Mesa voters to decide on $100 million bond in upcoming election
PHOENIX — On the ballot this election for Mesa residents is a $100 million bond proposal for transportation projects that’ll mainly focus on the southeast part of the city.
It appears as Question 1 on their ballot.
The money would go toward improving existing roads, creating new ones and adding more bike lanes and pedestrian paths.
“In order to keep up with the growth and the aging of our community, we need to repair some streets and we need to install some new streets,” Mesa Mayor John Giles told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
He explained parts of Mesa are older and have aging roads. He said those areas require widening and rebuilding of roads, as well as improvements to make intersections safer.
There are also areas in Mesa where cotton fields and dairies are being replaced by new homes that are being built. This is mainly occurring in southeast Mesa, which is the city’s fastest-growing area and where a major sports complex is being built.
Giles said that growing part of the city needs new streets to improve connectivity. Some existing roads where congestion is starting to build up because of the growth also need to be widened.
Several examples of proposed projects the bond would pay for appear on the city of Mesa’s website. They were selected following public meetings, focus groups and stakeholder interviews.
The bond does not appear to have formal opposition, as no arguments against the measure appear on the election pamphlet.
Giles said he and other supporters of the bond were initially hesitant about moving forward with it.
“We all are very aware that these are challenging times and there are people that are out of work, and right now might not be the best time to ask for money to improve our roads,” he said. “But we decided to go forward because there’s also regional transportation dollars that we would be foregoing if we didn’t move forward with these projects.”
He noted those regional transportation dollars amount to $62 million.
“We felt like we just couldn’t leave that money on the table,” Giles said. “We’re leveraging this bond money to get a whole lot more money to address a lot of these very necessary projects in the city.”