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Author Topic: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area  (Read 6425 times)

pumpkineater2

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2016, 10:55:31 PM »

Couldn't ADOT just widen the portion of I-10 in the reservation into the median? The way I understand this whole situation, GRIC will not allow I-10 to be widened (out of spite, more or less?) because ADOT allegedly shortchanged them when building the Intestate, and to widen it the tribe would have to give up some right of way, correct? Does the tribe have any say in what ADOT does with I-10 in it's right of way? If not, there's plenty of room in the median to make it 6 lanes... What am I missing?

On a side note, I made the drive from Phoenix to Tuscon the day after Christmas. Passed by two crash scenes, both causing screeching-halt backups. One was an SUV on it's side in the median, the other a semi that had it's rear end banged up. I got to experience crossing the shoulderless Gila river bridge while traveling neck and neck with a semi. Watched a car veer onto the shoulder and then back into the travel lanes, presumably out of inattention.

I don't understand why it's so hard for drivers to not crash on a straight, flat road, even if it is in need of an upgrade. It seems like there's a crash almost every day.
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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2017, 12:48:15 AM »

But you hit on a good point, a lot of the original "Safety Corridors" don't even hit some of the truly dangerous parts of the highway system.  If they were so interested in safety where is something like the AZ 87 between Fountain Hills and Payson or US 60 between Globe and Superior?  I-10 on Texas Canyon is probably by function of design the most dangerous part of the Interstate in Arizona after the Gila Reservation.
Texas Canyon doesn't have the traffic volume that I-10 through the GRIC does. Also, I think a lot of the issue in the GRIC is people who live in Casa Grande, Coolidge, and other parts of Pinal County but make the daily commute to the Phoenix area and are in a commuter mindset trying to get somewhere quick rather than a long-haul mindset where jockeying for position isn't worth the effort.
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Funny you mention I-17, that actually is a great way to get around the convergence of I-10/AZ202/AZ51 in a pinch since it is mainly there for trucks.
It's mainly there because it was the only freeway through Phoenix for several decades because of the Papago Freeway controversy, but it is a nice bypass when event traffic or wrecks screw things up in the vicinity of the tunnel.
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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2017, 02:03:11 PM »

In Maryland, we have "safety corridors" in the form of mandatory headlight use areas along stretches of road where accidents are common.
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coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2017, 11:57:26 AM »

But you hit on a good point, a lot of the original "Safety Corridors" don't even hit some of the truly dangerous parts of the highway system.  If they were so interested in safety where is something like the AZ 87 between Fountain Hills and Payson or US 60 between Globe and Superior?  I-10 on Texas Canyon is probably by function of design the most dangerous part of the Interstate in Arizona after the Gila Reservation.
Texas Canyon doesn't have the traffic volume that I-10 through the GRIC does. Also, I think a lot of the issue in the GRIC is people who live in Casa Grande, Coolidge, and other parts of Pinal County but make the daily commute to the Phoenix area and are in a commuter mindset trying to get somewhere quick rather than a long-haul mindset where jockeying for position isn't worth the effort.

Texas Canyon is a sub-standard portion of the interstate system, with its poor sight lines, steep grades, short merges and rocks too close to the roadway. It's a relatively dangerous roadway, but I don't know that this is the point of the safety corridor program, which seems to mainly address roadways that exceed their capacity.
In my experience, the most dangerous times for the GRIC corridor were weekend nights when the students and other weekenders jammed on there. There were always wrecks. We drove it on Christmas Eve afternoon and hit a dust storm. A minor dust storm (relatively) but it ended up being really dangerous because of the way people were driving: trying to pass on the right, darting into lanes to cut down vehicle spacing, going too fast, etc.

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Funny you mention I-17, that actually is a great way to get around the convergence of I-10/AZ202/AZ51 in a pinch since it is mainly there for trucks.
It's mainly there because it was the only freeway through Phoenix for several decades because of the Papago Freeway controversy, but it is a nice bypass when event traffic or wrecks screw things up in the vicinity of the tunnel.

