Regretably, Your Planet is One of those Scheduled for Demolition

I-10 BypassI have yet to meet anyone that thinks that this proposed I-10 bypass is a good idea. Then again, I don’t talk to a lot of real estate developers.

Daniel Patterson already has a post on the idea, and he thinks it stinks. Then again we expected that. The “Tucson Avoiding” portion of the bypass would in all likelyhood go through still untouched portions of the San Pedro River valley. Mess with the San Pedro, you mess with Patterson.

The Star published an op-ed by Dr. Richard Henderson, an anthropology professor at the University of Arizona, describing the negative environmental impact of such a road.

I know, you are all saying “But Ted, this is just a sliver of blacktop, big effin’ deal. It’s not like they are building houses and gold courses there.” Well, actually, this highway would facilitate more sprawl in areas that have so far been untouched by it.

There has been some fire directed as S. I. Schorr, Pima County’s Rep on the State Transportation Board who evidently originated this idea. Schorr has been close to developers for a long time, and there are allegations that he may be doing this to open up large segments of Pinal County to development. This may or may not be his actual motivation here, but the fact is there isn’t much left of Pima County to develop. With no place left to build here, it would make sense for developers to look elsewhere. In some places in Pinal County, there are already large developments that seem to have no reason for being other than the fact that they can be built. Laying down a freeway nearby would just accelerate this sort of growth.

Here is the stupid part: the reason given for the freeway is that I-10 is too congested to make it efficient for truckers. True ‘dat. Even I-10 through our sleepy Old Pueblo can turn into a parking lot when 5 PM rolls around. But, given the rate of development we’ve seen near new freeways in Maricopa county, how long will it be before there is the same problem with this bypass? Think about this for a minute: every new “planned community” built along this freeway will be populated by people who will be working not near the development, but in Tucson, Phoenix and maybe Casa Grande. What will be the best way for them to get there?

(by the way, one of the proposed “Phoenix avoiding” segments of the new freeway seems to coincide with the current Gila Bend bypass (I-8 and AZ 85). Despite the fact that there is a prison along there, there are already parts of it that have been scraped and bladed for yet more stucco and chicken wire boxes west of Phoenix)

So, developers want this so they can build more sprawl in places where there are few reasons for communities of that size to be. Which is very much the reasons that that movement on I-10 in Tucson and Phoenix is at sloth-like levels now. How many years before they demand another bypass?

NB – You can click on the map above to get a bigger version of the planned bypasses. You can also check out this page for various materials about the bypass from ADOT. They also have a comment form.

6 thoughts on “Regretably, Your Planet is One of those Scheduled for Demolition

  1. I’m no bleeding heart enviro. In fact I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. I’m also a Phoenix native. That said, this idea is bad news.

    Yes, we need freeways. Barring that, we need a gate at the border to keep out Californians, Minnesotans and those damn illegals from Canada. But I digress.

    The fact is, more people call Arizona home, so we need to move them around. But cutting a road through the wilderness and creating the potential for more development is foolhardy. Just how much water do we really have in this state anyway? Just askin’…

    Let’s get off the dime about commuter rail – it can be done (albeit with lotsa dough), widen I-10 to about 12 lanes from Benson to Black Canyon City, and maybe create a commercial-truck only lane as part of that plan.

    I dunno. It could work.

  2. Tucson should be avoided at all costs except of course when I go down there to watch the Territorial Cup game;)

    I think the bypass is a good idea but you bring up some good points about it being a breeding ground for more development which pretty much defeats the purpose.

  3. Get the AZ state legislature to support more water conservation bills with real teeth and the money to enforce it, and we’ll start to really control sprawl and the insane bypasses that come with it. I want to bitch slap every ditto head that says, ‘Yeah, but, growth is gonna happen–just accept it.” That is the kind of cattle manure mentality that feeds growth. Put a real CAP (Complete Arid-desert Protection) on water and do it now!

  4. Here’s a great idea, Indy. If you want there to be less water use you don’t need the legislature at all. All you need is the Democrats on the city council to raise water rates. That will reduce consumption not only in the City but throughout the County because the city runs most of the water throughout Pima County.

    Obviously, that won’t happen because the last time we did it the voters booted that council out of office, but that is the sole reason water consumption in Tucson is less than in Phoenix. You don’t need the legislature to hold your hand. You don’t need any bills. You just need to find some of your Democrat pals to have some guts. Good luck on that one.

  5. WHAT? I read what you say, but I don’t see how you have proposed a solution, only insist on more overall damage to the area.

    Your “there will just be congestion on the bypass in the future also” attitude just points how how desperately it’s needed, and actually weakens your argument.

    Traffic congestion causes pollution, that’s established. The bypass eases congestion, and thereby reduces the over all pollution levels. That’s just fact.

    Your answer is to say “no” and let the environmental damage to Southern Arizona get worse overall. You believe that we shouldn’t do anything, let congestion get worse, there by increasing environmental pollution, just let the situation get worse. That’s no solution at all. That’s just complaining about something and offering no help what so ever.

Comments are closed.