News Ticker

Peoria Eyes Significant Transportation Funding Source

Loop 303 in Peoria. Credit: Independent Newsmedia

By Philip Haldiman for Independent Newsmedia 

A significant funding source that has generated about $4.3B in tax revenues since 2006 for transportation in Peoria and throughout Maricopa County expires in 2025, so city officials are planning to ensure they get a piece of the pie if funding is renewed. 

Proposition 400, approved by 58 percent of Maricopa County voters in 2004, provided the Valley with a half-cent sales tax for transportation that resulted in some of the region’s biggest projects during the past 10 years. 

Peoria officials are submitting projects they hope will be included in the extension of this massive tax plan come November 2022, when it is expected to be on the ballot. 

Intergovernmental Affairs Director Thomas Adkins said what makes the plan unique is not just the sheer amount of money it brings in but also the breadth of projects it can help fund. 

Proposition 400 funds large projects — from freeways to arterial streets to public transit options — and the extension is expected to bring about $15B in funds to the region, he said. 

Funding decisions regarding roughly 1,300 submitted projects are made by Maricopa Association of Governments and Valley Metro committees. 

Specific cost estimates for the proposition extension regarding Peoria-related projects were not readily available. 

There are three major regional transportation needs that can be funded through this tax: Freeways and arterial roads can only receive one-time capital expenditures, while transit receives both one-time capital expenditures and ongoing operations funding. 

Transit 

Transit makes up 33.3 percent of the half-cent sales tax. Of that, about 57 percent goes to bus-related costs and 43 percent goes to light rail, amounting to about $27M for transit-related projects in Peoria since 2005. All of those projects have been supplemented by local funds. 

Public Works Director Kevin Burke said the plan is to preserve all current transit services in the new proposition. 

There are 19 transit projects proposed for the extension, or Prop. 400-E. They include fixed routes, subregional transit circulators, express bus, rail and autonomous vehicles — all with a regional connection to Peoria. 

Freeways and Arterials 

Development and Engineering Director Adina Lund said the city submitted 39 freeway and arterial projects for the Prop 400 extension. 

She said the focus is to make existing systems better and add or expand interchanges. 

Loop 101 proposals include general purpose lane expansions and improvements to Grand Avenue, Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue interchanges. 

Loop 303 proposals include possible future interchanges and Interstate 17 interchanges in Phoenix, which are not in the city but are used by residents, Lund said. 

Concerning arterials, the city is focusing on areas where future growth is expected. A lot of that is up north, Lund said. 

Arterial proposals include new construction of El Mirage Road from Loop 303 to Jomax Road, and Lone Mountain from Loop 303 to Lake Pleasant Parkway. 

Road widening is proposed for Lake Pleasant Parkway from Loop 303 to State Route 74, and for 107th Avenue from Williams to Hatfield roads. 

Intersection Expansions are proposed for Happy Valley Road and Vistancia Boulevard, as well as Deer Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway. 

Lund said moving forward, the focus will be on economic prosperity and mobility. 

Read more at Independent Newsmedia. 

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