I got stuck in a slog of traffic approaching the tunnel last week at 2pm and I think I'm done with the tunnel from now on, unless I absolutely have to go through there. I don't know if people just can't handle hitting a tunnel and having to flip their sunglasses, or if it's the I-17 interchange approach that causes the issue, but it seems like it's just always unnecessarily slow.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 12:55:46 PM by coatimundi »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2017, 12:19:39 PM »

...I don't know if people just can't handle hitting a tunnel and having to flip their sunglasses...

I've seen this at other tunnels.  And in many cases, the driver starts out ok, but drops their speed as they go thru.  I don't know if it's a claustrophobic thing or what, but some people will unnecessarily drop their speed as they continue thru the tunnel.

Me...I speed up!  :nod:
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Sonic99

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2017, 07:33:42 PM »

...I don't know if people just can't handle hitting a tunnel and having to flip their sunglasses...

I've seen this at other tunnels.  And in many cases, the driver starts out ok, but drops their speed as they go thru.  I don't know if it's a claustrophobic thing or what, but some people will unnecessarily drop their speed as they continue thru the tunnel.

Me...I speed up!  :nod:

And roll the windows down...

And downshift...
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coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2017, 10:46:47 AM »

Forgot to add that there's a new "safety corridor" along 22nd east of I-10 in Tucson. I don't recall it being there a few months ago.
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J N Winkler

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2017, 02:12:34 PM »

Having just returned from a trip to Tucson, I need to supplement some of what I said upthread with new information.

*  I-40 through Santa Rosa, New Mexico does now have a safety corridor.  It is 12 miles in length, running from MP 267 to MP 279 and including the MP 275 curve that has a 65 MPH advisory speed.  I travelled I-40 from Exit 89 (just southeast of Grants) to Exit 333 (US 54/Tucumcari) and the only speed limit pulldown I encountered outside Albuquerque was for the difficult broken-back double curve between MP 114 and MP 117 near Laguna.  This was 75 to 65 MPH and I was pretty much the only vehicle attempting to comply with it--in no time at all an 18-wheeler started climbing up my tailpipe.  There are signposted 65 MPH advisories (no speed limit pulldowns) at or near Exit 275 (Santa Rosa), Exit 291 (Cuervo), the double curve at Exit 311 (Montoya), and MP 330 (Tucumcari).  Besides these, there are a few sweeping curves that are nervous-making to encounter in pitch-black night, notably one just before US 285/Clines Corners (Exit 218) and another midway between there and NM 3/Encino (Exit 230), but neither currently has advisory speed signing.

*  I-10 in Arizona now has a speed limit pulldown to 65 MPH just west of San Simon.  This covers the length between MP 374 and MP 377 that was implicated in a couple of bad dust storms, the first in late April 2016 and the second the following mid-May, that resulted in numerous collisions killing a total of three people, destruction of a DPS vehicle, $600,000 in direct response costs for public agencies, and--at one point--full closure of 62 miles of I-10 between Safford and Lordsburg (detour length of 110 miles).  Nearly all of the dust came from a single farm field near the Interstate at MP 376 that is owned by an absentee landlord living in Atlanta.  He had directed his agent to blade it clear in preparation for planting a grove, which set the stage for a "dust channel" at wind speeds greater than 15 MPH.  After the April dust storm he responded to pressure from state agencies and laid down liquid (water according to some online sources, "gorilla snot" according to others) for dust suppression.  The 65 MPH pulldown is permanent, and part of the action plan for dealing with future dust events is to put out signs for a temporary reduction to 45 MPH.  There are now solar-powered flasher signs to warn of dust (diamond-shaped sign says "Visibility Limited" or perhaps "Limited Visibility," supplemental plate says "When Flashing"), as well as rectangular yellow-background signs instructing motorists what to do when dust compromises visibility (pull off the road ASAP, douse all lights including headlamps and hazard flashers, set parking brake, take foot off service brake).  I don't remember whether the pulldown is part of a safety corridor.  None of this signing is yet visible in StreetView, which in this area dates from 2014 at the latest.  There is also a weigh station near San Simon (recently constructed or renovated, I think) with WIM and a lane-changing prohibition (enforced with a double white stripe) that I found to be a nuisance.

