|Ahwatukee Foothills News, 2/18/2002|
Time for freeway along Pecos is past, councilman says
|Councilman Greg Stanton promised a handful of residents that he would
oppose a freeway along what is now Pecos Road.
"Is Pecos going to turn into a freeway? Not while I'm your councilman. I'll do everything to prevent that," the Phoenix vice mayor told a dozen people during a town hall meeting at the Ironwood Branch library Tuesday night. "It certainly doesn't make sense to me," he said. He also said that extending Pecos Road west, around South Mountain, was not a city priority.
Since 1988 the South Mountain Loop 202 has been penciled in on Valley transportation maps where Pecos Road now is. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) began a three-year, $6 million environmental impact study 18 months ago to find the best route around South Mountain. The study is to consider the feasibility of connecting Interstate 10 and the San Tan Freeway in Ahwatukee Foothills with Interstate 10 in the west, somewhere between 43rd and 110th avenues.
Stanton said that in 1988 the freeway may have made sense, before all the development that has occurred since then. "You don't build freeways in the back of people's homes," Stanton said.
ADOT has been discussing possible freeway routes south of Pecos, on the Gila River Indian Community, something that Stanton said "seems to make a lot of sense to me."
Gary Bohnee, a spokesman for Gila River Indian Community Gov. Richard Narcia, said the tribe hasn't spent much time on the issue, although that could change. The tribal government hasn't taken an official position on a Loop 202 route on its land. One partial reason is a resolution passed by the District 6 Community Council, which borders Ahwatukee Foothills. The resolution, supported by local Indian residents, opposes a truck bypass or any other bypass plans that cross District 6 and Indian lands. While it doesn't specifically mention a freeway, that resolution also was adopted by the full tribal council in August 2000.