leg of Loop 202 must be completed
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 17, 2006 12:00 AM
all the articles and letters that continue to appear in this and other
newspapers, it seems too many people believe that the South Mountain segment of
Loop 202 is meant to be a benefit exclusively for those who live in Ahwatukee
and the foothills.
Corinne Purtill told us in her Arizona
Republic article Nov. 16, "Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who represents
the Ahwatukee-Foothills area, has come out publicly against the Pecos Road
alignment of the South Mountain Freeway, saying the road would cost too many
homes for too little benefit."
According to newspaper accounts, a freeway built on the Pecos Road alignment
would affect as many as 250 lots, most with homes on them.
level of disruption is too much to offset the benefits of having another route
from Ahwatukee Foothills around South Mountain and downtown Phoenix,"
Apparently, not even Hayworth understands that this stretch of freeway was never
intended to be the private domain of extreme south Phoenix. As part of the outer
loop, it was designed to relieve some of the congestion clogging Interstate 10
and central Phoenix.
Already, vehicles traveling from northern Arizona to California can bypass
Phoenix by entering the outer loop at Beardsley Road and skirting the city to
where it meets I-10 at 91st Avenue. People traveling from Tucson to Fountain
Hills or Payson can use the completed part of the Santan Freeway and Loop 101 to
avoid the traffic problems on Interstate 10 north of Chandler Boulevard as well
as all of U.S. 60.
Those who live in the far Southeast Valley can now enter Loop 202 at Power Road
and, by taking the 101 north, drive to northern Arizona and never need to see
downtown Phoenix. Soon enough, people will be able to travel from Globe and
Apache Junction to Tucson via the Santan Freeway and be able to stay off U.S. 60
completely and enter I-10 six miles south of the 60.
But when these same people want to go west, from Tucson and all points east to
Los Angeles or just from the Southeast Valley to Glendale to see the Cardinals
or the Coyotes play, they cannot yet do that without entering the quagmire of
the freeway traffic in Phoenix, further polluting Phoenix's horrible air. The
missing link is the last portion of the outer loop, the part from Pecos Road and
I-10 back to I-10 in the far West Valley.
While it is unfortunate that ADOT has left the South Mountain portion of the
outer loop until last, that must not prevent them from finishing the job they
were ordered to do by the taxpayers in 1985.
Leigh Rivers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.