Dear Editor:

With our budgetary constraints, with our city and state's deficits spiraling out of control, I am completely and utterly baffled as to how we can waste so much money on frivolous projects. I am referring to the infamous Equestrian Trail and Appaloosa Drive Circle in Ahwatukee that the city will waste almost $500,000 to build. I don't know if you possess the authority to stop or cancel a project or are willing to, but I invite you to take a half-hour out of your day to come and see for yourself what I'm referring to.

Apparently these monies were earmarked several years ago for such projects. That was then and this is now! Times have changed and we need someone with the authority to stop this project before it starts and spend our taxpayer's money more wisely for things that our city needs more than this unnecessary and impractical project.

Normally, traffic circles are utilized at major intersections to alleviate installing a traffic light to keep traffic moving, not to slow traffic. Of course, there are exceptions. One coming to mind is Hwy 179 inbound to Sedona. There they are necessary because of the amount of tourist traffic on that road. As far as Equestrian Trail and Appaloosa Drive Circle, there is no tourist traffic. Ninety-five percent of the traffic is on Equestrian Trail vs. 5 percent on Appaloosa Drive. Prior to this project there were stop signs on Appaloosa Drive. Granted, the circle slows traffic only for about 50 yards prior to the circle, then after it is normal speed. It just doesn't justify wasting taxpayer's money to appease one individual's whim. That money could be used for more worthy projects or, even better yet, rebates to our taxpayers.

I have transversed through that intersection at a minimum of four to five times a day during the 22 years living here and have never seen a problem with that intersection. Never, except for now! All because of one woman's desire to have a "beautifully paved and landscaped circle that will grace the entrance to Equestrian Estates" installed. The radius area for the proposed circle is not big enough for a safe circle. Proper research would have shown this. It is an accident waiting to happen. It is not safe for pedestrians, bicyclists or car traffic, as I have witnessed several incidents that occurred there. It's just a matter of time.

There are 322 residents of the Equestrian Estates Homeowners Association and because of an arbitrary and capricious petition boundary set up by Phoenix's Transportation Department, 83 got to vote as to what our "front gate" should be or look like. There are only two ways to exit and enter Equestrian Estates, that being 36th Street and Equestrian Trail. Equestrian Trail is our front gate and I would like a say as to what it should or should not be, especially if it affects my property.

The appeal process has failed as taxpayer's money is burning a hole in someone's pocket.

Suggestion: You want to catch speeders on Equestrian Trail, especially entering a school zone, put in one of those speed cameras that we took off our freeways. It would be more practical and at the same time make some money to help bail out our state budget, instead of wasting it on this circle.

To summarize, almost $500,000 to build; annual maintenance costs; occasional fertilizer to feed; fuel to drive there; necessary trimming; hauling trimmings away; and let's not forget our precious water; etc. OMG, we are watering a street! What are we thinking?

Wayne Sandifer

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