allows airing of freeway views
Dec. 17, 2005 12:00 AM
to what I've read recently about where the southwest section of Loop 202 should
be built, the argument might boil down to what is sacred to men's souls. One
alignment choice, as explained at last month's ADOT's open house at Ahwatukee's
Grace Inn, includes ripping out a hefty part of the southwestern tip of South
Some recent news stories said the members of the Gila River Indian Community
consider South Mountain to be sacred. Now, I don't claim to be any sort of
source on the subject of American Indian religion, but I assume they wouldn't
appreciate the state blowing up and hauling away part of the mountain.
It might be possible to appeal to the community on that level when the state
approaches its members with the issue of freeway alignment. If the right-of-way
for the new freeway was placed on their property, the state could avoid bringing
out the dynamite.
Monday's forum held at the Ironwood branch of Phoenix Public Library, state Rep.
John McComish (R-Dist. 20) said, "Nobody wants it to go through South
There were 10 people present at the informal gathering. The purpose was an
effort of our elected officials to give the average citizen input into state
government and a chance for the average guy to become a part of the process.
McComish and Rep. Bob Robson (R-Dist. 20) hosted the event. The discussion was
supposed to cover a wide range of topics. However, citizens in the audience
didn't want to talk about much else besides freeway alignment. One of the most
profound statements I heard that afternoon was when McComish said, "Maybe
we can work with the Indians; they don't want to see the mountain destroyed.
Neither do we."
McComish said we have a couple of years' lead time before construction could
begin and Robson said, "We have some major power." He was talking
about we, citizens and voting power. Since there are other choices besides the
Pecos Road alignment to connect I-10 with the West Valley, we need commitments
from state politicians on their personal favorites.
Although during the late 1980s and early 1990s ADOT bought land along Pecos Road
for the freeway, there were stretches of property they did not buy. Therefore,
developers built homes there.
Now the state is able to purchase the freeway right-of-way, but neighborhoods
occupy the property. Homes now will have to be purchased, knocked down, and
paved over. This is a backwards way to develop our state and, "It's time to
hold politicians' feet to the fire," as resident Bob Mullen remarked at the
Clay Schad graduated from the University of
Nebraska School of Journalism in 1976, founded and published the Ahwatukee
Foothills News for 20 years.