worry about 202
Potential traffic, noise, pollution concern board
of the Kyrene School Board want to get the word out to Ahwatukee Foothills
parents - even if the proposed South Mountain Freeway (Loop 202) won't affect
your home, it could still affect your children.
As now designed, the freeway would run along what is now Pecos Road, skirting and in some cases passing through neighborhoods. It would be just south of Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School and Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School east of 24th Street, and Kyrene de los Lagos Elementary School east of 32nd Street.
Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary, east of Desert Foothills Parkway, would not be substantially affected by the freeway, officials said at the meeting.
As designed now, the freeway would abut Lagos Elementary. ADOT would be responsible for the cost of building a barrier between the school and the freeway, spokesman Matt Burdick told the board.
Board members asked about noise and fumes from the freeway. ADOT said that measures such as rubberized asphalt would keep the freeway below acceptable noise levels, and that it would follow Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on pollution.
Lagos Principal Jim Strogen is a member of the South Mountain Citizens Advisory Team, a volunteer group of residents that meets with ADOT. He said he is concerned about possible noise, pollution and hazardous materials from the freeway.
The board also eyed with concern a proposed interchange at 32nd Street. The ramp was not part of the freeway's initial design presented in the 1980s.
Strogen is also worried that the 32nd Street interchange would bulldoze some of his students' homes.
"The unsettling nature of the freeway is a concern to our community," Strogen said. "This could have a tremendous impact on the Lakewood community."
Development has sprung up near that intersection in the years since, including dozens of homes and several schools.
Although the design does not threaten the buildings, members asked whether freeway traffic would pose a danger to commuting students and parents.
"We have an enormous traffic congestion on 32nd Street without anything happening there now," Superintendent Maria Menconi said.
Phoenix has already asked ADOT to remove the interchange from the design.
Residents will be able to see how the freeway would look with and without the interchange at a public meeting next week (see box).
Strogen has been regularly updating Lagos parents and school community members on the freeway. Waters asked ADOT to work with the district to provide information for Estrella and Akimel A-al parents.