I-17 101 traffic interchange

Lane changes enhance safety along US 60 West in Tempe

Lane changes enhance safety along US 60 West in Tempe

August 21, 2018

PHOENIX – Just over a month since the Arizona Department of Transportation made lane adjustments and installed new signs as part of a safety project along westbound US 60 (Superstition Freeway) in Tempe, the results have been positive.

Here’s a comment from just one of the US 60 drivers who travel westbound US 60 approaching the Interstate 10 interchange: “You fixed it! I don’t often write notes like this, but I know a job well done when I see it….well done, ADOT!”

In mid-July, ADOT crews changed lane striping to allow a second left lane along westbound US 60 to connect with the ramp to eastbound I-10 toward Tucson. The goal: improving the overall flow of traffic in the Superstition Freeway’s left lanes and reducing the risk of often minor rear-end collisions.

“It’s worked out as our team planned,” said Dallas Hammit, ADOT’s state engineer and deputy director for transportation. “Drivers have reacted favorably to the lane adjustments and new signs in that area between Rural Road and I-10. The improved traffic flow provides more room for drivers to merge between lanes.”

ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division partnered with the city of Tempe and Arizona Department of Public Safety in studying and implementing safety measures along the busy stretch of westbound US 60 approaching I-10.

“The troopers patrolling this area have seen a noticeable difference in traffic conditions following ADOT’s restriping project,” said AZDPS Captain Chad Hinderliter. “Although these efforts are yielding positive results, drivers still need to stay alert and drive defensively.”

In recent years, most crashes in the area have been minor fender benders. However, the disruption of freeway traffic, especially during rush hour, can be frustrating and costly for other commuters.

“This is having a positive effect on safety and rush hour traffic,” said Kerry Wilcoxon, ADOT’s state traffic safety engineer. “Areas where one freeway connects with another can present challenges. But we’re pleased with what we’ve seen in the past month along westbound US 60.”

Last year, ADOT evaluated US 60 traffic by closing the westbound on-ramp at Mill Avenue for one weekend. Observations about traffic movements helped lead to the decision to adjust the freeway lane assignments in July.

In 2016, freeway crews installed vertical lane delineator posts next to the westbound US 60 HOV lane to limit sudden lane changes approaching the I-10 traffic interchange.