Phoenix transportation officials are slated to conduct hearings Tuesday, Sept. 7 on appeals filed against two controversial Ahwatukee Foothills traffic circles.

One appeal is an attempt to overturn the city's approval in July of a permanent roundabout, with a price tag of up to $350,000, at East Equestrian Trail and South Appaloosa Drive. If the appeal is denied, construction could begin next summer, said Kerry Wilcoxon, Street Transportation Department spokesman. The money would come from a transportation bond issue approved by a city-wide vote in 2006.

"The Equestrian Trail traffic circle would probably go into design within the month," he said.

The second appeal challenges the decision to remove the temporary roundabout at 36th and Coconino streets. If the appeal fails, the temporary traffic circle at the intersection could be removed soon after.

"I'd like to take it out as soon as possible," Wilcoxon said.

Temporary traffic circles have been installed at the two intersections on a trial basis for more than a year. Neighborhood residents had petitioned Phoenix to install them because of problems with speeders.

Supporters of the Equestrian/Appaloosa roundabout barely managed to reach the threshold of 61 signatures needed from neighborhood residents to push through the permanent traffic circle, officials have said. On the other hand, support for the one at 36th and Coconino streets fizzled out with no petition having been filed to make it permanent.

Wilcoxon said he believes the five-member appeals board - consisting of representatives from several city departments, including Neighborhood Services, Planning and the Fire Department - is unlikely to uphold the appeals.

"My sense is that the petition results will stand. But I don't know what the board will do," he said.

The hearing on the Equestrian Trail/Appaloosa Drive traffic circle is slated for 4 p.m. in assembly room "D" on the ground floor of Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St. The 36th Street/Coconino appeal hearing is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. at the same location.

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