In the 1970s, Arizonans resoundingly voted "NO" to completing Interstate 10 through downtown Phoenix. But that's because I-10 would have been a ten-story tall freeway bridge through the north of downtown. But the "NO" vote canceled all new freeways, including finishing Interstate 10 coast to coast.

But then everything changed. By the 1990s, the state was rapidly building a Loop 101, Loop 202, Loop 303, etc. This is the story of how Phoenix built one of the biggest and best regional freeway systems – decades after other cities finished. But was it a good plan?

Additional reading:
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community:

Regional transportation plan:

Maricopa County sales tax case study:

Arizona transportation by the numbers:

Spacing between freeway interchanges:

Time sections:
Introduction: (0:00)
The Interstate Era: (2:37)
The Papago Vote (4:11)
A Second Boom: (6:37)
Embracing L.A.: (10:45)
Hitting the 1990s: (12:32)
Prop 400: (16:41)
A Good Idea?: (18:32)
The Third Boom: (23:24)

Road Guy Rob

Rob is a 12-year veteran public radio reporter and talk show producer. Other staffers at the station called him the "road guy" because he kept running off to cover all the transportation stories. Rob has degrees in Geography (BS, 2010) and Civil Engineering (MS, 2018).

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