By Pinal County Supervisor Mike Goodman
San Tan Valley Resident
Earlier this year the Arizona Department of Transportation said it had a transportation backlog of “800 years.” Anyone in San Tan Valley want to wait that long for relief?
No way. Too many missed Little League games. Too many bad commutes to and from work. Too much frustration. Too many accidents.
That’s why, after many years of listening to residents throughout Pinal County the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to put on the November 7th ballot a comprehensive road and freeway plan to get help now.
You have been demanding solutions. We have listened. Now “the people’s plan” for new roads and freeways in our area and throughout Pinal County is in your hands.
It’s great that Pinal County has started the next phase of Hunt Highway expansion. Indeed, San Tan Valley has been receiving a big slice of the existing road funds in Pinal County for this and other purposes. But we need more help, now. And whether San Tan Valley ever incorporates isn’t relevant. Major roads and freeways get built by county-wide efforts just like in Maricopa and Pima counties. A Yes Vote on Propositions 416 & 417 will do it.
Here’s what San Tan Valley gets:
*The extension of State Route 24 from the Maricopa County line through San Tan Valley
*State Route 24 will be expanded east from Ironwood Drive to a new North-South Parkway, originating from the 60, heading south, eventually connecting to Interstate 10.
*Expanded Dial-A-Ride services in San Tan Valley for the elderly and those in need
*According to the Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer expanding existing roads and establishing new ones will allow police, fire and ambulances to get to San Tan Valley residents when it matters the most
*Additional roads and freeways throughout Pinal County to get you where you want to go, faster than you’re going now.
These measures are not just about getting traffic relief they are also about getting safer roads. Tragically, we have lost 323 Pinal County residents in traffic fatalities in the past decade as population has increased. There have also been 878 other serious accidents and a whopping 19,159 overall. And, Interstate Ten in Pinal County is now ranked by national media as among the worst and most dangerous freeways in America.
I am a conservative Republican who dislikes taxes as much as anyone. But the reality is that taxes are necessary for jails, roads, freeways and other vital services. Another reality is that Pinal County just doesn’t have the money without Propositions 416 and 417. If there was another way I would be supporting it. But neither wishful thinking nor the tooth fairy is going to get us the roads and freeways we need.
I am also glad for important safeguards in these measures too. For example, at the request of San Tan Valley resident Michael Burke, who also serves as the Chairman of the Pinal Republican Party, a Citizen’s Oversight Committee is part of the ballot measure to ensure key accountability for the expenditure of transportation funds if the votes pass. That committee will be made up of representatives from incorporated and unincorporated residents of Pinal County.
The cost of all of this is very small: $7.33 per month for the average household or less than 24 cents per day. Think if of it this way. Rather than spend a lot more than that on bottles of aspirin for all our traffic headaches spend far less to get better and safer roads!
For these and many other reasons I hope you will join me in voting Yes on Propositions 416 and 417.