*  I-10 in New Mexico has similar issues with blowing dust but no active signing as in Arizona.  Instead, there are rectangular yellow-background signs of two types:  one warning of the possibility of dust storms over the next X miles, and the other a four-sign sequence (repeated after important exits) that spells out the specific hazards associated with blowing dust.  I suspect the safety corridor along the straight stretch between Gage and the west end of the Deming bypass was created in response to a bad dust storm similar to San Simon in 2016, and its speed limit pulldown (to 65 MPH) is the model for the one now in place in Arizona.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 02:16:37 PM by J N Winkler »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2017, 11:24:29 PM »

^^^^ 

San Simon is a little absurd to slow traffic down for, but I suppose it actually is an inhabited place.  Would logic dictate to try working with the property own more or if they were really causing a hazard that resulted in fatalities to actually prosecute the guy for gross negligence? 

But you hit on a good point, a lot of the original "Safety Corridors" don't even hit some of the truly dangerous parts of the highway system.  If they were so interested in safety where is something like the AZ 87 between Fountain Hills and Payson or US 60 between Globe and Superior?  I-10 on Texas Canyon is probably by function of design the most dangerous part of the Interstate in Arizona after the Gila Reservation.
Texas Canyon doesn't have the traffic volume that I-10 through the GRIC does. Also, I think a lot of the issue in the GRIC is people who live in Casa Grande, Coolidge, and other parts of Pinal County but make the daily commute to the Phoenix area and are in a commuter mindset trying to get somewhere quick rather than a long-haul mindset where jockeying for position isn't worth the effort.

Texas Canyon is a sub-standard portion of the interstate system, with its poor sight lines, steep grades, short merges and rocks too close to the roadway. It's a relatively dangerous roadway, but I don't know that this is the point of the safety corridor program, which seems to mainly address roadways that exceed their capacity.
In my experience, the most dangerous times for the GRIC corridor were weekend nights when the students and other weekenders jammed on there. There were always wrecks. We drove it on Christmas Eve afternoon and hit a dust storm. A minor dust storm (relatively) but it ended up being really dangerous because of the way people were driving: trying to pass on the right, darting into lanes to cut down vehicle spacing, going too fast, etc.

Quote
Funny you mention I-17, that actually is a great way to get around the convergence of I-10/AZ202/AZ51 in a pinch since it is mainly there for trucks.
It's mainly there because it was the only freeway through Phoenix for several decades because of the Papago Freeway controversy, but it is a nice bypass when event traffic or wrecks screw things up in the vicinity of the tunnel.

I got stuck in a slog of traffic approaching the tunnel last week at 2pm and I think I'm done with the tunnel from now on, unless I absolutely have to go through there. I don't know if people just can't handle hitting a tunnel and having to flip their sunglasses, or if it's the I-17 interchange approach that causes the issue, but it seems like it's just always unnecessarily slow.

Really that whole segment east of AZ 83 through Benson to the top of Texas Canyon is pretty wonky.  At least there was some improvements done in flowing traffic approaching AZ 80 and the city itself along with that low hanging bridge that used to be there.  It always felt to me that the traffic volume east out of Tucson was still pretty heavy least to Benson before it tapered off.

You're hitting on something with the Deck Park Tunnel.  I regularly drove that thing during off-peak hours on I-10 and people would travel about a couple hundred feet at 70-75 MPH and mash the brakes suddenly with no traffic around them.  Really aside from it being an enclosed space the only thing I ever found to be a sudden difference was the lighting which I suppose could be off-putting.

