anti-freeway group picks up steam
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 20, 2005 12:00 AM
80 people packed a meeting room at the Ironwood Branch Library for the second
official meeting of Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children, the grass roots
anti-freeway group gaining momentum in Ahwatukee Foothills.
Only two weeks ago, PARC was two dozen people gathered in a Lakewood park.
Sunday's meeting featured an address by Councilman Greg Stanton and a renewed
sense of determination to make the group's opposition to the proposed South
Mountain Freeway heard well outside the boundaries of Ahwatukee.
"How many signatures do we need to make the governor say this is
wrong?" founder Melanie Pai asked the group in regard to their ongoing
petition drive. "When we get (elected officials) to do that, then we'll
stop getting signatures."
the past two weeks, the group has collected hundreds of signatures from people
opposed to the South Mountain Freeway. The group formed in protest to the
freeway's potential effects on public health, nearby schools and South Mountain
Before signing the petition, Stanton reiterated his opposition to the Pecos Road
alignment and encouraged the group to broaden their argument to make it a
"We're not going to win this fight if we base this just on the quality of
life in Ahwatukee Foothills," Stanton said.
Attendees peppered Stanton with questions about the ongoing negotiations with
the Gila River Indian Community. Daniel Pinkstaff said he was skeptical of the
seemingly closed-door nature of the Arizona Department of Transportation's
discussions with the tribe.
"The people building are the ones negotiating? Huh. That doesn't seem
right, does it?" Pinkstaff asked during the meeting.