Flagstaff has over 660 lane miles of roads — many of them in declining condition with potholes and other problems. Safe streets connect people to work, doctors’ offices, grocery stores; places that are vital to everyone’s well being. Safe roads help everyone – including transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Flagstaff City Council is asking voters to decide on a city sales tax dedicated for road repair and street safety. The proposed 1/3 cent sales tax increase (Proposition 406) would be used exclusively to pay for street improvements, the ongoing preservation of improved street condition, and related costs such as pedestrian/bicycle safety projects and repairs to underlying water and sewer utility infrastructure. An estimated 14% of all street overlay and road reconstruction projects costs will go pedestrian and bike safety elements, which can include: sidewalk repairs, ADA ramps, curb/gutters and bike lane restriping. The ballot language dedicates funds to repair and maintain existing City infrastructure on and adjacent to City streets. Improvements to existing pedestrian and bike infrastructure are eligible expenses. For example, one adjacent safety improvement may include the unfunded portion of the Florence – Walnut pedestrian safety crossing in Plaza Vieja, under the railroad tracks.
Prop. 406 will provide a dedicated sales tax that will allow the City to better take care of our critical community infrastructure by securing a locally controlled funding source. Fixing our roads now rather than 10 years from now will save an estimated 60% in capital costs. Further, the City estimates that almost 65% of our roads will be in failing condition if we continue current funding levels for 10 years. If we improve the condition of our roads now then they will last longer and cost less to maintain. Prop. 406 is a funding solution that is not solely reliant on gas tax revenues, which has historically funded all street related operations. The main issue is that the gas tax model no longer works. The gas tax isn’t indexed. Gas tax is applied on a consumption basis but not use – vehicle miles traveled on our roads continue to increase while at the same time fuel efficiency of vehicles increases every year.
6 Things to Know About 406
- Good roads are critical to Flagstaff’s economy.
- Current State and Federal funding system for roads is broken.
- City has cut costs and redirected funding but it isn’t enough.
- The longer we wait the worse our roads will get and the more costly it will be to repair them.
- The City asked the public for input.
- The proposed dedicated 1/3 cent (33 cents per $100) sales tax increase will get our roads back in shape and keep them in good condition.
Find out more at www.flagstaff.az.gov/roadsafety