To discuss America’s infrastructure, Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today hosted the second of 11 nationwide regional forums on the "Beyond Traffic" framework at Phoenix’s Steele Indian School Park.
“Beyond Traffic” is a report examining America’s transportation infrastructure options over the next 30 years, including a burgeoning population, increasing freight volume, shifting rural/urban demographics, and increasing extreme weather events. The town-hall style gathering enabled residents, planners and other stakeholders to participate in a forum addressing issues facing the framework.
Mendez and Stanton solicited input from participants on region-specific experiences and welcomed ideas for solutions. Unless changes are made soon, the report predicts, increased gridlock nationwide will threaten transportation on a national level.
“'Beyond Traffic' identifies that Arizona will be uniquely impacted by the challenges and opportunities we have in transportation over the next 30 years,” Mendez said. “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.”
With Arizona’s population expected to increase by over 117 percent by 2050 and over half of its roads deemed to be in poor or mediocre condition, the state’s infrastructure will require investment commitments.
“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,” Stanton said. "These…conversations are vital to ensure that our cities are prepared for the impending population growth…coming over the next 30 years."
Following remarks and a presentation, Stanton was joined by Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, Surprise Mayor Sharon Walcott, Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski, and Pima Association of Governments Regional Council Member Michael Hammond for the panel discussion, engaging attendees in conversation and welcoming feedback for the final "Beyond Traffic" report, to be published in 2016.