FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelly Taft, MAG Communications Manager, (602) 452-5020
PHOENIX (January 11, 2017)—Transportation planners have finished a two-year study and are preparing final recommendations to improve traffic along the Interstate 10/Interstate 17 corridor, known as the “Spine” because it serves as the backbone of the freeway system in the metropolitan area. They hope members of the public will share their final thoughts on the plan during four upcoming public meetings. The study team received more than 4,000 comments on necessary improvements to the corridor during earlier outreach efforts.
More than 40 percent of all daily freeway traffic uses the Spine. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation, embarked on the study in 2014 to develop a master plan for the I-10/I-17 corridor. The 31-mile Spine corridor begins at the I-17/Loop 101 North Stack interchange in the north Valley and travels south and east to the interchange with I-10/Loop 202 Pecos Stack.
“Our goal is to make our most heavily traveled freeway corridor safer and more efficient for commuters, residents and pedestrians, so community feedback is vital,” said MAG Chair and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “One of the big ‘aha’ moments of the study that has emerged so far came when we realized that more than twice the amount of traffic crosses over I-17 than uses it. I-17 should not be a wall that separates neighborhoods. The recommendations will include solutions to improve connections from one side of the freeway to the other.”
In fact, the recommendations include upgrades to 24 of 31 traffic interchanges. These include widening or adding structures to improve cross-freeway traffic. Other key recommendations include:
- Improving safety by modernizing interstates to current design standards.
- Modernizing interchanges to improve accessibility and safety for truck traffic.
- Expanding managed capacity, such as HOV lanes, to enhance reliability.
- Improving availability and reliability for transit and carpooling, including addition of five direct HOV (DHOV) ramps.
- Providing safer bicycle/pedestrian crossings at 20 locations, including nine separate structures.
- Protecting the environment by minimizing interstate expansion and addressing flooding issues.
- Providing better technology to help communicate travel information to drivers.
- Minimizing cost by including technology and tactics that consider future autonomous or ‘self-driving’ vehicles.
- Protecting private property investments.
The public is urged to attend of the following meetings, or provide input online at spine.azmag.gov.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
➊ Afternoon: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
➋ Evening: 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Maricopa Association of Governments, Saguaro Room, 2nd Floor
302 N. 1st Ave.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
➌ 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Town of Guadalupe El Tianguis Mercado, Multipurpose Room
9201 S. Avenida del Yaqui
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
➍ 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Washington Activity Center, Multipurpose Room
2240 W. Citrus Way
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