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1. The Idea of the Expansion: Where Does This Road Take?

However fast pace the development may take, there are always people who slacken its speed with non-stopping arguments and the doubts about the success of the campaign. In spite of the fact that all the necessary calculations have been carried out and that the most important measures are about to be applied, there still will be a bunch of people who will start arguing about the expedience of the enterprise. What is going on about expansion of the road in Phoenix belongs to the same category of arguments.

Since the road extension has caused a great stir in the society and has resulted in continuous debates, the problem needs investigating. This paper aims at considering the problem from the two existing positions and to suggest the most reasonable decision on the subject of the road extension. In the given research, the method of the principled negotiation is used to figure out the most appropriate decision. The method that is used in the essay is the one of the principal negotiation. As Fisher denotes it,

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The method of principled negotiation developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project is to decide issues on their merits rather than through a haggling process focused on what each side says it will and won’t do. It suggests that you look for mutual gains wherever possible, and that where your interests conflict, you should insist that the result be based on some fair standards independent of the will of either side. The method of principled negotiation is hard on the merits, soft on the people (6).

What has been suggested could be explained in the following way.

The very idea is that the road called Loop 202, or, to be more official, State Route 202, circles rather small area of the cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. Beginning at the Mini Stack and ending its way at Interstate 10, which is near Ahwatukee, it makes the small cities connected with the rest of the US, creating the vitally important interchange between the cities. Since Arizona covers quite big area, it is desirable that these cities were as close to the “mainland” as possible, making the whole body of the state an entire organism.

However, at present it is considered that the road needs reconstruction and that the South Mountain Freeway, the part of the route in question, is supposed to be changed in favor of the country and its profit. However, the issue has raised multiple protests among the population and has become the battlefield for the citizen of the state and its regulation.

According to the ideas of the principled negotiations, the people must be separated from the problem (Fisher 19), so it is better to listen to the opinions, not taking into account personal likes and dislikes. Not all of the people in the video by Dorkatron call for positive emotions, yet it is necessary to take their opinions into consideration.

It is also necessary to “focus on interests, not positions” (Fisher 10). Thus, it seems most appropriate to list the preferences of both sides rather than indulge into unnecessary debates. Understanding what pushes people to assume this or that position is of much more importance than conducting debates which lead to nowhere.

Fisher emphasizes that this approach can make the opponents unite on order to produce the solution for the problem as quickly as possible: “Figuratively if not literally, the participants should come to see themselves as working side by side, attacking the problem, not each other.” (Fisher 11)

Whenever there is the issue of politics that collides with the ones of the population, there is practically no way to be politically correct, but to assume the positions of both parties and consider the ideas that they are trying to put into practice.

Presenting the arguments of the both parties, it is important to mention both the positive and the negative effects of the changes applied.

2. Opinions and Ideas: Pros and Cons

2.1 Those Who Support the Idea

Those who speak in favor of the new road construction claim that the new highway route is bound to encourage a better interrelationship between the cities and the capital of the state, as well as between the city and the other states.

The supporters of the idea also mention that the new construction might increase the incomes of the state. According to Eric Anderson, the transportation director, the new highway construction will be more than simply beneficial for the state, but will encourage its further development and will support the economic stability of Arizona:

Without the South Mountain Loop, traffic congestion of 1-10 link from the Southeast Valley to the Southwest Valley, will continue to be a major bottleneck to both regional travelers and those traveling through the region. (Hear Me Out Should Arizona Consider Extension of Loop 202)

Those speaking in favor of the new route have the point about the traffic problems that the loop extension can help to solve. Indeed, it gradually becomes impossible to control the heavy traffic that arises due to the lack of space and the lack of freeways. The Corridor 4 and the Route 202 extension might solve this problem once and for all, the drivers breathing more freely in the new space and the wares and goods delivered faster. In the lights of the abovementioned, it is absolutely obvious that the roads need extension badly.

The government has already invested sufficient sum of money to support the project:

The Arizona Department of Transportation is charged with implementing the highway component of the Regional Transportation Plan which includes $13.2 million in new freeways, freeway improvements and maintenance. (Project Funding)

It stands beyond any reasonable doubt that the changes that the extension of the Loop 202 will bring to the people living in the vicinity of the Loop are going to be impressive.

