Berman, 2 mayors want
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 21, 2006 12:00 AM
Gilbert's Steve Berman and two other Southeast
Valley mayors have endorsed construction of the South Mountain Freeway in
Ahwatukee Foothills, an action likely to irritate freeway opponents and many
residents of the isolated Phoenix community.
Berman, Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker and Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn issued a joint
statement calling the freeway "a critical part of our regional freeway
system" that can cut travel times across the Valley.
The proposed 22- to 26-mile freeway, which would run along Pecos Road and the
southern end of Ahwatukee Foothills, has drawn opposition from residents there
because at least 217 homes would have to be razed. Opponents also cite possible
noise and pollution.
But according to the mayors' statement:
"Ahwatukee residents are likely to benefit most from the freeway, through
shorter commute times and increased property values as the subdivision is freed
from its stigma as 'the world's largest cul-de-sac.' "
That stance didn't sit well with Melanie Pai, founder of the anti-freeway group
Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children.
Pai said it was irresponsible for the mayors to issue the statement without
knowing what the environmental impact would be on the area.
"I would much rather live in the world's largest cul-de-sac than have 9,000
children attending school next to the world's most ridiculous, self-inflicted
health hazard," she said.