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October 14, 2019


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Pinal County is north of 450,000 residents today. (For a longtime Arizonan who remembers Pinal as a primarily agricultural county with a largest city -- Casa Grande -- of 12,000 or so souls, and with Maricopa as a railroad crossing and not much more, the current population figure is eye-popping.)

Arizona's official planners forecast a Pinal County population of 1,056,000 in 2050, an estimate in the medium range unless assumptions about rate of growth prove conservative. If so, the population will be higher. See https://population.az.gov/population-projections

If you examine the route of the proposed freeway, it cuts through the now agricultural districts around Florence, Coolidge, and Eloy. In an echo of what happened in Phoenix, cropland and its water rights will be converted into stucco and red roof tile or whatever other inexpensive building method is on offer in the coming decades.

The only thing that I can see that could derail this is a hellishly hotter climate. Would 100-degree days in December finally discourage the seekers of cheaply built square footage and unlimited driving opportunity?

Arizona was once a place of small population and natural beauty and desert solitude for the seekers.

Gone forever. Or at least until climate makes most of it unlivable.

"We need to be spending on rail transit, expanding Amtrak, and building high-speed rail like every other advanced urbanized nation on earth. We need to limit driving, especially long distances in single-occupancy vehicles."

Agreed. 100%.

As to the REIC (love the name), they really are hell bent on making things worse. Arizona's Dept of Water Resources just released findings that says Pinal County doesn't have enough water for all the homes they want to build. The solution? "Some legislators including Rep. David Cook, R-Globe, have proposed to loosen the groundwater rules in Pinal."

ADWR "said the model estimated the total projected demand for water for 100 years. The estimated amount of water available is less than that by about 10%, or 8.1 million acre-feet."

(from AZCentral on Sunday)

They will strip this state of all wealth and send it out of state. The very definition of an extraction state.

Tucson is again showing how much more sophisticated and progressive it is than Maricopa County in the cities growing opposition to the terrible idea that is Interstate 11. If there is a more wasteful freeway project than I-11 I would be shocked.

The opposition grows in Tucson to the I-11 scheme, but you can bet the REIC is pulling strings here, too.
Today in the Arizona Daily Star:

KJZZ on the Pinal County water crisis:


Note to Roger:

What the REIC does in Arizona is indeed analogous to what extraction industries do. In this case, agricultural or State Trust lands are "mined," with the developers moving on once the resource is depleted. The long-term costs of maintenance and replacement, not ever being close to ever being covered by "impact fees," are born by the property owners left holding the bag at the end of the scheme. And here, the ones left at the end of the scheme may be stuck with dry wells too.

We will join "those who vanished"

Get real, Brain Hall - Tucson/Pima County is 100% behind I-11.. . . that is, the powers that dwell in the upper reaches of the region. Developers rule here and they will not be denied. The serfs be damned; they pay the bills and will be gagged as usual.

There are not nearly enough rail lines in this nation to easily move all the freight that would like to ride upon them. Far too much time is lost waiting on sidings and in yards due to congestion.

I am 100% behind building many more heavy rail lines, as it is the most efficient means to move shipping containers across the country, but there seems to be such a struggle to get any built. The private companies shy away from the upfront cost and the government offers limited support.

We need a lot more rail in this country. Until then, our economic prosperity and even our ability to survive depends on our highways, roads and the commercial drivers who traffic them.

The nation-making Interstate Highway System has been around long enough that maintenance and reconstruction are continual concerns, but failing to maintain it in such a state that it can continue to support our trucking fleets and our national economy is not an option, either.

The wheels of commerce cannot turn without timely methods of conveyance and we as a nation are failing to build and maintain them adequately for optimal prosperity.

ADOT is proposing increasing the Broadway curve from six lanes each direction to TEN lanes each direction. For an old timer who used to travel the two lane version, that is mind boggling.

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