By Tom Kouts
Original reasons given in support of the light rail:
- pollution reduction
- traffic congestion reduction
- vehicles will be removed from the road
An environmental impact study, conducted by the city of Phoenix as a requirement by the Federal Transit Administration to receive more funding, revealed that light rail increased pollution and increased traffic congestion. It did remove one car in 2,500, which was more than offset by the reduction in lane-miles available. Light rail tracks remove one lane of traffic in each direction. The 2,499 cars remaining had to squeeze into fewer lanes.
Reasons now given for new Light Rail construction:
- It provides jobs. Only if you work for one of the construction companies that are liked by city hall.
- It returns $7 for every $1 invested. This is partly true for developers that buy land before the rail is built. These numbers come from taking credit for any company that changes its location in order to build along the tracks. No company is going to start up just to be next to a rail line.
Prop-104 is also being promoted because it will increase funding for pot holes and buses. They must be some fancy buses and pot hole repairs because Prop-104 will more than double the city budget.
The original reason for public transit is to help those people who do not have private cars. LR does not help them, at most, removes them from a bus and places them in a light rail.
The budget explodes next year and only gets worse in future years. We need to start marshalling our limited resources now in order to protect city buses and other services vital to our city.
NO on Prop-104.