Letter to the Editor: Propositions 416 and 417 Will Preserve Pinal County's Way Of Life And Quality Of Life

Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith, SanTanValley.com |

Yes votes on Propositions 416 and 417 will get us new roads and freeways, and solve our traffic nightmares now and into the future. But these measures also preserve our quality of life. I must politely but strongly disagree with a letter submitted by Mr. Scott Skinner claiming that new roads and freeways will urbanize Pinal County.

We can’t stop growth in Pinal County. But we can manage growth. Propositions 416 and 417 will give Pinal County the transportation infrastructure it needs to ensure that growth does not turn into sprawl. There’s a big difference. This transportation plan provides a network of roads and freeways that keep traffic off our surface streets, prevents traffic jams on existing highways such as Interstate 10, and contains growth so that it doesn’t conflict with a rural lifestyle so many of us enjoy.

Without this transportation plan we will have uncontrolled growth and sprawl as traffic collects on surface streets instead of quality infrastructure. Development, especially retail, follows traffic flows. And if we can’t control traffic flows, we lose control of development and we have chaos.

All of Pinal County and the San Tan Valley area benefit greatly from this transportation plan. The plan calls for the extension of State Route 24 from the Maricopa County line through San Tan Valley. Additionally, State Route 24 will be expanded east from Ironwood Drive taking you to new North-South Parkway, which goes from the 60 southbound eventually connecting to Interstate 10.

There’s a long list of projects designed to keep traffic moving. There’s also funding for Dial-a-Ride services for our seniors and the disabled. You can learn about the plan at www.yeson416and417.com.

Public safety is also a factor. We need to make our roads safer. 323 Pinal County residents died in traffic fatalities over the past ten years. During that same time period we had 878 other serious accidents and 19,159 overall. Interstate Ten in Pinal County is consistently ranked by national media as among the most dangerous freeways in America. Our County Attorney and Sheriff support this plan because improved infrastructure prevents accidents and shortens response times for police officers, fire fighters, and sheriff’s deputies. All of this would be made possible by a half cent increase in the sales tax. That means people who don’t live here will help pay for our roads and freeways. The cost is 24 cents a day for the average Pinal County household.

Growth is coming, whether we like it or not. We can control it now or deal with a mess later on.

Props 416 and 416 prevent traffic jams, uncontrolled growth, and improve public safety. These measures preserve our quality of life and our rural lifestyle.