OPINION: Why I support Propositions 416, 417 for new roads, freeways

Todd House, Apache Junction Independent |

The complaints. The frustrations. The pleas.

For years Pinal County residents have demanded better transportation. More roads and freeways. Indeed, you’ve demanded it of me.

It took time. Years. Of listening and community meetings. Plan after plan. Study after study.

The wait is now over. Nov. 7 is a chance, the chance, to finally get more roads and freeways in Pinal County. I think it’s appropriate to call it the “people’s plan.” You can check out the plan at www.YesOn416And417.com.

The federal government isn’t going to help us. Nor is the Arizona Department of Transportation which says they have a “800 year backlog” for new projects. And existing county road funds can only go so far for maintenance and the new roads they are funding from Hunt Highway expansion to help for Saddlebrooke and many areas in between.

Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, like Pinal County, are big winners, getting a new North-South Freeway from the U.S. 60, heading south to connect with Interstate Ten. Also included is new funding for Dial-A-Ride services for seniors, the disabled and others in need. The new freeway will spark new businesses, restaurants, jobs and stores for the area. And, of course, residents will benefit from all of the other road improvements to get around Pinal County much easier.

No plan is perfect but the good is not the enemy of the great and on Nov. 7 we have the chance, perhaps the only one in the next 20 years, to dramatically improve our quality of life, drives, economic development and public safety.

Indeed, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb is a big supporter of Propositions 416 and 417 too. And here’s what he has to say about them: “The people put me in office and are my boss forever and always. And to do my job best, and get to you fastest when you need it most, our county must have better roads and freeways. I-10 is among the most dangerous freeways in the country. Other areas in Pinal County are very bad too, including Apache Junction and Gold Canyon near the U.S. 60. Help me do my job better, for you. Join me in voting yes."

That’s a powerful statement.

Sheriff Lamb believes as I do, that everyone wins if we vote yes on Propositions 416 and 417.

After all if this gets voted down there are no magic funds to pay for the new roads and freeways. Period. I hate taxes but as a conservative Republican I know there is no other way to pay for the help people are demanding than Propositions 416 and 417. As a conservative Republican I believe government funds should be restricted for such uses as jails, roads and freeways. And in the end what’s proposed is a very small price to pay – a monthly cost of less than half the price of a bottle aspirin, something we often need after traffic headaches — for very big benefits for my district of Apache Junction, Gold Canyon and parts of San Tan Valley.

Todd House
Pinal County supervisor