The DCR (Design Concept Report) develops approximately 15% of the preliminary roadway design and evaluates environmental issues, noise mitigation, and lighting to accommodate the new lanes. It is anticipated that the project will be constructed within the existing roadway right-of-way. Construction is scheduled to be completed in five segments from 2013 through 2025. (Loop 202 (Santan Freeway))

One of the main points that can add to the attractiveness of the idea is the fact that it will connect the chain of smaller cities to the main ones in the entire state. Tracing along the whole state, it will not leave a single patch of land detached from the “mainland”. As Samson explained, “If you’re headed to Scottsdale, Temple, or Mesa, head east out of the airport and follow signs for Ariz. 202 Loop.” (77)

The arguments are well-grounded and profound. It does create a big advantage for the towns close to the Loop 202 in particular and Arizona in general.

2.2. The Opponents’ View.

Pursuing the idea of keeping the environment not polluted by the transport that will stream the way which the new route is going to lay on the map, people are worrying about the state of affairs in their own place of living. Will it be just as safe with the new amendments? Will the cars and the other transport means harm the nature and pollute it? Will the people be able to live the life they used to as the new route is established? All these questions raise the issues that trouble people so hard that they cannot help getting it to long and heated debates.

Indeed, assuming the position of those who are straight against the new expansion of the route, it will be absolutely just to emphasize the harm that the extension of Loop 202 will trigger.

One should also take into account the danger that the present loop exposes the people to. t is well understood that the traffic might cause accidents. Th3 government has suggested a way to avoid the mishaps: “It must be also kept in mind that the curves of the Loop 202 are rather dangerous for the drivers and the desirable speed must not exceed 25 mph.” (Modern Roundabouts). Since the situation that has been described above is far too dangerous, the mew route for the Loop is preferable (Extending the Loop from the Roundabouts).

As in many cases connected with both politics and ecology, mainly people express a deep concern about the probable negative consequences of the new venture rather than the government. The local dwellers oppose their ideas to the ones in charge, trying to make the political bodies understand their reasons for being straight against the new policy and the changes that are going to happen to the route.

3. What Mere Mortals Think.

The opinion poll shows that this is the question of the city pollution. The reasons that trouble most of the citizen of Arizona are understood and well-based. Indeed, the pollution that the new highways laid close to the people’s houses will cause certain harm to the ones living nearby. As it has been said, “It is going to interrupt… bring a lot of pollution, bring a lot of garbage that we do not need…” (Dorkatron).

Whenever the problem of the environmental threat is being talked over, the governmental bodies react sharply, but in this case the whole problem does not seem to be taken anywhere. In spite of the fact that many people are worried about the highway extension, there are the steps that are going to be undertaken in spite of the reasons provided.

It is also necessary to “focus on interests, not positions” (Fisher 10). Thus, it seems most appropriate to list the preferences of both sides rather than indulge into unnecessary debates. Understanding what pushes people to assume this or that position is of much more importance than conducting debates which lead to nowhere.

Fisher emphasizes that this approach can make the opponents unite on order to produce the solution for the problem as quickly as possible: “Figuratively if not literally, the participants should come to see themselves as working side by side, attacking the problem, not each other.” (Fisher 11)

Whatever new and progressive ideas and changes the project is going to give the people and the country, it is not supposed to bother people and, moreover, change their lives to the worse. Meanwhile, that is what the new extension is partially doing.

One of the issues that have also been touched upon in the discussion of the necessity of the new highway extension was the one of the national heritage that is being threatened.

The mountain that is counted as a treasure of the city and the state is being endangered by the new route of the highway. There is a certain calculation made, which shows precisely that the heavy traffic can damage the site.

This doubles the negative effect. It is not simply that people will be deprived of the beauty of the state and the apple of the local dwellers’ eyes – people will also have another profitable source of income vanished, for the tourists that are drawn here each season, attracted by the original beauty of the mountains and the state peculiar environment might find no longer any attractions here and not take this place as the site to visit anymore.

This is something that must make the government think twice before making any decisions. Indeed, the total percentage of the income that is bought by tourism makes qa figure that makes a huge difference to what might be if the state will be deprived of this source for good.

