The Explorer published an opinion piece by Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson on March 12, 2014, titled Another explanation for District 1 fund reallocation. The article relates to the 4-1 vote of the Board of Supervisors at the February 18, 2014, board meeting to reallocate $872,000 of District 1 road repair funds to Colossal Cave Road in District 4. The reason given in the article was this was a, “..decision about one thing and one thing only – saving children.”
Bronson’s argument that this decision was solely about saving children, completely contradicts the facts.
Thornydale Road from Cortaro Road to Linda Vista was included in the roads to be repaired with funds originally allocated to District 1. In stark contrast to Bronson’s opinion piece, this stretch of roadway truly is an urgent public safety issue for children. For example:
More than 5,800 children attend seven schools serviced by Thornydale Road. This is a vast number of school children when compared to the only 1,308 children attending two schools serviced by Colossal Cave Road.
Data from the Pima County Department of Transportation (PCDOT) shows Thornydale Road has a capacity of 15,000 vehicles per day, yet is operating over capacity at 19,000 vehicles per day. Colossal Cave Road has a capacity of 11,000 vehicles per day and is operating under capacity at only 10,700 vehicles per day.
Also excluded are accident and fatality data from the PCDOT and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. In the past two years alone, 156 accidents have occurred on Thornydale Road – resulting in two fatalities. Only 42 accidents have been reported on Colossal Cave Road with zero fatalities.
In addition, Bronson argued that 64 percent of bond funding for new roadway capacity has been steered to District 1. This is a direct result of the vast amount of expansion and growth that has occurred in District 1 over the past 20 years. The November 1997 HURF bond package was for new roads and capacity improvements; District 1 had the majority of the growth and, therefore, the majority of the need for new roads and capacity improvements. This is further solidified by the fact an overwhelming 33 percent of all Pima County tax revenue comes from District 1. District 1 is more than paying its fair share.
Given the facts, it is clear the condition of Thornydale Road provides a much higher threat to the health and welfare of school children than Colossal Cave Road. The reallocation of $872,000 of District 1 road repair funds to District 4 is not about saving children. I stand by my statement that my fellow colleagues displayed an unprecedented level of retaliation towards me in an effort to intimidate me from speaking on behalf of the taxpayers in the future.
I will continue the promises I made during my campaign – to shine the light, increase funding for road repairs, and ensure county tax dollars are only spent on core essential services.
Please visit my website at www.allymillerdistrict1.com for further information, traffic studies, and accident data.
(Editor’s Note: Ally Miller is the District 1 on the Pima County Board of Supervisors.)