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Rogue columnist

Paving Arizona: Constant highway expansion drives urban sprawl

Why is Arizona continuing down this, er, road? The simple answer is that the various interests I call the Real Estate Industrial Complex depend upon constant highway building and expansion to make otherwise useless land valuable for the Ponzi scheme of continued sprawl. ... Read more»

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All aboard the celebration of Tucson’s railroad heritage

Explore the last steam engine used in the Tucson sector at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum on Locomotive Saturdays.... Read more»

Cities embrace big-ticket transit projects

Cities across the country are moving forward with mass transit projects, despite the required tax hikes and cheap gasoline that encourages commuters to drive their cars. Phoenix voters approved a $31.7 billion transportation plan that includes another 42 miles of light rail and 1,150 of bike lanes.... Read more»

Along proposed commuter rail line, leaders see growth potential

A lot would have to happen before a commuter rail line passes through Queen Creek, but Mayor Gail Barney sees great potential in the idea.... Read more»

Does a state fuel tax unfairly favor trucks over trains?

Attorneys for railroad carrier CSX argued today before the U.S. Supreme Court that Alabama’s 4 percent sales tax on fuel used by freight trains—a tax trucks and barges don’t have to pay—is inherently discriminatory and violates federal law.... Read more»

Gov't data sharpens focus on crude-oil train routes

A ProPublica analysis of federal government data adds new details to what’s known about the routes taken by trains carrying crude oil. Local governments are often unaware of the potential dangers they face. ... Read more»

Border violence prompts railroad to seek waiver

Union Pacific, one of the country’s largest freight railroads, is requesting permission from the federal government to adjust its operations in Texas because of violence on the Mexican side of the border, including the fatal shooting in May of a train yard worker in Ciudad Juárez.... Read more»

Pedestrian killed by train at Ruthrauff crossing

A train hit and killed a pedestrian Tuesday at the railroad crossing at Ruthrauff Road and the Interstate 10 frontage road, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.... Read more»

Proposed border rail project gets mixed reviews

As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed views on whether the investment is needed immediately. But activists in Ciudad Juárez say the trains need to go now. ... Read more»

Jump in fatal train accidents during 2013 prompts nat'l safety campaign

A nationwide spike in fatal train accidents involving trespassers and motorists in 2013 has prompted a national safety campaign urging people to think trains when they see tracks.... Read more»

Tucson native chugs in to town for book reading

Journalist, author and Tucson native Tom Zoellner will give a reading from his new book "Train" at Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Ave, on Friday evening. ... Read more»

Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth mayors back bullet train

The mayors of Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth on Thursday announced their unified support for the construction of a privately funded bullet train between the two metropolitan regions.... Read more»

Mesa businesses readying for light rail construction

Business owners in downtown Mesa say they expect the 3.1-mile expansion of Metro light rail to cause some headaches but lead to a rejuvenation of the area when it is completed in late 2015 or early 2016. Work to lay tracks is scheduled to start next month. ... Read more»

Rogue Columnist

Train dreams could help solve Az's transportation nightmare

The news stories said that ADOT was seeking our input on its study of passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson. It isn't seeking my input for reasons that will become apparent, but here goes anyway. Anti-train sentiment is odd considering America's close and abiding relationship with the railroad. Nothing could be more American than a train. I thought conservatism was all about conserving the best.... Read more»

Proposed Phoenix-Tucson high-speed rail routes up for public input

A jeweler based in Tucson, Erik Stewart makes regular drives two hours up Interstate 10 to do business in Phoenix. If a high-speed rail line connected the cities, he said he’d use it. Through May 31, Arizonans have the chance to provide feedback about three proposed routes for high-speed rail between Phoenix and Tucson.... Read more»3

Obama administration heeds industry call to ease rail safety rules

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will scale back federal rail safety rules spurred by a Southern California train wreck in 2008 that killed 25 people and hurt 135 others.... Read more»

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