with S. Mtn. Freeway would be blowing in the wind
3, 2005 12:00 AM
the discussions about the planned South Mountain Freeway, there is something in
the air that is being missed. It's called pollution.
Ahwatukee has a southwest prevailing wind. The planned freeway loop sits to the
The Arizona Department of Transportation tells us that this freeway will carry
10 percent of truck traffic. I find this statement absurd.
10 is one of a few arteries that runs the length of the country. If I'm a truck
driver coming from anywhere east of Arizona heading to California, to save time
and fuel I'm taking this bypass.
If we look to California, it is plain to see that freeways do not work in
suburban and downtown areas. They become parking lots.
Los Angeles is in the process of running elevated trains through its freeway
systems. Freeways are always years behind the population growth.
A major concern being overlooked is the prevailing wind. Diesel when burned is
heavier than gas, and because of South Mountain it has no place to go but to
hang around and poison this community.
We could build a better truck bypass by improving and shortening our existing
one. Using Interstate 8, we could build a road that would leave I-8 about 20
miles east of Gila Bend, running northwest and picking up Arizona 85. Then
improve the existing Arizona 85 up to I-10.
Next, so the existing interchange that ADOT built to Pecos Road is not wasted,
see if the Gila River Indian Community would be interested in extending Pecos as
a parkway, with a bend to the north of Saint Johns before entering 51st Avenue.
The bend would bypass their school and housing on Pecos. To make this work,
Pecos Parkway would have a truck weight restriction.
Also, 51st Avenue would have to be improved to two lanes in each direction to
Dobbins Road. This would also benefit the Gila community, by creating better
access to the casino and resort.
From what I read in The Republic,
the Gila community would like ADOT to improve I-10 for its benefit, so maybe the
existence of a Pecos Parkway is a negotiating possibly. Then take the money
allotted for this loop and start building an elevated train system on our
Ahwatukee has proven it uses mass transit. The park-and-ride at 40th Street
fills to capacity.
Jeff Ludwig is an Ahwatukee resident.