PHOENIX – Playing the part of a transportation planner isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to balancing priorities for Arizona’s highway system with the realities of limited funding.
When the Arizona Department of Transportation turned to the public and stakeholders last fall to tell us what’s most important to them over the next 25 years, nearly 6,000 people statewide responded through a quick and interactive online survey.
The survey allowed participants to rank six transportation priorities: preservation, expansion, safety, technology, accessibility, and maintenance and operations. They worked with a budget and determined how much of it would go toward each priority. Then they decided on trade-off scenarios that further defined priorities.
The results show a mixed bag. Safety, expansion, and maintenance and operations ranked highest, in that order. However, when it comes to allocating funds for those priorities, expansion, preservation, and maintenance and operations got the most dollars, with safety dropping to fourth.
Trade-off scenarios show participants prefer more roads (expansion), smooth roads (preservation) and connected roads (improved accessibility). Much like real-world transportation planning, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to ranking and funding priorities. All survey results will help develop a draft update to ADOT’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, which will be available for public review later this year.
The Long-Range Transportation Plan, also known as “What Moves You Arizona,” is updated every five years. While the plan isn’t project-specific, it does identify investment priorities based on current and projected transportation funding over the next 25 years.
The full report detailing results, responses and ADOT’s outreach in metropolitan, rural and tribal areas is available at azdot.gov/WhatMovesYouArizona under the documents tab.
It’s up to the public, policymakers and communities to tell ADOT what’s important to them throughout the long-range planning process, and to prioritize projects and funding.
Visit azdot.gov/WhatMovesYouArizona for more information on ADOT’s Long-Range Transportation Plan and to leave a comment.