Couldn't ADOT just widen the portion of I-10 in the reservation into the median? The way I understand this whole situation, GRIC will not allow I-10 to be widened (out of spite, more or less?) because ADOT allegedly shortchanged them when building the Intestate, and to widen it the tribe would have to give up some right of way, correct? Does the tribe have any say in what ADOT does with I-10 in it's right of way? If not, there's plenty of room in the median to make it 6 lanes... What am I missing?



The problem you run into with a short median is people crossing over to the other side and head-on accidents.  Interstates need inside shoulders and the median would likely be too narrow to conform with design standards if that was attempted. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 11:29:18 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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pumpkineater2

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2017, 12:22:57 AM »

The problem you run into with a short median is people crossing over to the other side and head-on accidents.  Interstates need inside shoulders and the median would likely be too narrow to conform with design standards if that was attempted.

Ah yes, didn't think about that.

I know what you guys mean with the traffic slowing in the tunnel. I went through it twice today, and sure enough people are slowing way down about halfway through without any good reason. Happens every time.
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J N Winkler

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2017, 11:06:37 AM »

San Simon is a little absurd to slow traffic down for, but I suppose it actually is an inhabited place.  Would logic dictate to try working with the property own more or if they were really causing a hazard that resulted in fatalities to actually prosecute the guy for gross negligence?

I don't think the speed limit pulldown is anything to do with San Simon being a populated place.  Exits 378 and 382 are the ends of the I-10 business loop through the town, and the pulldown is in a completely rural area to the west.  This is actually the same situation as at Gage in New Mexico--the I-10 Deming bypass has four exits in four miles and is 75 while the 65 pulldown and safety corridor is in the rural area just to the west.  I think the intent is to avoid a situation where traffic speeds into a potential dust storm at 75 (or more) and is surprised by a sudden drop in visibility with no chance to respond.

As for taking legal action against the landowner, the official spin from the involved agencies (Arizona Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Quality) was that they did have enforcement powers but preferred to pursue cooperation first.  It was not actually specified what these powers were.

Here in Kansas, we had a similar situation in the spring of 1994 when range burning in the Flint Hills (done to revitalize the grass for beef cattle) laid a thick smoke plume over the Kansas Turnpike, causing multiple collisions that killed two.  This event is the reason the Turnpike has had flashing warning signs for range burning for over 20 years now.  It was later discovered that, despite the deaths, the rancher could only be fined a maximum of $10,000.

The problem you run into with a short median is people crossing over to the other side and head-on accidents.  Interstates need inside shoulders and the median would likely be too narrow to conform with design standards if that was attempted.

A quick look at Google satellite imagery suggests that there is enough room in the median to add one 12 ft lane in each direction while maintaining 12 ft left shoulders on either side of a concrete median barrier.  This is of course not a preferred solution in a rural area, not least because of headlamp glare at night, but it does comply on paper with Interstate standards.  I think part of the reason Arizona DOT does not pursue such an approach is that it would increase roadway capacity in an area where there is arguably significant suppressed demand, which gives the GRIC an opening to throw a wrench in the works in the permitting process even if state funds only are used for the expansion.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2017, 11:26:49 AM »

^^^^

Given that I'm on the phone I'll keep this brief.  I guess that I missed that the Gage Safety Zone is 65 MPH too now, sure wasn't back in January 2016 or any the hundreds of other times I drove it.  I'm having a hard time buying dust storms as a major hazard in the Chichihaun Desert which Gage and San Simon are both in.  They do happen in the area but are much larger at lower elevations in the Sonoran Desert.  Probably White Sands on US 70 was about the most prone place I've been to in the Chichihaun Desert for dust storms with the large sand dunes.

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2017, 01:12:18 PM »

I guess that I missed that the Gage Safety Zone is 65 MPH too now, sure wasn't back in January 2016 or any the hundreds of other times I drove it.

