given budget constraints, it seems that some projects are not even placed in the decision-making power of Arizona residents, that being the MAG Regional Transportation Plan, which continues the planning of South Mountain Freeway. “No Build” is the only option for the South Mountain Freeway.

It is an unfortunate reality that in an age that Arizona sits on the cusp of making key decisions for the state’s transportation system, it cannot manage to create a modernized plan of action for the future of Arizona. Each of ADOT’s roadways and transportation decisions are an added building block to the transportation system, which will not only have immediate and short-term effects, but each of these building blocks have a multiplying effect carried out for decades beyond the scope of what planners may now be able to predict in terms of environmental destruction, air quality, and maintaining cultural integrity.

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