Expand the number of people who vote
Dear city of Phoenix:
I was at the informational meeting the other night at Lomas Elementary School in Ahwatukee. I am still quite upset that I will not have a vote as to whether the traffic circles are approved or disapproved!
I never did get my question answered as to how you came about with the “Petition Areas” as posted. Do you, Kerry Wilcoxon, have to abide by law or guidelines when selecting the “Petition Areas” or do you arbitrarily and capriciously select them?
Both circles affect every homeowner in the Equestrian Estates’ homeowners association (HOA), known as “Equestrian Management Association.” They are our only egress or access to our neighborhood. Every homeowner is affected and should have a vote to say what happens in their HOA. We all pay yearly mandatory HOA fees and should have an equal say. We are all affected equally!
You can’t convince me that homeowners that are more than 100 feet from the circles are more affected by the circles than the rest of Equestrian Estates owners. For example, how are the homeowners at either end of Appaloosa Drive or the end of Equestrian Trail near 36th Street more affected than, say, homeowners 300 feet from the circles on East Nowata Drive and East Talowa Street, or even East Kachina Drive. You can’t!
You said the other night, and I quote, “What gives you the right to say what happens here when the people of Arcadia or Pecos don’t have a say?” What gives me the right is this is my HOA and my neighborhood; they have theirs. If I drive into their neighborhood I have to live with the decisions they made, just as they drive into my neighborhood they have to abide by our decisions.
Solution: you must expand the “Petition Area” to all homeowners in our HOA. If it fails, fine; if it passes that’s OK, too, but we all had a say. Not just a few!
Circles are a joke
The Temporary Traffic Circles on Equestrian Trail and 36th Street are a big unsightly joke. I live on Equestrian and watch the traffic zoom by every day. The only slow down is right before entering the circles. If they are serious about slowing traffic the solution is to put four-way stop signs at Equestrian and Appaloosa, Equestrian and Tonalea, and 36th Street and Coconino. This would make a longer stretch of slower traffic by having to stop and not cost a ridiculous price of $250,000 to $350,000 (someone must be getting a kickback) and the savings could be spent on street repair, which isn’t happening now.
Traffic circles work
I read the article reporting that many people were opposed to the traffic circles at the entrances of Equestrian Estates. I live within the boundaries and am strongly in favor of them. It is a reminder, even to me, to slow down. As a result of them I drive slower and many times hold up others behind me that would like to go faster. It should remind us all to do the same. It is our neighborhood and we should treat it as such by slowing down.
We will never get speed bumps, gates or any other traffic solution to the speeding. The city has made this very clear. The speed is exacerbated in the neighborhood by it being a “cut-through” street for those going to work in the mornings. The traffic circles make it bothersome and slower for those wanting to use it. This is a good thing.
An added benefit is that it defines Equestrian Estates boundaries (we should negotiate an attractive sign on each end) and with the city spending at least a half-million on the two boundaries defining our neighborhood we all get this added benefit. These circles are in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale in more expensive neighborhoods than ours.
Anyone who says they are a safety hazard is out of touch. Anyone saying it scares buyers away because it makes them ask questions about speeding wants to ignore the reality that we do have a speeding problem. With the circles we have had no accidents, slows people down, defines the neighborhood and we are not paying for it directly.
The alternative folks, is that they will be removed and back to status quo speeding and a permanent cut-through street. There is little if any real downside unless your goal is to get out of the neighborhood or through it faster. This is our one shot at a solution.
More circle observations
A couple of additional observations from a resident that lives on Appaloosa Drive regarding the temporary round-about on Equestrian Trails:
1. The effect of this traffic-calming roundabout is suspect at best and dangerous at worst. Few people abide by the yield sign when someone is in the circle. I have observed and been involved in several instances where people in the roundabout had to stop for traffic entering from Equestrian Trails.
2. Traffic is not following the signs and someone is going to get injured in a traffic accident.
3. Unless the circle is increased to a point where people have to purposely slow down there will be no long-term improvement in controlling speeders. Now one can go through the circle at full speed without slowing.
4. Stop signs are effective if the police do their job in ticketing offenders. But that doesn’t seem to be the case today.
Not the time nor place for traffic circles
Dear Kerry Wilcoxon:
I thank you for the special time, courtesy and effort that was required to visit with me on the telephone, and to forward a professional, very well prepared copy of the attachments that were presented at the Ahwatukee Traffic Circle Meeting.
Both the Ahwatukee Foothills News and the Arizona Republic have reported on the meeting; hence I can glean an impression as to the attitude of the neighborhood.
As previously stated while on the telephone like most attendees at the meeting, I am personally opposed to the traffic-circle concept within a pre-designed established neighborhoods of limited space. We live about three blocks north of Equestrian Trial off of Blackfoot, which apparently is excluded from the intended formal “vote?” However, we are required to travel through either of the two traffic circles to enter or egress the streets leading to our home. The few neighbors that I have talked with confirm their opposition to the circles; however, neither I nor my neighbors have a desire to circulate a petition asserting our opposition. The arguments both for and against the restrictive circles has been abundantly presented. Your study and presentation has been both professional and thorough.
My good judgment based upon a lifetime as an Arizona resident, registered professional engineer (civil), frugal taxpayer, and neighborhood resident is that this is neither the time nor the place for traffic circles, which may very well be proved redundant and most likely a regrettable expenditures. I can only hope that the matter will be delayed while attitudes and continuing traffic speed studies are verified. I am confident that visitors to the area will continue to “slow down,” some even stopping in wonderment as the often confused drivers work themselves through the circular maze. Be assured neighborhood residents will continue to exceed the extremely slow, specified 20 mph speed limit with ever increasing expertise and challenging agility.
In summary, the tenor of the newspaper reports confirm that the decision has been made. I have, and do sincerely, appreciate the courtesy of your kind responses to my past and present concerns.
A. Kay Rogers, P.E.