Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tiyan parkway controversy continues

Tiyan parkway controversy continues

Posted: Dec 21, 2009 9:32 PM PST

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The members of the Tiyan neighborhood association aren't backing down on their efforts to ensure that access to their homes and the airport remains open to the public and that the road doesn't end up being built on their homes. The residents are calling on the airport to be a better neighbor.

The Tiyan Neighborhood Association contends there is no practical reason or basis to prohibit the public from using the new road saying it's apparent that the "FAA wants to take the airport back and restrict access to locals as though it was still military property.

Residents are extremely upset that the Government of Guam returned the land several years ago and now there's a possibility that they will have to give their land back so the government can build the Tiyan parkway.

Tiyan resident and Neighborhood Association member Leonard Calvo said, "They're going to put a road through a neighborhood. It's a neighborhood. People are living there. There's people living in the houses, kids are playing in the streets and now they want to put a major road through there. OK, that just doesn't make sense."

The Department of Public Works, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Guam International Airport Authority have been involved in biweekly meetings to determine where the parkway will be built. As we first reported GIAA officials had asked the FAA whether the parkway could be built on airport property.

The feds denied the request and went as far as saying the airport could not use its land or even its revenues to pay for the access road. The FAA is also seeking the closure of the current access road that runs through Tiyan connecting Route 8 with Route 10a.

"Basically," continued Calvo, "the FAA wants to federalize all the land up there and control everything and keep the local traffic off it."

The residents contend the airport is being an irresponsible neighbor by not insisting on the placement of the road. At this point DPW is looking at several options that include building the parkway along the Tiyan cliffline, which would result in homes being condemned as well as another plan for the road to run through the neighborhoods in Tiyan.

"You can't put a five-to-six lane major thoroughfare through a residential neighborhood; I wouldn't see it through Nimitz Estates. I wouldn't see it through Perezville. You don't see that anywhere," said Calvo, who added that the Neighborhood Association is pushing for the airport to be responsible neighbors and work out a compromise with the FAA so that residents can utilize the access road in Tiyan as well the more than 200,000 square feet of new facilities there.

"But really the solution is to put it through the airport property and have the minimal impact on the original landowners and the current residents and it won't really affect the tenants and the people who do business at the airport," he said.

But whether the airport and the FAA will agree on that solution remains to be seen as GIAA Executive Manager Carlos Salas has said he anticipates the issue to be resolved before the New Year or sometime next month.

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