State Route 89 Yarnell Road Safety Assessment

State Route 89 Yarnell Road Safety Assessment



The Arizona Department of Transportation recently completed a safety study on State Route 89 between mileposts 276 and 278 in the community of Yarnell. The road safety assessment (RSA) identified potential safety issues related to roadway traffic and evaluated possible ways to eliminate or mitigate safety concerns for both drivers and pedestrians. The final RSA report is complete and available to the public. 

Project Area

SR 89 - Yarnell RSA Map


What the safety assessment found

ADOT’s RSA team, made up of a multidisciplinary team of traffic safety engineers and other specialists, analyzed past motor-vehicle crashes and current roadway use and configurations. 

The study of the two-mile section of SR 89 in the community of Yarnell had the following findings: 

  • A five-year crash history (2017-2021) of the two-mile stretch of SR 89 showed a total of 23 crashes with three injuries, two possible injuries and no fatalities. 
  • 16 of the 23 crashes were single-vehicle crashes. Less than half of the crashes were the result of a moving violation such as speeding or improper lane changes.
  • Pedestrians were observed crossing the street at various locations to get to various businesses or vehicles parked along the street. Some of the pedestrians used wheelchairs. 
  • Drivers regularly stopped in front of the Yarnell Post Office to drop off passengers and mail throughout the day. 
  • Some drivers were observed passing other vehicles in the four-lane section of the highway.
  • While visibility is good along this two-mile section, vehicles parked near street corners can impact the visibility of pedestrians waiting to cross the street.
  • Drivers traveling in the outside lanes are relatively close to the parked vehicles.


Community Traffic Safety Survey

In addition to analyzing past motor-vehicle crashes and current roadway use and configurations, the RSA team analyzed traffic and pedestrian safety concerns expressed by community members via a community survey administered by ADOT. The following is a summary of the survey results:

  • The top two community concerns are motorists driving faster than the posted speed limit and crossing the roadway as a pedestrian, bicyclist or wheelchair user.
  • Other concerns included challenges with drivers turning onto or from the highway, drivers passing other drivers and pedestrian visibility due to on-street parking. 
  • Regarding specific locations of concern, survey respondents identified the post office location as the #1 location for traffic safety.
  • When asked to provide comments for the RSA team to consider, increasing speed enforcement was the top comment, followed by installing crosswalks and new signage.


Recommendations of the study

Based on the findings of the RSA, ADOT recommends the following improvements:

  • One of the most significant countermeasures being recommended is to convert the four-lane section of SR 89 to a three-lane configuration. 
    • Restriping SR 89 from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane will eliminate lane changes (passing) and reduce speed differentials between drivers.  
  • Installing pedestrian curb extensions and pedestrian refuge islands at two locations within the two-mile section. 
    • The curb extensions will significantly improve pedestrian crossings by reducing the pedestrian cross distance, improving the ability of pedestrians and drivers to see each other and reducing the time pedestrians are in the roadway.
    • The refuge islands will allow pedestrians to focus on crossing one direction of traffic at a time and give them a place to wait for an adequate gap in oncoming traffic before finishing the second phase of crossing the road.
  • Remove a limited number of parking spaces at street corners along SR 89 in order to improve visibility for both drivers and pedestrians waiting to cross the highway.

At this time, there is no funding in place to pay for any curb extensions and pedestrian islands recommended in the study.

The full Road Safety Assessment and the executive summary are available for review.

Initial project improvements have been completed as of September 2023.

Yarnell SR89 Safety Improvement Project Video