residents object to freeway’s swath
Gieseking learned Thursday that the proposed South Mountain Freeway spared her
house. But she’s not sure it’s good news.
she looked at a huge map showing the route, she saw the house across from
her’s in Ahwatukee Foothills will be destroyed — leaving her with a
front-door view of the freeway. Putting the freeway below grade, also a
possibility, requires more room — and would take out her home.
love where we live," Gieseking said. "We knew there would be a
freeway. But we had no idea it could take out our home."
was one of about 2,000 Ahwatukee Foothills residents who got their first glimpse
Thursday of a map showing 250 homes in the proposed Loop 202's path along Pecos
Road. An eight-hour open house sparked raw emotion from homeowners who for years
knew a freeway was proposed. But seeing its precise path made many question why
they bought in the highly desirable community.
homeowners spoke with anger. They talked of killing the freeway with political
pressure or a ballot proposition. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., has come out
against the freeway, saying it is unacceptable to the people he represents.
opposition frustrated some homeowners such as Sam and Kathy Parlette.
Homebuilders have for many years had maps in their model homes that clearly
labeled the freeway’s rough location, Sam Parlette said. Residents who
didn’t want the freeway, or who didn’t pay attention, should have bought
elsewhere, he said.
who says this is a surprise for them . . . that’s pretty naive," he said.
He fears political pressure could kill the freeway and force Ahwatukee residents
to endure even more congestion on Interstate 10.
opponents said they expected the freeway would get passed south onto the Gila
River Indian Community or that it would never be built. The freeway was first
put on maps in 1985, when voters approved a regional freeway program. Its future
fell into doubt when financial woes left it unfunded.
Gila River community years ago wanted it on its land, but recently refused. A
large number of opponents said the Arizona Department of Transportation should
nevertheless try to get the freeway on Gila River community land.
freeway represents the final segment of Loop 202 and would be a key link between
the East Valley and the West Valley. Without it, ADOT would not be able to meet
increasingly congested traffic demands, said Matt Burdick, an ADOT spokesman.