Click Here to Donate to the Rincon Group
Sierra Club

Welcome to the Rincon Group of the Sierra Club
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona

Rincon Group Newsletter E-Mail Delivery Sign-Up >>>>>>>>>>

Hot Action Alerts:

Marana To Host Second Public Hearing For
ADOT’s Tentative Five-Year Program
Program focuses on preservation-based system for 2015-2019

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation continues to gather comments on the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program while reaching out to the public and communities statewide for their input on the direction of the program over the next five years.

The second public hearing for the Tentative Five-Year Program is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 11th in Marana. The meeting will be held in the Town of Marana Council Chambers, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive in Marana. The monthly State Transportation Board meeting will follow the public hearing.

The Five-Year Program is updated every year and serves as a blueprint that details where, when and how regional, state and federal funding will be spent for projects over the next five years to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. This includes highways, bridges, transit and aviation.

Much like the current Five-Year Program, the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program reflects a major focus on preserving the existing state highway system to keep it in good repair, while moving some programmed projects forward. ADOT must prioritize projects due to stagnant revenue from the gas and vehicle license taxes and from decreased federal funding — all of which support the Five-Year Program. Last year, ADOT cut $350 million from the 2014-2018 Five-Year Program because of substantially decreased revenue dedicated to transportation. No additional funding cuts are forecast for the 2015-2019 Five-Year Program; however, overall state and federal transportation funding continues to be flat.

The 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program includes a three percent increase in preservation spending over the 2014-2018 Program, with a steady increase in preservation funding over the next 10 years. Preserving the system means protecting our investment of $18.4 billion; this is the estimated value of the state highway system. The funding for the 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Program looks like this:

  • Greater Arizona: $1.8 billion over five years (60 percent for preservation, 11 percent for expansion and 29 percent for modernization)
  • Maricopa County region: $1.7 billion over five years
  • Pima County region: $349 million over five years
  • Aviation: $1.1 billion over five years
Both the Maricopa and Pima county regions have independent revenue streams established through voter-approved sales tax increases.

The 2015-2019 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program is available for public review and comment at azdot.gov/fiveyearprogram . ADOT has developed a “how to read it” guide and welcomes feedback at fiveyearprogram@azdot.gov .

The State Transportation Board will consider all public comments received by May 20th. The first public hearing was held in March in Phoenix. The third and final public hearing will be held on May 9th in Flagstaff. The board is expected to adopt the final 2015-2019 Five-Year Program at the June 13th meeting in Willcox.

Below are the details for the April and May public hearings and the June board meeting:

April 11th at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the Town of Marana Council Chambers, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive, Marana, AZ 85653
May 9th at 9 a.m.: Public hearing and board meeting in the City of Flagstaff Council Chambers, 211 W. Aspen Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
June 13th at 9 a.m.: Board meeting in the City of Willcox Council Chambers, 300 W. Rex Allen Drive, Willcox, AZ 85643

Featured Issues Program:

Thursday, May 8th - Energy Issues from Fukushima to Tucson - Rincon Group Energy Chair Russell Lowes fills us in on today’s major energy issues – international, national and local. He answers these questions: Does Japan have Fukushima under control? What is the status of solar, wind, nuclear and coal energy in Germany, and in other leading renewables nations? What is fracking and what is its impact on climate change? What is going on in Arizona's solar industry? Does it still make sense to go solar after Arizona politicians' anti-solar assault? What is the status of Tucson's coal/gas power plant? What, individually and collectively, can we do to move from fossil fuels to renewables? The presentation will be held at 7 pm at the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) building at 1600 N. Tucson Blvd. (one block south of Elm Street) - free and open to the public.

Read More ...

Hot Announcements/Issues:
Featured Outing:

Saturday, June 21st - “A”, Sundance Canyon, West Clear Creek Wilderness (5 miles RT) - Technical canyoneering through a wet canyon on the Mogollon Rim. Sundance Canyon is a tributary of West Clear Creek, a red rock gem at the southern fringes of the Colorado Plateau. This technical hike is suited for advanced canyoneering enthusiasts. There is a considerable amount of wading and swimming; the crux is a 180 foot rappel into a gorgeous amphitheatre. All participants need to be strong swimmers, experienced in rappelling, ascending and provide their own gear such as harness, descending device, ascenders, carabineers, helmets and slings. Contact Mitch Stevens at 520-991-1199 or mitchstevens@qwestoffice.net.

Read More ...

April - June, 2014 Newsletter Headlines:
  • Should We Try to Bring Bighorn Sheep
    Back to the Catalinas? Two Opposing Views
  • Book Review: A Natural History of the Santa Catalina Mountains,
    Arizona: with an Introduction to the Madrean Sky Islands by
    Richard C. Brusca and Wendy Moore

Read More ...