by Doug Murphy Staff Writer
Ahwatukee Foothills News, 4-21-04
Traffic was the top subject at last week's town hall meeting between Councilman Greg Stanton and Ahwatukee Foothills residents.
If it involved wheels it was brought up at the April 15 meeting: bikes, cars, park-and-ride lots and the location for the South Mountain Freeway Loop 202.
The good news, according to Stanton, is that the Gila River Indian Community has allowed the state to look at possible routes for a Loop 202 freeway south of Pecos Road on community land.
If the freeway alignment is on Indian community land, it will benefit both the city and the tribe with retail opportunities at freeway on- and off-ramps and space for a buffer between the freeway and homes that back onto Pecos Road, Stanton explained.
"It's in our best interest, in the long run, to work together," said Stanton, who described the relationship between the city and the Indian community as "married at the hip."
However, Stanton said he remains opposed to extending 48th Street through Pecos Park and into the Indian community, creating a major thoroughfare through Ahwatukee Foothills' largest park.
Regarding speeding traffic along Pecos Road, resident Brian O'Leary said he would like more enforcement.
"I'd love to see photo radar there," O'Leary said.
For Dell Teille, it wasn't four-wheeled vehicles on Pecos Road that got him upset, it was the two-wheeled bicyclists.
"They are interfering with traffic," Teille told Stanton. "They ride in groups and pull into the traffic lanes."
He explained that every morning at 40th Street, bicyclists make right turns onto Pecos Road without stopping an accident waiting to happen.
"Bicyclists should obey the rules of the road," agreed Stanton who promised to look into the issues.
John McComish, president and executive director of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce, said the new RAPID bus service and the park-and-ride lot at 40th Street and Pecos Road are "wildly successful." He wondered when the city would build a similar park-and-ride facility in the northern portion of Ahwatukee Foothills.
"The money for the second park-and-ride lot is still there," said Stanton, adding that a suitable location has yet to be identified.
"The search goes on."
On ALEX (Ahwatukee Local EXplorer) bus service, which provides free public transit through Ahwatukee Foothills neighborhoods, Stanton said that the system should be extended west, past Desert Foothills Parkway where the route ends.
"I think eventually it will" be expanded, Stanton said.
The reporter can be reached at (480) 898-7914 or by e-mail at email@example.com.