Where are the “silver linings” for the Ahwatukee Foothills area from the proposed South Mountain Freeway?

I have the entire 1,000-plus page South Mountain Freeway (Loop 202) Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) document in my possession, reading it cover to cover. I have yet to see any positive benefits for the construction of this segment of the Loop 202 in our village. Yet, there are very strong financial and logistical outcomes for the folks on the western alignment along the 59th Avenue and Interstate 10 interchange if the freeway is constructed.

On the eastern side there will be permanent pain and suffering due: disrespectful scaring to South Mountain, increased noise and air pollution, destruction of a church and several hundred homes, plus increased local traffic volumes on the interior streets. Also, no true relief on the I-10 as the connection point on the west side is 59th Avenue and most people in my village do not work close to that location.

In all fairness to the Arizona Department of Transportation/Maricopa Association of Governments planners they project a 7 percent reduction in volume on the Broadway Curve (if the freeway is completed), but to put that number in perspective — if 100,000 vehicles travel on the Broadway Curve everyday that means the number drops to 93,000. I would probably not even notice that difference in the level of service on that curve.

So if you want to net this all out it comes down to the fact that the west side wins both financially and with improved traffic flow and the east side pays — permanently with the destruction of a portion of the freeway, a church, 100-plus homes and increased air and noise pollution.

I welcome any and all comments on my logic.

Jim Jochim

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