With the TIME Initiative off the November ballot, its time to rethink transportation policy in Arizona. TIME proposed an 18 percent sales tax increase to pay for roads, rail, and other loosely transportation-related projects. The proposal was put together following the classic coalition formula--it became less about getting the right thing done than getting something passed.
The traditional approach to transportation planning and construction involves passing taxes and failing to deliver. Loop 202 is a prime example. Its July completion in the East Valley was 23 years after voters passed a new half-cent sales tax to fund it. That failed formula was up for sale again with the TIME plan. But that's the past. Now is the time to regroup, rethink, and move forward.
Lets start by making highways more affordable by removing the constitutional requirement that ADOT purchase state-owned land that it wants to use for freeways. Then, lets pass a comprehensive public-private partnership law that brings more market discipline into the provision and construction of roads. Lets privatize transit, too. More suggestions are made in this special Goldwater Institute report, More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in Arizona.
Byron Schlomach, Ph.D, is director of economic policy at the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater Institute: "More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in Arizona"
Arizona Republic: With new stretch complete, Loop 202 is ready to ride