lack credentials to endorse freeway
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 26, 2006 12:00 AM
Mayors Keno Hawker, Steve Berman and Boyd Dunn of
Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler, respectively, offer their advice to Ahwatukee and
southwest communities on the long-contentious South Mountain 202 freeway link.
None of these men is renowned for exhibiting esteemed leadership in his own
community. Mesa leads with red ink hemorrhaging since 2000 with draconian
service cuts. Gilbert can't come to a reasonable compromise on fire protection
for county islands within its municipal boundaries, a prima facie health and
safety requirement for government. Chandler can't manage reasonable esprit de
corps within its council, mayor, city manager form of government, instead acting
like neighborhood brats in a turf game.
Since you guys can't manage your own "houses" with purpose and
accomplishment, "butt out" of our area problem with the South Mountain
Freeway. If we need your advice, we'll ask.
Conversely, to the ill-advised mayors, Jon Talton's
commentary (The Arizona Republic,
April 16) is prescient, researched and provides foresight to be weighed
seriously, discussed, and used as a future mass transportation basis for
The Arizona Department of Transportation and its enabler, the Maricopa
Association of Governments, have not developed verifiable cost data for the
South Mountain Freeway link. The figures published, $1 billion to $2.4 billion,
are not data verifiable. If $2.4 billion were accurate if contracted and built
today, cost per mile would be $92.3 million for the estimated 26-mile length (no
terminus yet known at western end).
MAG estimates, per its public statement to The
Arizona Republic (April 20), a 25-minute time-saving trip for a
26-mile trip vs. the present 50-mile trip. This equates to $3.7 million per
minute time saving. No one, or his time, is worthy of such irresponsible
ADOT and MAG, blindfolded for 23 years since drawing dotted proposed route lines
on a map, have played "pin the tail on the donkey." With the South
Mountain Freeway they have not hit the target. Ahwatukee has been 98 percent
built out since 1983, and the southwest communities affected are growing daily
faster than toadstools after spring rains.
Arizona transportation funds will be squandered by ADOT and MAG pressing forward
this route, its viable window long since lost. They're the donkeys seeking
support from sources unaffected strategically.
This road is a truck bypass since conception in 1982. ADOT, MAG, and HDR, ADOT's
high-priced embedded consultant, have acted with gross incompetence in the timed
planning and execution of the South Mountain Freeway.
Kill it now.
As Talton wrote, "It's not that freeways are always inappropriate. It's
just that they can't solve our total needs for the future. And they can't do
this when transportation is totally divorced from what actually happens in
development" (i.e. neighborhoods and communities).
He concludes, "But the real insanity is the status quo: doing the same
thing, hoping for a different result," (i.e. meaningful relief from traffic
congestion and travel stress).
Greta C. Rogers is a 25-year resident of