Opponents of proposed South Mountain freeway want area to remain quiet, peaceful

PHOENIX - A beautiful day for a hike at South Mountain Park provided a platform for one Valley organization to speak out against the proposed South Mountain freeway.

"We wanted to do a hike in South Mountain just to raise the awareness of what would happen to South Mountain," said Pat Lawlis, president of Protecting Arizona's Resources and Children.

The group's primary mission is to prevent the freeway from being built through the park.

"One of the real joys of hiking is to get out in nature and everything is just quiet and you can hear the birds and you can just enjoy nature. You can't do that if you have the noise of a freeway in the background," he said.

A report conducted by the Arizona Department of Transportation says only one mile of freeway would pass the park. Almost known as the Draft EIS , the report says the road would pass through a remote part of the park.

"I understand there's going to be more people, there's going to be more traffic, said Franklin Mossman, a resident who lives close to South Mountain Park.

But he believes the freeway could have a positive impact on the area.

"Anything going to the West Valley would be a little bit easier to get to. Or even maybe possibly the city," he said.

However, Lawlis doesn't want the freeway to even be an option.

"People understand that this is not a done deal, we are going to stop this," he said.

ADOT is currently in the development phase of the project. Before any construction takes place, they'll have to provide a final draft of the environmental impact statement, which is expected to be released mid-to-later this year.

To learn more about the proposed South Mountain Freeway, visit ADOT's website .

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