Illustration by John Beaubien
On August 25th, Phoenix residents voted overwhelmingly to pass Proposition 104, a comprehensive transportation package that will expand bus and light rail and fix our aging streets. The vote served to continue an existing 0.4 cent Phoenix sales tax as well as increase the rate by 0.3 cents for the next 35 years.
Funds generated will triple light rail miles, increase bus routes and frequency, increase Dial-a-Ride service as well as build over 1,000 miles of new bike lanes, fix street lights, sidewalks and increase shading at bus stops. The proposition will create “all-of-the-above” transportation solutions for Phoenix, easing congestion as we grow, and help people access work, school and visit family without a car.
On Sept. 9th, the City Council took the first steps to begin implementation of the plan, now called Transportation 2050. The Council created the Citizens Transportation Commission, which will be made up of 15 members and charged with advancing transparency, public input and government accountability through regular reviews of the plan.
The Commission will examine future innovative financing and funding mechanisms that will allow the plan to be implemented more quickly, and will also review street maintenance activities, bicycle improvements, transit improvements, and studies and construction of light rail corridors.
All recommendations developed by the Commission will be referred to the full City Council for consideration and final approval.
One of Mayor Stanton’s priorities for light rail expansion is a new stop located close to the Ability360 Center near 48th Street and Washington, which will significantly increase ease of access via public transportation.
Proposition 104 was supported by a broad cross-section of business and community leaders as well as Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. The campaign was chaired by District 8 Councilwoman Kate Gallego.