Mr. Green gets irritated at times when people are quick to criticize and, yes, even blame that amorphous thing we call “the government” for all known things.  He is right. There are millions of people who work hard to make things happen for us on a daily  basis nationwide.  Many of the things they do and accomplish aren’t even noticed by most of us because they occur over time and without much fanfare.  My guess is most of the people taking the time to read this will be happily surprised to see our tax dollars at work & evidence of  federal and county partnerships improving our quality of life thanks to the leadership of one county agency in Arizona.

I don’t want to bog you down with details but it helps to know a little bit. It’s called PAG – Pima Association of Governments. In short, PAG is a metropolitan planning organization with oversight for the following: transportation (including RTA – regional transportation authority), energy (Clean Cities and Solar) and sustainable environment (Air, Water, Travel Demand Management/Sun Rideshare) planning divisions.

The RTA, which is managed by PAG, is entering year 7 of RTA plan implementation. Here’s the scoop:

–Around 70 projects completed in the greenways, bikeways, pathways and sidewalks category (providing more transportation options to help get people out of their cars, reducing congestion and reducing emissions.) They have added over 150 miles of bike lanes in our community and 80 miles of sidewalks since the passage of the RTA plan. (Mrs. Green asks – are you not loving this?)

— 1 major wildlife crossing completed, 5 more in design, including a wildlife overpass on State Route 77, north of Oro Valley (sustaining our wildlife and protecting drivers at the same time) (The RTA also has conducted a number of studies that look at wildlife behavior around various culvert types to help determine design that is more likely to be used by certain animals.)

–Nearly 80 transit service improvements, including more services weekends, evenings, weekdays, plus neighborhood transit service (Sun Shuttle) connecting people in outlying jurisdictions to Sun Tran service – getting people out of cars and onto the bus, reducing congestion and air pollution. (Is there a downside?)

–Streetcar – when completed will help get people out of cars in the downtown and university area to further reduce downtown traffic congestion and air pollution. (There is PROOF already that the Streetcar is bringing PRIVATE investors with big projects downtown!!!)

–Intersection and bus pullout improvements. They help keep traffic moving to cut down on emissions to help keep our air clean. (And I don’t have to stop behind a bus)

This is good, green, sustainable proof of our tax dollars at work. Seeing is believing & I have seen. And it’s a great reminder to all of us to think before we criticize by doing our homework and getting the facts. Great topic for green talk radio, ya think?