University, college, high school students, the Sierra Club and others say “NO” to Prop. 105

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University, college, high school students, the Sierra Club and others say “NO” to Prop. 105

Prop 105 signs along Valley roadway.

Prop 105 signs along Valley roadway.

Jesse Tannous

Prop 105 signs along Valley roadway.

Jesse Tannous

Jesse Tannous

Prop 105 signs along Valley roadway.

Jesse Tannous, Reporter

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Proposition 105, a special election initiative placed on the ballot and set for vote on August 27 is designed to eliminate light rail by prohibiting the City of Phoenix from further spending on construction, improvement, or design of future light rail transportation.

According to the full text of the proposition the “citizen initiative” would effectively “derail” all light rail in Phoenix—the 6th most populous city in the U.S.

The initiative comes as a shock to many light rail riders—including students from Arizona State University many of the Maricopa Community Colleges and local valley high school students that depend on light rail to get to and from school, home and work.

The initiative confusingly called “Building a Better Phoenix Act” or (Prop 105) was reportedly created by residents and businesses that oppose the south central light rail extension. Instead though, their initiative goes far beyond restricting light rail growth to the south and extends to all Phoenix rail projects.

Northeast Valley News spoke to students who couldn’t believe there was an initiative to get rid of light rail.

One ASU student, Theresa Delgado who attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix had plenty to say about the initiative.

“Why on earth would people want to get rid of public transportation…this is the typical politics of today I guess. The “have’s” trying to mess with people who are struggling with student loans, work…at least I didn’t have to worry about a car payment. So I guess I have to find a way to get to and from school if this thing passes,” Delgado said.

A high school student who attends Central High School but did not want to disclose his name said simply that eliminating the light rail will create a lot of problems for students at Central High.

“It’s the way we get to school.”

There are plenty of opponents to the elimination of light rail in addition to the students we spoke with and people who work downtown and other events and venues that he light rail facilitates.

The Sierra Club is also opposed to the elimination of light rail in Phoenix.

Sierra Club representative from the Sierra Club Palo Verde Group Conservation Chair, Don Steuter, submitted language to the special election pamphlet that goes out to every registered voter.

“Considering the fact that a great deal of our pollution is related to transportation, and the need to develop a plan to reduce ozone pollution, providing alternatives to cars in increasingly important. The health of the community is greatly improved and the associated medical costs that are reduced with cleaner air,” Steuter wrote.

Proponents of Prop 105 among other things, want the Valley streets fixed first ahead of any light rail expansion.

According to the same special election pamphlet language of support for the proposition, some arguments in favor allege that a small minority of people use the light rail and that Phoenix drivers want better streets.

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