I have double-checked against my GPS log and concluded that my memory is faulty.  It is the Deming bypass that is 65 (as shown in StreetView); the speed limit goes up to 75 for the safety corridor.  My GPS log shows a drop in speed to about 65 MPH for a distance that corresponds to the length of the Deming bypass.  2014 StreetView imagery of the initial signing sequence for the safety corridor west of Exit 81 (westbound) shows "Safety Corridor Next 20 Miles," "Dust Storms May Exist Next 15 Miles," "Lights On For Safety," "Speeding Fines Double In Safety Corridor," and finally the 75 speed limit sign with "Safety Corridor" banner.  (I don't see much in the discrepancy between 20 miles on the safety corridor sign and 15 miles on the dust warning sign, since I had the impression NMDOT was "gluing together" contiguous dust warning areas with separate signing for each instead of combining them into one by amending sign messages and relocating signs as necessary.  However, I cannot be totally sure since I didn't take a video record of this drive or attempt to compile a sign log.  This is one area where it would be useful to have state DOT photologging data; Arizona DOT has it but does not put it online, and I don't know if NMDOT takes it.)

I'm having a hard time buying dust storms as a major hazard in the Chihuahuan Desert which Gage and San Simon are both in.  They do happen in the area but are much larger at lower elevations in the Sonoran Desert.

I first drove I-10 in New Mexico in 1998 and I do not remember dust warning signs being in place.  By the winter of 2004-05, the four-sign sequence was in place in at least Hidalgo and Luna Counties.  The big dust events in April/May 2016 near San Simon occurred only because one field was cleared.  These dust storms are being blamed on backsliding in land management practices:  windbreaks that used to be there have been cleared, ground is bladed for farming or building and then simply left for months, etc.  It has been suggested that even a berm just 18 in high along all of I-10 would be adequate to prevent dust-related visibility problems on the roadway, but right now Arizona DOT is pursuing active warning solutions such as the flashers to indicate limited visibility.  Before the big event near San Simon, the big dust-related initiative on I-10 was actually in Pinal County, where the agency was planning to use TIGER funds to install a dust warning system with variable speed limit signs.  This is also where CMS with dust-related messages were used back in the 1970's and 1980's.
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coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2017, 06:46:33 PM »

The Lordsburg bypass drops to 65 as well, right before the curve into Motel Drive on the west side. I remember this well because you had to be sure to drop your speed quickly as there were often troopers posted right at the curve.

The playas around Rodeo have always had dust issues and those signs have been up for years. I can recall at least one traffic incident due to dust near there, but I'd have to research it for dates. It was over 10 years ago. I think there are signs around the Willcox Playa as well. I've definitely seen some large dust devils over it in the past, but I don't know how often they make it up the hill.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2017, 09:32:13 PM »

I've never found NMDOT to be the most reliable source to get information from, especially compared to ADOT which will basically give you everything you ask for.  Out of all those Playas out there along I-10 the one that never gave me trouble was the Willcox Playa.  I think Coatimundi hit it on the head, I-10 seems to be way too high up on the dry lake banks for it to be affected too often.  At worst I got a speck of dust now or then, I never recall a dust storm whenever I stayed in Willcox even.  The playa on I-10 and NM 338 gets a lot of dust on the road, but then again both literally are right in the middle of a drainage basin.  That playa has even filled up and formed a shallow lake a couple times on a few crossing.  There is a couple small playas south of I-10 near the Gage Safety Zone but I've never recall ever seeing a dust storm there.  Also Deming has a 65 MPH slowdown zone through the city, but that one seems to have full merit given how old the freeway design is.

