PHOENIX, Ariz. – U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today hosted the second of 11 nationwide regional forums on the Beyond Traffic draft framework at Steele Indian School Park. The Beyond Traffic report examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades, including a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system facing more frequent extreme weather events. The report predicts increased gridlock nationwide unless changes are made in the near-term.
The town hall style meeting allowed citizens, elected officials, metropolitan planners, transportation industry partners, business owners, and community leaders to learn more about the framework and ask questions about the trends identified in it. Deputy Secretary Mendez and Mayor Stanton also solicited input from the participants on their region-specific experiences and asked to hear ideas for solutions to those challenges.
“Beyond Traffic identifies that Arizona will be uniquely impacted by the challenges and opportunities we have in transportation over the next 30 years,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez. “As we finalize the framework, we wanted to hear directly from residents who rely on and are working to improve the region’s transportation system. Today was a great example of the conversation Americans should be having about our country’s transportation needs.”
By 2050, the population of Arizona is expected to increase by over 117 percent. But, with more than 11 percent of its bridges rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 52 percent of its roads in poor or mediocre condition, Arizona has critical infrastructure investment decisions to make in order to accommodate this increase in population.
“I hope that today's discussion helps light a path for the entire Sun Corridor region to meet these very real infrastructure challenges with intelligence, teamwork and resources,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "These types of conversations are vital to ensure that our cities are prepared for the impending population growth that we know is coming over the next 30 years."
Following remarks by the Mayor and Deputy Secretary and a presentation from U.S. Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic team, Mayor Stanton, Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, Surprise Mayor Sharon Walcott, ADOT Director John Halikowski, and Pima Association of Governments Regional Council Member Michael Hammond participated in a town hall-style panel focusing on the impact of Beyond Traffic trends in the region. The last half of the program engaged attendees in a facilitated conversation, giving them the opportunity to share feedback that will inform the final Beyond Traffic report when it is published in 2016.
To learn more about Beyond Traffic or to read the full framework, click here.