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Author Topic: I-17 Reversible lanes video  (Read 1194 times)

pumpkineater2

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I-17 Reversible lanes video
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:17:04 PM »

ADOT published this nice animation of what reversible lane facilities on I-17 north of Phoenix could look like. I know this topic has been discussed before, I just thought people might be interested to see this. It's nice to see that ADOT is further considering this as a solution.


http://www.azdot.gov/media/News/news-release/2017/01/26/reversible-lanes-among-possible-improvements-for-i-17-north-of-phoenix
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compdude787

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 09:13:28 PM »

I'm not sure if I can really see the merit of this. Wouldn't the lanes just get backed up at either end due to the fact that they are merging down from four lanes to two? I don't know if there's steep grades or what, but it seems like adding a climbing lane would be a better solution here.

Sonic99

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 01:12:29 AM »

I'm not sure if I can really see the merit of this. Wouldn't the lanes just get backed up at either end due to the fact that they are merging down from four lanes to two? I don't know if there's steep grades or what, but it seems like adding a climbing lane would be a better solution here.

Yes, this is on a very steep and curvy section of I-17. There are a variety of issues on this section of roadway.

First, in either direction, whenever there's an accident it's an absolute clusterf*** of a situation. The only other alternative routes between the mountain plateau of Arizona and the Phoenix valley are SR 87 or SR 89/US 60. Both detours are probably hundreds of miles in length and add hours to the trip. It absolutely cripples travel to Northern Arizona whenever there are serious accidents involving fatalities or large clean ups.

Second, especially on the weekends (Friday NB, Sunday SB), the volume of traffic is absolutely massive. It's packed, bumper to bumper. Then you throw in the semi-truck traffic, and it just ends up being a complete mess. You have trucks barely getting up the hill at 20 mph, drivers who are too timid to pass anyone, and others trying to Mario Andretti their way up the hill. Going down is the same thing, four wheelers (to use trucker lingo) cutting off semi's and just causing traffic chaos.

I'm torn on the reversible lanes idea. On one hand, I think adding a climbing lane to the NB side would make a massive difference simply because of the grade and the semi truck traffic. But it doesn't solve the accident problem. But if you go with the reversible lanes, then you get the bottleneck problem at the re-entry end of four lanes going down to two. Perhaps they could look into adding a third lane from Black Canyon City down to Anthem (which I personally think is needed today) to cut down on the SB re-entry problem, but NB you would have the bottleneck.

So honestly, I'm not sure what I think of this. And also, what is the cost and timeline for this? ADOT did a briefing a couple weeks ago on some highly-needed projects on AZ 89 between Chino Valley and Paulden, and they said 25 years and $60 million dollars. I can definitely say the terrain would require very little altering. But these reversible lanes would require an astonishing amount of blasting. Just take a look at this video and look at the terrain. The proposed reversible lanes would be to the left of the existing lanes in this video.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 01:51:38 AM »

As much as I'm not really a fan of the concept given that traffic would literally have to cross to the southbound part of I-17 really there isn't much that can be done with the cliff-face geographic constriction on northbound lanes.  Really blasting out a climbing lane in that cliff-face would be absurdly expensive to say the least and would probably force traffic into the southbound lane during the construction process.  At minimum this configuration would avoid that and like Sonic99 said possibly offer a solution for traffic in either direction to escape Sunset point in the event of a bad accident.  Really the only way around I-17 as it stands either either AZ 89 or 89 way out of the way to get back to Phoenix.

pumpkineater2

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 01:59:58 AM »

ADOT estimates the cost of a project like this to be around $125,000,000... so yeah, while this is a somewhat viable solution, its still... out there.

I can attest to the massive amounts of traffic. Its really bad in the summer when literally everybody is running away from Phoenix to go relax in the cool high country.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 08:14:34 AM »

ADOT estimates the cost of a project like this to be around $125,000,000... so yeah, while this is a somewhat viable solution, its still... out there.

I can attest to the massive amounts of traffic. Its really bad in the summer when literally everybody is running away from Phoenix to go relax in the cool high country.

I had a name for it on Sunday evening; the Sedona 500.  It was almost as though nobody in Phoenix ever had an original idea on something to do in the mountains. 

kdk

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 02:46:34 PM »

I saw this on the local news today too, glad to see they are trying to do something.

I have to think though how much more would it cost to just add a third lane to each side.  I'm guessing by the plan the terrain on the NB lanes must be too difficult to cut into otherwise that would be on the table.

I also thought of the bottleneck it would cause at the ends, but if a third permanent lane could get added from the end of the SB one into Anthem, and on the NB side just then have a third lane up to AZ 69 then it could work well.
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Sonic99

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Re: I-17 Reversible lanes video
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 11:53:43 PM »

Hell, even just run the third NB lane the mile up to Sunset Point and that would be a big help.
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