Chandler Boulevard Extension

ChandlerBlvdExt2When the final portion of the Loop 202 / South Mountain Freeway (SMF), the part that connects I-10 to Laveen, gets constructed it will replace Pecos Road. Pecos Road in Ahwatukee will be no more. This would otherwise leave everything west of 19th Avenue inaccessible from the rest of Ahwautkee, except for the freeway. The construction of SMF is supposed to begin summer 2016 and opens late 2019.

To provide non-freeway connectivity, Chandler Boulevard will be extended westward from 19th Avenue, where it currently ends, to 27th Ave.

ChandlerBlvdExt

This section of Chandler Blvd will have one general purpose travel lane and a bike lane in each direction. There will be a sidewalk, but only on the “city of Phoenix” side — the other side is Arizona State Land Dept property.

This street, unlike Chandler Blvd elsewhere in the City of Phoenix will be very pleasant to walk, drive or ride a bike on. The posted speed limit will be  35mph (i think), rather than 45mph. And the bike lane won’t be fake, as it is east of Desert Foothills Parkway, which uses unwarranted edge lines (shame, shame, City of Phoenix).

Not only will the bike lanes not be fake, they will surpass the minimum recommendations (e.g. AASHTO) for width — not a hint of shoehorning here — at 6 feet, though that includes a gutter… but still will provide > 4′ of usable width.

There is a very detailed technical memorandum (copy on cazbikeweb’s google drive) with traffic volumes and projections and so forth.

Spring 2017 re-design

Late in the game, to address various concerns, a center lane was added. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be striped, but now the configuration is going to be something like this graphic.

So now there will be 1 general purpose lane plus 1 bike lane in each direction. The center lane is being referred to as an “emergency” lane. It would otherwise normally be a two-way continuous turn lane — but in the project area there’s no where to turn left (or almost no where? There may be a driveway or two?). Perhaps the center lane will be striped with double-yellow(?). Anyway…

What’s concerning is the plan is to add a 10′ lane; and not make the overall roadway 10′ wider, presumably to save money. Can you guess where the extra feet come from?

If you said “by reducing the overtaking clearance between motorists and bicyclists, you would be correct.

The proposed dimensions of the new plan would

6 foot BL, including gutter pan
11 foot WB lane
10 foot center turn lane
11 foot EB lane
4 foot bike lane that ends at pavement edge

A total of 42 versus the original 36 foot.

There was never any question of having Bike lanes on this project; it’s even a good candidate for bike lanes because of no (or very limited) turning conflicts. The City of Phoenix has a “complete streets” ordinance, and this is brand-new construction of an arterial road

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One thought on “Chandler Boulevard Extension”

  1. Mar 2017; some re-design. Chad Blostone has for some reason always wanted more lanes, even though 1 through lane in each direction provides plenty of capacity, and adding two more thru lanes would likely increase peak motorist speeds significantly.

    …City officials apparently had considered adding the center lane at the expense of the planned bike paths on either side… Blostone expressed mixed feelings about the resolution of his concerns.
    “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get ADOT or the city to build the five lanes now,” he said. “I still believe it’s the right thing to do.
    “But, we’ve removed the safety issue created by what was initially planned and approved. An accident on the Chandler Boulevard Extension won’t block access to the Foothills Reserve and Calebrea neighborhoods. The likelihood of a head-on collision has been reduced significantly, too. Both very good things,” — AFN

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