Scottsdale Executive Forum urges city leaders to explore all transportation options

Anyone who has sat in traffic in Scottsdale knows how crucial transportation is to our quality of life.

As Scottsdale business leaders, we believe the city is at a critical point now of ensuring all transportation options are available for the future.

As the Scottsdale City Council prepares to approve a Transportation Master Plan for today that will determine action that may not be needed for decades, we think not only is it wise to include high capacity transit choices, but it is the responsible thing to do.

We understand there is still a lot of work to do before we reach consensus on what elements of transit are right for the city. And that’s fine. We don’t need to try to solve or even debate those challenges now. But as the years go by, the city continues to grow and the world around us changes in ways we can’t even predict, we will need the ability to put all aspects of our transit needs on the table for consideration.

Right now, we need all transportation options on the table, which may range from streets, bikes and pedestrian trails and walkways, major arterials, high capacity transit or freeways. There is time down the road to further study and discuss what modes are right for the city’s long-term viability and connectivity.

Eliminating any of those options from future conversations would be a colossal mistake. We don’t run our businesses that way, and we don’t expect our elected leaders to run the city that way, either.

We all have worked hard and together over the years to build Scottsdale into a world-class city, one that is the jewel destination of the region. It has attracted some of the finest companies in the world, and many more are looking seriously at moving to the city.

The most connected regions of the country are the most financially productive and prolific. A robust transportation system that includes diverse options plays a major role in the connectivity and success of those regions.

That’s what attracts new businesses to move here. And not to be forgotten, it’s also what businesses already here need to remain successful in the future.

Fact is, we cannot afford to rely solely on vehicles to create connectivity between major economic and residential hubs, community centers and entertainment and recreational destinations.

That model will not be successful in the future.

We urge city leaders to support a Transportation Master Plan that builds on our current choices – complete streets, bike and pedestrian trails and walkways, major arterials, transit circulator and freeways – and does not eliminate high capacity transit.  Leaving high capacity transit in the plan does not mean it will happen. It just allows the city to be included in future studies and discussion.

Editor’s Note: The following have contributed to this article: Tom Sadvary, CEO, HonorHealth; Sharon Harper, President and CEO, Plaza Companies; Michael D. Miller, President, Nationwide Ventures; Mike Ryan, President, Ryan Media Consultants; Mark Hiegel, President and CEO, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce; Kurt M. Brueckner, Titus Brueckner & Levine PLC; Jan L.Gehler, President, Scottsdale Community College; Gregg Tryhus, Grayhawk Development; Don Henninger, DH Advisors; Don Couvillion, ASU SkySong; and Brad Casper, former President and CEO, Dial Corporation.

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