Sustainability issues go hand in hand with increases in population, “urban sprawl”. Phoenix continues to see an increase in population growth and thus a sustainability issue that has arisen from such growth is traffic congestion. Having too many cars on the road, cars traveling at lower speeds, and having longer trip times then in previous years causes traffic congestion (Frias, 2007). Traffic congestion in Phoenix is observed from a local spatial scale as Phoenix is composed of many suburbs. It is important to look at the history of this problem, as it seems to go hand in hand with urban sprawl. The more spread out Phoenix has become; the more traffic congestion seems to prevail ...view middle of the document...
Traffic congestion to each of these groups has very different meanings, making the problem definition vague in its scope.
Characteristic 2: Undefined Solution
For traffic congestion there is no one definite solution. There are many options that can help solve or alleviate this problem. One potential solution could be the expansion of the light rail system. Another could be developing toll roads, or creating a bus only lane, and adding more buses to the current transportation system. A tax incentive could be used to help encourage those to use alternative means of transportation, or an overwhelming increase in gas prices could be other options. Regardless of the solution used all stakeholders would not be completely satisfied with the option chosen.
Characteristic 3: No End Point
If one of the solutions previously mentioned were to be implemented, new problems would arise. If Phoenix were to expand the light rail system to cover more areas, local businesses would be affected by the construction and may not survive, as was the case when the light rail was first constructed (Frias, 2007). Economically the light rail could be bad for local businesses, and could result in job losses for some. Another potential problem from expanding the light rail could be the hike in taxes for residents that would surely come to meet the cost of expansion construction. Fewer cars on the road would affect the automobile sector, as mechanics, and car dealers would see less business as well.
Characteristic 4: Irreversible
If a solution such as a greater expansion of the light rail were to be implemented there would be no way in reversing that decision no matter the effect on the different suburbs in Phoenix. Some may benefit from the expansion while others would not. For example those in lower income areas may not be able to afford the price of a day pass for the light rail, and thus the light rail would not be a viable option for them. Some local businesses may not survive the construction phase of the light rail. If more bike lanes were introduced as an option, this may not work for those who have a long commute to their place of work or...