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2017, 01:29:16 AM »

A quick look at Google satellite imagery suggests that there is enough room in the median to add one 12 ft lane in each direction while maintaining 12 ft left shoulders on either side of a concrete median barrier.  This is of course not a preferred solution in a rural area, not least because of headlamp glare at night, but it does comply on paper with Interstate standards.  I think part of the reason Arizona DOT does not pursue such an approach is that it would increase roadway capacity in an area where there is arguably significant suppressed demand, which gives the GRIC an opening to throw a wrench in the works in the permitting process even if state funds only are used for the expansion.
Most of I-35 between Austin and Hillsboro (TX) has been widened to 6 lanes with 10 foot inside shoulders and a central barrier. Speaking from personal experience, it has no issues with headlight glare, even when driving in a passenger car (and everyone else in Texas driving in oversized pickups). TxDOT uses 42" tall constant-slope barriers, which are more effective against headlights than the typical 32" Caltrans-spec K rail. It would be completely suitable for that segment of I-10. The biggest issues I can see would be the Gila River crossing itself because of the environmental issues that come with crossing every river, even ones with little to no water in them.
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coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2017, 11:01:24 AM »

The biggest issues I can see would be the Gila River crossing itself because of the environmental issues that come with crossing every river, even ones with little to no water in them.

The bridge over the Gila River would be a huge issue in that expansion. Even if you used up the median on the rest of that corridor (which I think would be hard-fought by the tribe too), those bridges would still need to rebuilt. I think ADOT has an out on that though: those bridges are old, and they're going to need to be repaired, if not rebuilt, at some point pretty soon. I'm surprised ADOT didn't take the opportunity back a few years ago, when the bridge deficiency fervor was in full gear. The public outcry could have pushed the GRIT concerns to the side with enough media manipulation.

It's just bitterness on the part of GRIT, and rightfully so. From all accounts, the interstate wasn't wanted and their concerns were not addressed when it was finally shoved onto their land. So now they can finally fight back on something.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »

The biggest issues I can see would be the Gila River crossing itself because of the environmental issues that come with crossing every river, even ones with little to no water in them.

The bridge over the Gila River would be a huge issue in that expansion. Even if you used up the median on the rest of that corridor (which I think would be hard-fought by the tribe too), those bridges would still need to rebuilt. I think ADOT has an out on that though: those bridges are old, and they're going to need to be repaired, if not rebuilt, at some point pretty soon. I'm surprised ADOT didn't take the opportunity back a few years ago, when the bridge deficiency fervor was in full gear. The public outcry could have pushed the GRIT concerns to the side with enough media manipulation.

It's just bitterness on the part of GRIT, and rightfully so. From all accounts, the interstate wasn't wanted and their concerns were not addressed when it was finally shoved onto their land. So now they can finally fight back on something.

It would be interesting to find out what the traffic counts in the pre-Interstate era were on AZ 93 versus US 80/89 (AZ 79 now) out to the the east.  There was some bizarre alignments with US Routes, especially US 80 which were streamlined with later Arizona State Highways; AZ 86, AZ 84, and AZ 93 come to mind.  I would imagine that the argument was with the tribe that AZ 93 was a much more direct route for I-10 and would connect much better with I-8 which was on the Old AZ 84 corridor.  Basically the GRIC was promised a ton of things like a better infrastructure alongside I-10 but never got it.  Really the whole situation is ugly and is why I think there is a push for I-11 to bypass the community completely, I'm sure the AZ 202 South Mountain extension hasn't done anything to help.

coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2017, 12:30:29 PM »

It would be interesting to find out what the traffic counts in the pre-Interstate era were on AZ 93 versus US 80/89 (AZ 79 now) out to the the east.

When the new Casa Grande Highway was constructed, with Miracle Mile as its primary connector into Tucson, there was a lot of push to use that routing. That's why all the old motor courts are along Miracle Mile and very few north of Miracle Mile, on Oracle. I think Casa Grande Highway was preferred partially because it lacked the hills that Oracle Road has, but mainly because it's not nearly as rural as the Oracle Road/Florence routing. I also believe that Casa Grande Highway cut some mileage off.
My question has always been: did people take 87 through Coolidge, or did they stay on 93? I'm actually going to ask my father-in-law about this tonight (he's lived in Tucson most of his life).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2017, 05:19:43 PM »

It would be interesting to find out what the traffic counts in the pre-Interstate era were on AZ 93 versus US 80/89 (AZ 79 now) out to the the east.

