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Speak up now or accept the inevitable outcome

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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013 12:19 pm

Five days — that is all the time remaining for public comments on the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway — then it is over. Finished. The end.

So SPEAK UP now or accept the inevitable outcome — Pecos Road will turn into the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway.

Volumes have been written about the permanent environmental damage that will impact our community if the proposed South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway is constructed on Pecos Road. This column will not restate all of the obvious environmental impacts; but will focus on the daily use of Pecos Road.

First, we can start with eliminating any thought of using Pecos Road for jogging or biking, as that will be strictly prohibited once it is part of the Interstate System.

Currently (as you will see in the accompanying map), we have six ways to access Pecos Road from the Ahwatukee Foothills Village — ranging from 40th Street on the east to 27th Avenue on the west. From my perspective, the traffic flows at a decent pace on Pecos Road and the side streets that feed into the main exit locations are not over-loaded.

The other accompanying map shows how the exit locations will look if the proposed South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway is completed. As you will quickly notice, we have decreased from six options to four. We have lost the ability to use 32nd Street and 27th Avenue.

This means the people living in the 700-plus homes in the Calabrea and Foothills Reserve HOAs will need to travel to 17th Avenue via Chandler Boulevard to get onto the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway. In addition, all of the people who used 32nd Street will need to travel to either 40th Street or 24th Street if they want to gain access to the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway. This will place a significant burden on Chandler Boulevard and also on interior streets like Liberty Lane and Lakewood Parkway West — especially when Desert Vista High School is in session.

So this is a crucial time to donate money to Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (PARC), a 501(c)3 organization. We are in the process of filing a substantial opposition document with the Arizona Department of Transportation on the flaws in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and your tax deductible contribution will make a big difference. Please send your donation to: PARC, PO Box 50455, Phoenix, AZ 85076.

Thank you, for caring about our environment!

• Jim Jochim, treasurer of Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (PARC), has been a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills since 1995.

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