Pros and cons of proposed Scottsdale charter school speak out

- Basis Charter Schools are opening up all over Arizona, but right now, they have overcrowding at their current campus on Via Linda and 136th Street in Scottsdale. So they want to open up a new middle and high school down the street -- but this location is stirring up some controversy.

With cheers from the pros and a silent protest from the cons, both sides of a contentious debate meet up face-to-face.

"As a parent, I believe it is very safe and I will be driving this every day," said Sharon Madura, a Basis parent.

What's at issue here is a piece of land that Basis Charter School wants to build its newest location on near 128th Street and Shea Boulevard, but those who oppose it say it's a problem, and a busy Shea Boulevard with 50 miles-per-hour speed limits aren't safe for students or residents.

"When I was concerned that we had a lot of traffic, I went up and around and took a U-turn and as I was doing that, I was rear-ended at 50 mph," said Susie Alofs, a nearby resident. "You're telling me kids aren't going to do that? Of course they are. Parents who are late? Of course they are."

Basis plans to open their new campus in August by adding over 1,000 students onto a road that already has a bad reputation for safety.

But those in favor of the location say the school's presence will turn things around.

"With the abandonment of easement, the roads will be expanded and there will be a traffic light, which makes this intersection much safer than it currently is, so it's a win-win for every body," Madura said.

They say these road improvements have been approved by traffic engineers, the City of Scottsdale and the fire marshal, but opponents say it all needs to be looked at in another light.

"They have not done any study in the country where there is a cue line on the road of that speed," Alofs said. "They don't have any data. How can they know if they don't have the data? That's insane."

The common ground seems to be keeping kids and residents safe and how to do that is now in the hands of the city council.

The Scottsdale City Council will meet on Tuesday night to vote on the issue.

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