When the new Casa Grande Highway was constructed, with Miracle Mile as its primary connector into Tucson, there was a lot of push to use that routing. That's why all the old motor courts are along Miracle Mile and very few north of Miracle Mile, on Oracle. I think Casa Grande Highway was preferred partially because it lacked the hills that Oracle Road has, but mainly because it's not nearly as rural as the Oracle Road/Florence routing. I also believe that Casa Grande Highway cut some mileage off.
My question has always been: did people take 87 through Coolidge, or did they stay on 93? I'm actually going to ask my father-in-law about this tonight (he's lived in Tucson most of his life).

I believe the route of AZ 93 was about 15-20 miles shorter if memory serves.  Deciding on 87 or 93 would have been pretty much an even split or close to.  I would assume that taking 87 up to US 60/70/80/89 in Mesa would have taken longer since one would have to traverse through Tempe to reach Phoenix.  That might lend weight to the theory about 87 possibly being a higher trafficked route, should be pretty interesting to hear what the opinion is.

coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2017, 05:47:11 PM »

It would be interesting to find out what the traffic counts in the pre-Interstate era were on AZ 93 versus US 80/89 (AZ 79 now) out to the the east.

When the new Casa Grande Highway was constructed, with Miracle Mile as its primary connector into Tucson, there was a lot of push to use that routing. That's why all the old motor courts are along Miracle Mile and very few north of Miracle Mile, on Oracle. I think Casa Grande Highway was preferred partially because it lacked the hills that Oracle Road has, but mainly because it's not nearly as rural as the Oracle Road/Florence routing. I also believe that Casa Grande Highway cut some mileage off.
My question has always been: did people take 87 through Coolidge, or did they stay on 93? I'm actually going to ask my father-in-law about this tonight (he's lived in Tucson most of his life).

I believe the route of AZ 93 was about 15-20 miles shorter if memory serves.  Deciding on 87 or 93 would have been pretty much an even split or close to.  I would assume that taking 87 up to US 60/70/80/89 in Mesa would have taken longer since one would have to traverse through Tempe to reach Phoenix.  That might lend weight to the theory about 87 possibly being a higher trafficked route, should be pretty interesting to hear what the opinion is.

I may be totally wrong on this, but everything I've ever seen regarding 93 has it splitting in Picacho at the current I-10/87 split but then rejoining at the current 87/587 split at the GRIC boundary in south Chandler. Past the I-10/387 interchange, I-10 is a new routing. So they both went through the middle of Chandler, Mesa and Tempe.
Maybe you can point me to the source that shows otherwise?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2017, 06:01:05 PM »

It would be interesting to find out what the traffic counts in the pre-Interstate era were on AZ 93 versus US 80/89 (AZ 79 now) out to the the east.

When the new Casa Grande Highway was constructed, with Miracle Mile as its primary connector into Tucson, there was a lot of push to use that routing. That's why all the old motor courts are along Miracle Mile and very few north of Miracle Mile, on Oracle. I think Casa Grande Highway was preferred partially because it lacked the hills that Oracle Road has, but mainly because it's not nearly as rural as the Oracle Road/Florence routing. I also believe that Casa Grande Highway cut some mileage off.
My question has always been: did people take 87 through Coolidge, or did they stay on 93? I'm actually going to ask my father-in-law about this tonight (he's lived in Tucson most of his life).

I believe the route of AZ 93 was about 15-20 miles shorter if memory serves.  Deciding on 87 or 93 would have been pretty much an even split or close to.  I would assume that taking 87 up to US 60/70/80/89 in Mesa would have taken longer since one would have to traverse through Tempe to reach Phoenix.  That might lend weight to the theory about 87 possibly being a higher trafficked route, should be pretty interesting to hear what the opinion is.

