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Guest opinion

Rios: Why is Ducey removing roadside memorials?

Gov. Doug Ducey's administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation have commenced removing memorial crosses and religious markers from the side of state highways. This removal started two weeks ago along State Route 177 and east of Superior on US 60. No notification either personally or via local news outlets was provided to the families of the loved ones who were killed at those sites.

Most families of the deceased consider these memorial sites sacred and holy. When folks questioned ADOT, they were notified that they could pick up the deceased's crosses and other religious items at the maintenance yard in Globe. When family members went to claim religious items, many of the figurines were found broken and many crosses were missing.

ADOT and Ducey are within their legal rights to remove all un-permitted objects from state right of way. The issue is that highway deaths have been marked by memorial crosses for almost 100 years. These crosses also serve as a notice to other drivers to be more cautious while driving. Why is the Ducey administration having them removed now?

The governor's executive staff has indicated that they will be removing memorial crosses from all rural state highways. Most of our rural highways are in extremely bad condition, seems to me that highway crew's time could be better utilized repairing our roadways versus desecrating sacred ground.

Pete Rios is a Pinal County supervisor.

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4
10 comments
May 3, 2016, 9:15 am
-1 +1

I bet they remove them precisely because they have those effects on drivers. They probably believe the gentle reminders to drive carefully “impinge on personal liberties,” the usual “rationale” for anything that AZ legislature does. The fact that legislators have stifled repeated attempts to ban texting and driving clearly proves that protecting the personal liberty of typing a message that could easily wait justifies putting everyone else in danger of injury or death.

3
10 comments
May 3, 2016, 9:14 am
-1 +0

I bet they remove them precisely because they have those effects on drivers. They probably believe the gentle reminders to drive carefully “impinge on personal liberties,” the usual “rationale” for anything that AZ legislature does. The fact that legislators have stifled repeated attempts to ban texting and driving clearly proves that they value the personal liberty of typing a message that could easily wait justifies putting everyone else in danger of injury or death.

2
1 comments
May 3, 2016, 5:29 am
-1 +6

He does funny things.  One I disapproved of was when he cut School funding.

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A memorial along an Arizona highway.

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