Freeway expansion prompts safety concerns on Loop 101 in Scottsdale

Rachel Louise Just
4 Min Read

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A Valley woman is worried her piano students may not make it home after lessons in north Scottsdale, as freeway expansion construction has led to increased traffic on Loop 101.

A crash on Tuesday afternoon on Loop 101 near Raintree, which left one person injured, prompted ABC15 viewer Ursula Newman to reach out to Operation Safe Roads for answers.

“I’ve been here for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Newman said. “I’ve never seen a freeway so dangerous as it is right now.”

Traffic data from the Maricopa Association of Governments reveals if you’re driving on the Loop 101, you’re already on one of Greater Phoenix’s most dangerous freeways. It currently has the most crashes and injuries per mile.

For Uber driver Kenneth Schriver, the expansion construction is taking a toll on his bank account.

“It’s been pretty horrible,” Schriver said. “For us Uber, Lyft – rideshare drivers – time is money. And if we’re stuck in traffic, we’re not making any money.”

Schriver says he has been impacted more than the average driver.

“I was behind a dump truck that was, I guess, clearing debris from construction on the freeway, and they hit a pothole or something and some of its debris came up and hit my windshield, busted it,” he said.

That incident set Schriver back $750 after he had to replace his windshield.

Scottsdale resident Phillip Kaplan is something of an expert in traffic, moving to Arizona from California but says it’s still hard to drive in the area.

“A lot of people don’t have patience and so you’ve gotta literally force yourself into the lanes,” Kaplan said.

The Arizona Department of Transportation, said part of the issues come down to human factors.

“We need drives to recognize that this is a work zone with a 55-mile-an-hour speed limit,” ADOT spokesman Steve Elliott said.

Changes have already been made, Elliott added. At most ramps near the construction site, signs now warn drivers that a merge is coming and they need to yield.

ADOT has extended the on-ramp distances where possible but said all ramps have always met minimum standards for length.

“We do hear the public and we are working with our contractor to make some changes,” Elliott said.

Elliot urges drivers to slow down in the area.

Construction for the Loop 101 expansion in Scottsdale began in January and is expected to take about two years.

ABC15 launched Operation Safe Roads to look into road issues for you. If there’s something you want us to know about, email [email protected] or call (833) AZROADS.

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Rachel Louise Just ,
Traffic , 2024-04-04 02:29:53

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