fighters hail J.D.
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 30, 2006 12:00 AM
When characters in ancient Greek and Roman plays
found themselves in an untenable situation, the audience could count on a deus
ex machina descending to save the day.
Literally meaning "god from a machine," the stage technique required
riggings of wires to lower the god to the scene.
Nowadays, audiences would think it an artificial plot trick and leave the
But we can't help but think that a deus
ex machina is exactly what Ahwatukee Foothills residents are hoping
J.D. Hayworth represents.
The congressman held a Town Hall meeting last week at Desert Vista High School.
Although he came prepared to discuss an array of topics - immigration, his
re-election effort and Iraq - all the good folks of Ahwatukee wanted to talk
about was the single burning question on their minds:
Where will the South Mountain Freeway go?
The decision is not one to be made by our congressional delegation, of course.
It will be the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Maricopa Association
of Governments that make the call.
But the populace has lost hope in changing what it perceives as ADOT's
in-the-bag decision to run the freeway along Pecos Road.
Last November, Hayworth endeared himself to many Ahwatukee residents when he
wrote to the leaders of ADOT and MAG urging them not to build the freeway at
That's not much more realistic than a Greek play.
Although the environmental impact study is still in the works, traffic
projections alone are key evidence that we need to build a freeway south of
South Mountain to connect to the West Valley.
According to MAG traffic projections, the "no build" option would
result in the complete overwhelming of the Broadway Curve within 25 years.
Ahwatukee residents might be fine with the idea of letting ADOT bulldoze more
homes through Tempe to widen that freeway, but probably you would hear yelling
from across I-10.
Hayworth has offered to approach the Gila River Indian Community Council about
placing the freeway on the reservation.
It's true that Hayworth is held in good regard by the tribe because of his work
on Indian issues.
Last April at a celebration of the U.S. Water Settlements Act of 2004, then-Gov.
Richard P. Narcia called Hayworth "a champion of Indian issues in the House
(of Representatives) who has never failed us."
Perhaps that goodwill can help in negotiations with the current Gila council
about putting the freeway on the reservation.
Can't blame the tribe if it has no interest in the topic, but it's worth a try.
Because if ever there was an untenable situation crying out for the intervention
of a deus ex machina, the
alignment of the South Mountain Freeway is one.