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Officials turn to Phoenix-area residents to help solve I-10/I-17 traffic problem

PHOENIX — Traffic can be a dirty word. And in the Phoenix area, traffic is often heavy — and it’s expected to get even worse. But Phoenix transportation officials are turning to residents to help solve the problem.

The Maricopa Association of Governments will hold four public meetings to allow residents to propose solutions to the traffic congestion problem on the Interstate 10-Interstate 17 corridor in Phoenix.

Interstate 10-Interstate 17 corridor in Phoenix and meeting locations. (Photo: Maricopa Association of Governments)

Interstate 10-Interstate 17 corridor in Phoenix and meeting locations. (Photo: Maricopa Association of Governments)

More than 40 percent of all daily freeway traffic in the Phoenix-area uses the corridor, according to Senior Engineering Manager Bob Hazlett.

Officials have even nicknamed the corridor the “spine,” since it acts as the backbone to the freeway system. Hazlett said on a given day, the corridor could be used by anywhere from 180,000 to 300,000 cars.

“Chances are, if you’re travelling on the freeway corridor and you’re trying to get anywhere in the Valley, you will touch some part of the spine on a day-to-day basis,” Hazlett said.

In 2014, the Maricopa Association of Governments partnered with the Federal Highway Administration and Arizona Department of Transportation to develop a master plan for the corridor, which runs 31 miles from the I-17 and Loop 101 stack to the I-10 and Loop 202 stack.

Hazlett said $1.5 billion has already been put aside to upgrade 24 of the 31 traffic interchanges and add “at least” one more lane in each direction. The funds will also be designated to creating connections for bikes and pedestrians to get back and forth across the freeway.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the community feedback is vital because the goal is to “make our most heavily-traveled freeway corridor safer and more efficient for commuters, residents and pedestrians.”

The four meetings will be held over the next two weeks in the Phoenix area.

• Jan. 24
– 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
– Maricopa Association of Governments in the Saguaro Room at 302 N. 1st Ave., Phoenix

• Jan. 25
– 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
– El Tianguis Mercado in the multipurpose room at 9201 S. Avenida del Yaqui, Guadalupe

• Jan. 31
– 6 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
– Washington Activity Center in the multipurpose room at 2240 W. Citrus Way, Phoenix

If you cannot attend a meeting, you are still encouraged to submit your feedback on the website through Feb. 17.

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