Report: Tucson Designates Wetmore as 4WD Road
(Tucson, Arizona) - The four-wheel drive community got a big boost to their sport today as the City of Tucson designated a portion of Wetmore Road between Flowing Wells Road and 1st Ave as a non-maintained 4WD road, now called the Wetmore Trail. City Transportation and Roads Director, Troy Needleman said, "This strategic move culminated years of neglect and lack of maintenance on our part to ensure the road became as rough as it is today. It was a no brainer. All we had to do was nothing and let nature take its course. But we can't take all the credit for this. We also worked with the National Forestry Service, local four-wheel drive clubs, environmental groups, animal rights activists and the members of the Michigan Canning Association to gather as much data as we could to guarantee we are doing the right thing."
When asked what he did with this data, Needleman was evasive, only stating that he used the reams of paper to light his fireplace on cold nights during the winter, "And there weren't all that many, so don't judge me."
Four-wheel drive enthusiasts are happy with the designation. Jack Parson, President of a local 4x4 club told reporters, "With the Forestry Service closing down trails in our state left and right, we count this as a victory. We now have an awesome four-wheel drive trail right in the middle of the city. We are working with the city officials to designate more roads into 4WD trails like Miracle Mile, Tucson Blvd and 6th Ave."
John Roberts came here all the way from Prescott this weekend to make a run on the new trail. "To tell you the truth, I'm a little disappointed. I heard the new Wetmore Trail was pretty rough and I was expecting something like Hell's Revenge or Break Every Part of My Suspension Alley, but it I didn't even need my winch to make it through. Don't get me wrong, it was fun and there's a good boulder field near Oracle Road, but someone's already made an easy bypass to the "Pothole of Death" near the Tucson Mall entrance and I made it through "The Stone Ave Merge and Mayhem" obstacle without having to use my lockers. Maybe it will get tougher with a few more years of neglect."
Mark Roberts, a Phoenix resident also tried his luck on the new trail, "I wish Phoenix would do the same thing. I hate driving two hours to find a challenging trail. I mean, what if Phoenix continued to neglect Indian School Road? That would be awesome!"
Not everyone is happy with the designation though. Environmentalists are calling the move, "Reckless, stupid and fiscally responsible." A California environmental group named Saving Natural Organic Transportation Systems (SNOTS) sent out this scathing public release statement, "Inner city roads are one of our last purely natural transportation systems left for us to enjoy. Cities need to maintain them in their original state of disrepair where the potholes only cause misalignment issues, not widespread mechanical failures. We believe this is purely an economic decision made by the City of Tucson. They need to think about the those of us who enjoy the natural beauty of asphalt and concrete. In addition, all the four-wheeling activity on this newly developed trail will eventually turn this road into just a trail with rocks, dirt and maybe even some native cactus. I can't imagine it."
But this hasn't stopped the City of Tucson Depratment of Transportation and Roads from moving forward with similar projects. Needleman stated that they are looking at making an official program out of designating rough roads into 4WD trails. "It should save us millions of dollars. If we use the money we would have spent filling in potholes and maintaining a few of the heavier traveled roads each year, we could fund highly successful and money making projects like Rio Nuevo and the Tucson Streetcar."
The City of Tucson has also been working with the Tucson Mall and Shops to ensure access to the mall has not been restricted. Tucson Mall and Shops spokesperson, Ellen Harper told reporters, "Although you will need a 4WD vehicle to drive into the southern parking lots from Wetmore Road, we want to make it very clear that we still cater to the gang bangers and car thieves who visit our mall on a regular basis. They still have clean escape routes via Oracle Road on the west and Stone Avenue on the east."
The city estimates this project will save them at least $3.52 in scheduled maintenance on Wetmore Road over the next ten years.
May 2014 Update: Not sure if this is coincidence or not, but the city has started working on Wetmore Road by the Tucson Mall. I wonder if someone on the City Council read this story?
This really surprised me. Wetmore wasn't even that bad. Speedway is ten times rougher than Wetmore.
Is my new Toyota 4Runner considered a 4WD vehicle?
BSWM looking for 25-35 year old hottie with a bad-ass Jeep to run the Wetmore Trail with. Ok, you don't have to be 25-35 or a hottie, as long as you have a Jeep.
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It is a certainty that most, if not all, of the above information has been made up and is completely false. Mostly.