Report “Resistance to the Extension of the Loop 202” Released

RESISTANCE TO THE EXTENSION OF THE LOOP 202 BY JEZZ PUTNAM

A report on the valleys fight against the expansion of the Loop 202 is now public. Written nearly a year ago the report titled: “Resistance to Loop 202″by anti-freeway organizer Jezz Putnam. With the help of other numerous anti-freeway organizers Putnam has presented on the subject of the 202 to a wide variety of valley audiences from landowners in Laveen and Ahwatukee, to students at the Chandlar-Gilbert Community College and radicals at the Indigenous established Taala Hooghan Infoshop in Flagstaff Arizona.

The report covers resistance in Gila River since the 80’s. The Ahwatukee based group PARC (Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children) and of course the urban based group No South Mountain Freeway. After sharing the concerns of the O’odham tribes and and valley residents the report dives into health issues with the freeway. The report also mentions conflicts with the CANAMEX highway in correlation to the 202.

In all the report highlights numerous concerns that have been raised throughout the freeway proposals existence in 1982.  Please give it a read when you have the chance and may it help you contribute to the Public comment period for the freeway.

There are several ways for the public to comment on the Draft EIS. Comments can be submitted by email to projects@azdot.gov, via phone at (602) 712-7006 or by mail to the South Mountain Study Team, 1655 W. Jackson St. MD 126F, Phoenix, AZ 85007. ADOT is also planning a day-long public hearing on May 21 at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd St.

Public comments must be submitted by July 24.

For a Downloadable copy of the report please Click here: Resistance to the Loop 202

On the subject of pollution and Health related to the freeways extension Putnam cites studies that have reported on the effects of freeways to ones healthFrom the report:

Oppermann cites Vliet, P. (1997) a study by the Health Effects Institute that “reviewed more than 700 worldwide studies of vehicle emissions and found that areas most affected by traffic-related pollution are within 500 meters of the pollution’s source” Opperman (2010).  According to Kim et al. (2004) “truck traffic has been more strongly associated with these adverse outcomes than total vehicular traffic”. Which again raises the question so many freeway opponents have asked, would the expansion become a by-pass for large diesel trucks.

And the report brings up preexisting problems with asthma at valley schools that the freeways extension would surely exhaust to even unhealthier levels.

Vliet, P. (1997), was also referenced by the New York Times. Wald (2010) noted “Vibration and noise rather than air pollution could also cause some health damage, the report said.” Wald (2010) also reported “A relationship was found between pollution from vehicles and impaired lung function and accelerated hardening of the arteries.”  Bringing the point back locally, Opperman (2010) also said that “A 2008 study of Maricopa County by… Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona State University found a correlation between elevated amounts of particle pollution and asthma-related absences at nearby schools.”

One of the less talked about points of tension with the freeway is the legality of blasting into the sacred South Mountain:

The subject of Land Preserve Protection was also highlighted in the Article, Questions remain on blasting into South Mountain, Doug, B., (2009, November 11). The article quoted the wording from a 1985 vote by Phoenix residents “…In no event shall any real property within any City Mountain Preserve be sold, traded or otherwise alienated, designated or deleted from the Mountain Preserve except by approval of a majority of the electors voting.” The article continues to further point out that, “a state law passed in 1990, House Bill 2218, also says cities can’t transfer preserve land for freeways with a vote.”

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