“We do not look to the CTOC or MAG for direction or understanding. Our presence at their meetings is to bring their arrogance to public attention. We rally to tear the social fabric holding their corporate networks and security together. Because we know under the outward togetherness of their business attire lays a permeable fragile bundle of nerves held together by the chance they stand unchallenged. Yet we know when we rise to challenge them, they quickly fall to the wayside of our challenge.” FROM what part of sacred don’t you understand
A year ago the “No Build” option for the Loop 202 extension was a somewhat well kept secret of ADOT. However, today the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) is voting on three different options, including NO BUILD, regarding the freeway.
The Loop 202 extension has been defeated by GRIC twice in the past; once in 2000 and again in 2005. Members of Awhatukee have also organized against the freeway and won.
The unfounded notion of this proposal has been hanging over the heads of numerous communities since the 80’s. The question that arises once again today is whose head will the cloud burst over? It’s safe to say that the Loop 202 extension project has sat idle for more than 30 years now because it is a poorly constructed and unneeded proposal.
As one GRIC member stated at the January Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee (CTOC) meeting, “We [the Gila River Indian Community] are not here to solve the growth problems of the Phoenix area.” She later continued to address how so much of their land has already been taken. These few sentences state what everyone opposing this freeway are up against.
The repercussions of unsustainable development is blowing up in everyone’s faces. Urban sprawl has gone so far unchecked it is almost impossible to correct now. Instead of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and ADOT swallowing their pride and admitting that yes, they have spent these past thirty years flushing money into a bad idea, they instead invest even more public dollars and time into the Loop 202 extension. All this, while we witness a corrupt Phoenix City Councilman take advantage of insider information on the freeway. Current District 6 Councilman Sal DiCcicio was paid by ADOT in 2006, before being a Councilman, to push GRIC to accept the freeway on their land. Then, the following year he signed a lease to develop 75 acres of land at Pecos and 40th St. right next to where the freeway would be built (on or off GRIC land). Talk about conflict of interests!
Across the state we see it with the NAFTA CANAMEX freeway. We see it in Tucson with the attempted expansion of the I-10 (that has seen continued community resistance and even the lengths of drastic property damage). It looms nearer and nearer with the attempted widening of the I-17 in the central and northern parts of Phoenix. When will this harmful expanding stop?
ADOT has freeway plans for the next 30 years. When a member of the CTOC asked about sustainability within that plan, the presenter acted bewildered that the notion of “sustainability” would be feasible in any way.
That is where so much of the problems we currently face reside. It doesn’t appear that forethought for today’s actions and their effects on the land and people tomorrow fit into an economic package. Cultural genocide, environmental degradation, and racism cannot be offset. Phoenix has reached its tipping point and unless we pay attention to it now, the future will no longer be capable of supporting us.
Regardless of GRIC’s Tuesday vote outcome, we promise to continue the fight against the Loop 202 and all other frivolous attachments of the colonial genocidal urban sprawl mentality. We know that ADOT will continue to exhaust all of its resources–financial and natural–for this and other roads. We recognize that the problems with the Loop 202 originate with a systemic curse of greed that began more than 500 years ago.
We see this as none other than an extremely coercive effort by ADOT to once again pressure members of GRIC to accept the freeway. Sad but true, ADOT’s attempted onslaught of communities persists. We are energized to say we will continue our resistance to it. And we further state that we will continue to organize even stronger until it matches the need to end this unneeded expansion of ADOT’s.