Being closer rather to the nature than to the financial questions, people have expressed this point in their own convincing words: “I can’t break those ties, though it would be convenient.” (Dorkatron). The reasons that they number as they explain why such idea is not acceptable are numerous.

Starting from something lame like that they do not want “a freeway in my backyard”, up to the speeches far more patriotic and expressing the worries about the state of their homeland, trying to pay the tribute to the ancestors that were the founders of the state as it is now – “because of my heritage”.

They show that their culture is something that has to be appreciated and taken into account as well. The symbolic ties that link the people to the state and its nature are the reason for them to stand up against the new project and protest against it. “Mountian is a place of worship” (Dorkatron), and there is nothing that the authorities could do about.

It is important to understand that the people that have been living in a certain place for so long have been connected with it so firmly that they react painfully to every single intrusion from the outside. It is cruel to make those people start living the way they have never had before and make them adjust to the new situation, which is not that beneficial as the previous one.

In other words, put into a new, hostile environment of the polluted roads and the national treasures forgotten and forsaken, people will feel neglected. This is something that the government cannot do.

The case of the Corridor 4 is quite the same. Speaking of the alleged profits and benefits that the people are going to get, it becomes evident that the project is something that is highly desirable for the economical reasons rather than for the people’s concern.

4. To the Bottom of It.

Finally, the step that is of the utter importance is to “generate a variety of the possibilities before deciding what to do.” Fisher makes it obvious that

Trying to decide in the presence of an adversary narrows your vision. Having a lot at stake inhibits creativity. So does searching for the one right solution. You can offset these constraints by setting aside a designated time within which to think up a wide range of possible solutions that advance shared interests and creatively reconcile differing interests. Hence the third basic point: Before trying to reach agreement, invent options for mutual gain. (11)

Thus, as all the possible variants of solving the problem have been considered, the necessary resolution must follow the path that seems the most reasonable one.

In the given case, the economical reasons must be the prior goal for the government to strive for. This defines the direction in which the government should act. In the light of the abovementioned, the reconstruction of the Loop 202 is to be continued so that the state could get access to its most distanced parts and the people could move around the state without experiencing difficulties.

When it comes to deciding which path to choose, the decision that is most objective and the least grounded on the interests of the each side, not on the positions that they take, it starts to get clarified that no compromise can be achieved. It is either that the change will take place, or the government will lose the battle and no highway will be extended.

Since the main reason of the government is that there must be the economical and trade link to the big city from the detached towns of Arizona, it is desirable that the economical question could come to the point. In spite of the fact that the cultural heritage might suffer, the connection to the civilization is of the extreme importance to the dwellers of Arizona.

They might not yet understand it, but the impact of the cities connected to each other will be strong and immense. It will necessarily help the people to get closer to the other states and will tie the state together, for its population has been scattered from each other for many years.

The objective criteria say that the progress must go on, despite the difficulties it can trigger. Whenever there are some problems emerging on the way of solving another problem, people should not run away from them, but try to understand the root of those problems and make them vanish.

With such strategy, the results will come immediately and for long. It is mot that people’s interests should not be considered, but there must be some compromising ideas found, while the head concept – in the given case, road extension – should preserve untouched. Only in this case, the situation can be handled in the right way.

Works Cited

Anderson, Erik. Hear Me Out: Should Arizona Consider Extension of Loop 202? Valley Freeways. 28 Jan. 2010 Web. 19 Nov. 2010 Web. Dorkatron. South Mountain Freeway Proposal – Public Comments pt 1. Web. 19 Nov. 2010.

Extending the Loop from the Roundabouts. Arizona Department of Transportation.
http://www.azdot.gov/CCpartnerships/roundabouts/L202_12.asp

Fisher, Roger, and William Ury. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving in. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1991. Print.

Loop 202 (Santan Freeway). Arizona Department of Transportation.
http://www.azdot.gov/Highways/valley_freeways/Loop_202/Santan/current_studies.sp

Modern Roundabouts. Arizona Department of Transportation.
http://www.azdot.gov/CCpartnerships/roundabouts/L202_11.asp

Project Funding. Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway). Arizona Department of Transportation. n.d. Web. Nov. 20 2010. Web. Samson, Karl. Frommer’s Arizona 2010. Phoenix, AZ: Frommer’s, 2009. Print.

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