By Chris Caraveo for Independent Newsmedia
Maricopa County officials are looking ahead to another five years of planning for roadway improvements.
The Maricopa County Department of Transportation is doing so through the Transportation System Plan 2040. The plan sets the framework of the future transportation system as population, development, technology, and other factors impact the country’s fourth-most populous county.
The plan will evaluate roadway needs, set performance measures, and provide a clear vision through 2040. MCDOT said the TSP 2035 focused on capacity-driven needs. However, TSP 2040 will incorporate recent MCDOT planning efforts to inform a broader scope of needs.
Commenting on the interactive map ended Friday, November 15th for processing. However, MCDOT will reopen the map at the beginning of 2020 for additional comment.
Most of the comments on the map as of Wednesday afternoon appear west of the Central Avenue alignment, with users commenting the most in Buckeye.
Maricopa County — the fastest growing county in the nation — covers 9,200 square miles, of which MCDOT focuses on over 7,000 square miles of unincorporated area. According to the TSP 2035, MCDOT plans, designs, builds, maintains and operates roadways within the unincorporated areas, of which there are about 2,000 miles of roadway and over 400 structures.
Multiple comments already on the interactive map are giving MCDOT officials plenty to think about.
Out in the East Valley, James Vance noted there is only one lane from westbound 202 to northbound Loop 101.
“Adding an additional lane will alleviate traffic merging onto the 101N and also remove traffic from the Indian Reservation which people use as a backdoor approach to getting on the 101N,” Mr. Vance stated.
Down in the Avondale area, a commenter only named Yesenia said officials should consider adding a roundabout to the intersection of Avondale Boulevard and Lower Buckeye Road, which is less than five miles from ISM Raceway and is a main route out of the racetrack on race days.
“Adding a round-about to this intersection would alleviate traffic during rush,” Yesenia stated. “Traffic would keep flowing smoothly throughout the day.”
The TSP 2040 is on a roughly year-and-a-half schedule, with Baseline Conditions set for this fall, followed by an analysis of transportation system needs in Spring 2020. An Implementation Plan is set for Fall 2020, with a Final Report due next winter.
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