And it should increase in the years ahead as officials project tens of thousands more residents by 2040.
“Arizona’s road infrastructure is critical to the state’s economic success. Arizona’s population, 6.6 million people, is using more than 66,000 miles of public roads, each traveling an average of 36.4 miles per day,” engineers said.
However, 40% of Arizona’s urban interstates are already experiencing congestion during peak morning and evening hours, the report said.
“If completing the needed roadway improvements were possible, it could stimulate short-term and long-term economic growth by creating jobs, reducing travel delays and minimizing transportation costs.”
According to the report, Arizona can address this by providing “more money allocated to infrastructure by raising the gas tax and voting in favor of transportation initiatives.” Additionally, officials noted the gas tax was last increased in 1991 and remains the fifth-lowest gas tax in the nation.
There are initiatives locally that will help address transportation issues. The Pima County Regional Transportation Authority will again ask voters to approve another half-cent sales tax. There are nearly six years left in the 20-year, $2.1 billion deal voters approved in 2006.
The report highlights efforts of Tucson and Phoenix in implementing a Complete Streets policy to “provide additional infrastructure such as sidewalks, separation for pedestrians from vehicular traffic, and bike lanes to encourage active transportation and increase connectivity.”