I may be totally wrong on this, but everything I've ever seen regarding 93 has it splitting in Picacho at the current I-10/87 split but then rejoining at the current 87/587 split at the GRIC boundary in south Chandler. Past the I-10/387 interchange, I-10 is a new routing. So they both went through the middle of Chandler, Mesa and Tempe.
Maybe you can point me to the source that shows otherwise?

Actually you're right, it did follow AZ 87 out of Chandler and I completely forgot.  The 1961 map shows the alignment pretty clearly.

https://www.arizonaroads.com/maps/index.html

Edit:  I can't find my photos but what I was thinking of was a side trip that I did down the abandoned portion of AZ 93 west of I-10 south of what is now AZ 587.  It would have been roughly here where the GSV happened to get images back 2011:

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.0754238,-111.840924,3a,75y,180h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sbx8mkE-0JmiNNykVqaUvwQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dbx8mkE-0JmiNNykVqaUvwQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D270.40417%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Also had a look at my 1962 Phillips 66 map, it shows the same thing for AZ 93.  Even the 1971 map on arizonaroads shows AZ 93 on AZ 87 on the Phoenix insert:

https://www.arizonaroads.com/maps/1971-7.jpg
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 06:45:13 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2017, 07:24:55 PM »

OK, that makes sense. I never even realized 93 had an abandoned stretch but, now that you've pointed that out, it's very clear on the satellite views. Interesting!

One thing I meant to point out before regarding GRIC's past with I-10 was regarding Snaketown, a massive Hohokam site that was briefly excavated but then reburied, and is now an undeveloped national monument that's completely off limits and inaccessible. I-10 was built at roughly the same time (1964) that the tribe was finally able to get excavations stopped, and was built very, very close to the site. So I think it's important to point how sore this particular sore spot is to the tribe. That sort of thing would not be forgotten after 50 years.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2017, 07:48:12 PM »

OK, that makes sense. I never even realized 93 had an abandoned stretch but, now that you've pointed that out, it's very clear on the satellite views. Interesting!

One thing I meant to point out before regarding GRIC's past with I-10 was regarding Snaketown, a massive Hohokam site that was briefly excavated but then reburied, and is now an undeveloped national monument that's completely off limits and inaccessible. I-10 was built at roughly the same time (1964) that the tribe was finally able to get excavations stopped, and was built very, very close to the site. So I think it's important to point how sore this particular sore spot is to the tribe. That sort of thing would not be forgotten after 50 years.

I'm fairly certain that Hohokam-Pima National Monument is the only one that can't be accessed by the general public in any capacity whatsoever.  Really the GRIC has had a pretty rough go really trying to get anyone to respect the fact that there is a reservation out there in the desert at all.  For whatever reason the Salt River Pima Reservation seems to have an easier time, but at the same time they have been more willing to allow construction on their lands.  I guess that I'll never get that clinch of all 18 National Monuments in Arizona and will have to settle for the 17 that I've been to.

Yeah that 93 stub is really accessible too from AZ 587.  There is some older road signage and mileage markers that have survived out there in the desert.  Not much other than a straight road but still an interesting piece of roadway to see if you have a spare couple minutes to deviate from a trip on I-10.  For what its worth it is much easier to go check that section of 93 out rather than the one south of I-40 east of Kingman.

coatimundi

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Re: New "Safety Corridor" Zones coming to Phoenix area
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2017, 12:57:57 PM »

I'm actually going to ask my father-in-law about this tonight (he's lived in Tucson most of his life).

Casa Grande, so 93. He said he's taken the Coolidge route but did not recall doing so as a kid. I asked about US 80, through Florence and AJ, and he said no because it took too long to drive through the little towns.
I mean, maybe you can find someone old enough to have driven the routes that remembers them. It would be interesting to hear about the pre-Casa Grande Highway days when I think US 80 would have been a more attractive option.
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