By Lyle Plocher, July 28, 2019
On August 27th of this year, a Special Election will be held in our great city and Proposition 105, which will be on the Ballot will determine the future of Light Rail in Phoenix. Very simply, a YES vote on Proposition 105 would not only kill the South Central Light Rail Extension but all future Light Rail Projects throughout the City of Phoenix. Proposition 105 has become a reality because a small vocal group of business people along the proposed South Central Light Rail Extension route were opposed to a 2 lane vs 4 lane configuration along South Central Avenue. See the reasoning behind the 2 lane configuration here. This small group, which has grown into a well-financed campaign, that appears to be financed largely by out-of-state interests, has spread fear and misinformation about Light Rail to South Phoenix residents. Proposition 105 seeks to nullify an already approved Project, with nearly $600 Million in Federal assistance in place.
Phoenix area voters have approved Light Rail Ballot Measures on 3 separate occasions in the past, in 2000, 2004 and again in 2015. In August of 2015, Phoenix area voters approved Proposition 104, which increased our City Sales Tax by 0.7 percent. This tax increase would last for 35 years and would be the foundation of a $31.5 Billion Plan to improve our
Transportation. In addition to the City Sales Tax, Federal Grants and other sources would be sought out to round out the funding. More than half of the funding from Prop 104, would be allocated to maintaining and improving bus service, less than a third of the funding was allocated for light rail operation and expansion, about 7% was allocated for funding street improvements, such as repaving, new sidewalks and bike lanes.
Misinformation spread by those in favor of Proposition 105
Proponents of Prop 105 have led people in the community to believe that the City can just take monies allocated to Light Rail and re-route them to improving our streets, etc. This is not true. If Proposition 105 passed, all Federal Grant money would be lost, which could potentially mean as much as $5 Billion in future assistance. Additionally, in the Voter approved, citizen committee led T2050 Transportation plan, passed in August 2015, street improvements are already funded and those improvements are currently underway throughout the city. See the elements of that plan here.
As the nation’s 5th largest city, we must keep and improve all of our Transportation options. Expanding Light Rail service not only provides economic benefits for all Phoenix residents but health benefits as well, taking air polluting vehicular traffic off of our streets. Say NO to killing
Light Rail, by voting NO on Proposition 105.
Follow and read the related link on the AZCentral website 7/28/19:
Lyle Plocher is a local resident and real estate broker in the Phoenix Metro area. He has written this article to inform readers about the upcoming vote.