City working to add parking for South Mountain trails - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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City working to add parking for South Mountain trails

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Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013 7:49 am

The city of Phoenix is working to improve parking around the trail heads for the Pyramid Trail in Ahwatukee Foothills’ Club West at the end of Chandler Boulevard, but the long-term solution may not happen until the city can identify the proper amount of funding.

Rick Plautz, park supervisor over South Mountain Park, said the city is aware of the parking issue at the end of Chandler Boulevard where the street dead ends into trail heads for South Mountain. There are plans to add 20 more spaces to Chandler Boulevard in the next few months and the city will decide this summer if there is funding available to build a temporary parking lot on the preserve.

“We are currently meeting with the association on these issues,” Plautz said. “The problem we face of course is the budget. We’re working closely with the association, but we don’t want to do anything they don’t want us to do.”

Plautz said the Foothills Club West Homeowners Association in the area made it clear they did not want the city to open up 19th Avenue for parking, but the city may consider building a lot just west of 19th Avenue on the preserve. A plan has not been drawn up for any lot, but Plautz said he expects a landscape architect to review the idea later this year.

The trail heads have only been in the area for a few years and the city has put up signs prohibiting parking in residential areas, but homeowners in the neighborhoods say the problem hasn’t gone away completely, especially on busy weekend mornings.

Jessica Harris, who owns a home on Brookwood Court, just off 18th Drive, said the parking issue is a safety issue for their street. Cars park on both sides of 18th Drive and it makes it difficult for drivers to see when turning on or off of Brookwood Court.

While she doesn’t blame the hikers, she said there’s a need for some kind of solution.

“It has really changed out here,” said Harris, who has been living in the area for eight years. “The problem has been gradually growing. The ideal solution would be to have a parking lot built for the hikers. If that’s not going to happen then as a resident I would like hikers to respect our community and maybe carpool, get dropped off, ride a bike or find a different way.”

Carl Kingsley, who lives on 18th Drive, said since the city put up signs he hasn’t seen as much of an issue but calls the HOA when he sees a car parked in front of his home. The city does ticket cars parked beyond the spaces on Chandler Boulevard.

“I take a picture of the car, the license plate and send it to the HOA,” Kingsley said. “I haven’t seen anyone parking here this spring, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worse tomorrow or the next day.”

The problem is very much weather related.

Plautz recommends using the Telegraph Pass entrance to the mountain. The city recently doubled the size of that lot and Plautz said there’s usually room for hikers there, though the lot is very popular. He expects 20 spaces to be added down Chandler Boulevard in the next few months.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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