Somethingfast, I don't want to cause anyone who loves Tucson to give up. But if Phoenix is the bellwether, what will happen is that you'll simply be too emotionally depleted to care. I'm a Phoenix native and lived all my life there until 2013. What I noticed about myself was a flagging lack of interest in local affairs. I realized I didn't care because I didn't love Phoenix. After a lifetime there, I realized there wasn't a real city with wonderful buildings, amenities, and assets to love. There was just what it looks like to the naked eye - all the sprawl, the dreck, and absurdity of a city based not on love but on cheapness and warm weather. This is why people won't tax themselves to improve Arizona. Once it's all about you, your comfort, your house, your car, then you just check out all together. Phoenix shows in macrocosm the Tragedy of the Commons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
People who oppose freeways in Tucson are not reactionaries. They're visionaries in that they know what the outcomes are, the horror of a city not worth caring about since it's tailored to cars and not people. Jim Click is Tucson's Darth Vader (it's a cheap shot but our rhetoric needs to be sharp since there's not much time left).
We necessarily love the world the way it is, not the way we think it should be. If you're not loving Tucson for real reasons like its building stock and civic embellishments, you're not really loving the actual city. Most people who "love" Tucson don't really love it at all. They don't know its history, its literature, its tragedies and its triumphs. Most don't love its desert, its ghosts, its intimate niches or lovely decay. They're too self-involved to care and it shows. You're not going to improve Tucson by making it more like Phoenix. Just the opposite. You'll improve it by making it less