Beware of wrong-way drivers on Pecos!
I am writing to let everyone driving on Pecos Road to be very aware of your surroundings. My 17-year-old daughter was driving home on Sept. 25 (approximately 11 p.m., after attending the Desert Vista football game).
She was heading westbound on Pecos Road between 24th Street and Desert Foothills Parkway in the left lane. While traveling down Pecos, a car directly in front of her quickly veered into the right lane – this is when my daughter saw headlights heading directly towards her. She veered to the right lane, and into the bike lane, while the white truck passed her and continued the wrong way down Pecos Road.
Luckily for us, our daughter arrived home safely. I could only think about the horrific accident caused by a drunk driver driving the wrong way on Pecos, killing Ahwatukee Foothills resident Trang Vo and injuring others in her vehicle on Christmas Eve 2007. It is unknown if the wrong-way driver this past Friday night was drunk, on drugs or was just unfamiliar with their surroundings (not aware there are two lanes heading east-bound and two lanes heading west-bound on Pecos – even though there are divided highway signs at each intersection). If you see a wrong-way driver, contact 911 immediately, as this could save a life.
Be careful on Pecos!
Editor’s Note: Police arrested 40-year-old Rogelio Hernandez Castillo for DUI near 40th Street and Pecos Road a few minutes after he passed Barnard’s daughter traveling the wrong way on Pecos Road.
Inattentive drivers and bicyclist on Pecos
According to Corinne Frayer, “nobody goes 50” on Pecos. Well, I’m “nobody.” Admittedly, the only other people going 50 are on their cell phones and weaving all over the road. I get on Pecos and lock in 50 mph on my cruise control. Then I spend my time watching out for those bicyclists with a death wish. There are not very many of them, but they sure scare me. These are the ones that ride side-by-side with another bicyclist and weave back and forth across the white line. I have seen them weave all the way to the center of the right lane.
Now, I do not agree with the 3’ law. Passing a bicyclist that close is crazy. I give them at least half a lane and, in most cases, a full lane. That way, if they fall as I am passing, I won’t run them over. I see plenty of cars violate the 3’ law. Regardless of who is at fault, it is likely that the bicyclist will pay the highest price.
The accident with Folts occurred Sept. 15. On Sept. 19 I was on Pecos and didn’t see a single bicyclist with a death wish. Maybe they all heard about the event. No doubt, this will keep them safe for a few weekends. But before long they will be back, just begging to be rear-ended by a car going at least 50 mph.
I have no simple solution to this problem but maybe the local bicycle clubs can remind all riders of how many people have died on Pecos in the last few years before each ride. At least for this weekend, fear seems to have worked.
R. G. Sparber
Bicyclists also have responsibility
I live in the Ahwatukee Foothills, and read your article about the bicyclist that was hit on the Pecos by a teenage driver, thank goodness he is OK.
But, why is it that it is always the vehicles that are at fault for bicyclists getting injured? Even though many of them are triathletes and other types of athletes, that doesn’t make up for lack of common sense!
I cannot tell you how many times I have had bicyclists ride right in front of me and not think twice about it. They look at you like they own the road. It blows my mind how they have the courage to go head-to-head with a 6,000- to 8,000-pound vehicle. Maybe someone should tell them that the roads are here first and foremost for vehicles, they have the privilege of a bike lane.
Here is some advice for them: Stay in your lane! Stop riding two and three bikes to a lane. Stop acting like bicyclists own the road!
And by the way, I am not one of those drivers that goes above 50 mph on the Pecos so don’t be mistaken and think I am a ticked off speeder!
Tukee Fest rocked
Thanks to you, the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center’s Second Annual Tukee Fest Rockin’ in the Park was a huge success. Attendees enjoyed the great sounds from the bands Omniscient (Horizon High School), The Line Up, A Boy Named Sioux and B Platinum. A wide variety of food and beverage was offered from Nello’s Pizza, Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, Von Hanson’s bratwursts and hotdogs, Campfire Kettle Corn, Jamba Juice, wine from Total Wine and beer from Hensley Distributing. FunRunners Rental provided the amusements for the kids.
Thank you also to the following businesses: Brewer’s Air Conditioning and Heating (spirit sponsor), Kevin McGraw – State Farm, Classic Image Dance, Woolaver Clear Smiles, Pro-Edge Performance Training, Ahwatukee Foothills Newspaper (advertising sponsor), Attorney Dean Formanek, Scott Roofing (entertainment sponsor), 1 Stop Signs, The Bagnall Company and Ace Hardware & Rental at 48th Street and Warner. Finally a big thank you to the 2009 Community Center Sponsors: Desert Landscape Professionals (DLP), Ahwatukee Country Club, Big O Tires, and Ahwatukee Adventure Boot Camp. Without their help, this event might not have been as successful as it was.
Door prizes were provided by Classic Car Spa, The Melting Pot, Phoenix Coyotes, Madison Avenue Salon & Day Spa, Fry’s Grocery Store, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Bed Bath & Beyond, LA Fitness, The Phoenix Suns, The Arizona Cardinals, Sleep America and Safeway Store.
Volunteers are also a big part of our success. Thank you Mike Mettner, Traci Phillips and the SEV Ravens Football team, who showed up first thing Sunday morning to collect trash, remove banners, arrange bleachers and clean up the Ahwatukee Park. Way to go Ravens. The Mountain Pointe High School boys and girls golf teams volunteered in the concession and food booths. Karen Corona, C.P.A., and her group of volunteers made sure ID bands were on for alcohol consumption and hands were stamped for entry. Jean Stuk (DPR Realty) and Michelle Wilson (ABM board member) worked without complaint all night selling tickets in the main ticket booth.
Kudos to the U.S. Army for bringing out a military Humvee that kids were allowed to climb in and on, and a football toss for more entertainment for the kids. Thank you to Councilman Sal DiCiccio and his staff for their fabulous support for this community event.
The entire staff of the Ahwatukee Community Center and Ahwatukee Board of Management worked tirelessly to bring this experience together so that families, friends and neighbors could have an enjoyable evening out, close to home.
Check out our Web site, http://www.ahwatukeehoa.com, for information on the following upcoming events, Spash n Dash – Oct. 3, Halloween Haunted House & Hayride – Oct. 23, 24 and 25, and Ahwa-Turkey Stomp Car & Motorcycle Show – Nov. 21.
Special Events/Rental Coordinator
Ahwatukee Community Swim & Tennis Center