Tag Archives: ahwatukee

48th Street; Piedmont to Guadalupe gets SLMs (sharrows)

I have a lot of thoughts about this stretch of roadway in Phoenix: 48th Street (turns into Guadalupe Rd), north of Piedmont. [google maps]
It involves the odd geographic position of the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix; and the the almost complete lack of connectivity for Ahwatukee residents to anywhere else, (Tempe, Chandler, and indeed the main portion of Phoenix) except by car-choked umteen lane roads.

Ahwatukee is called — sometimes derisively, sometimes happily — the world’s largest cul-de-sac. Setting aside 48th street for a moment; Ahwatukee’s ONLY ingress/egress is Pecos Rd (which is loop 202, a limited-access highway), Chandler Blvd (10 lanes?), Ray Road (10 lanes), Warner Road (only 6 lanes?), Elliot Road (10 lanes?). So these are all either a limited-access freeway, or humongous monstrosities that have interchanges with I-10.

In short, these are all car-choked, car-sewers. They are not particularly bad for cyclists; two (Ray, and Chandler) have wide-curb lanes; Warner has nice narrow lanes;  I find Elliot road to be most annoying as it is “critical width“; that is to say not wide yet not narrow enough to be perceived as too narrow to share by many motorists. Yet many cyclists, understandably, don’t want to do it. It is a thoroughly obnoxious experience for pedestrians, too. Continue reading 48th Street; Piedmont to Guadalupe gets SLMs (sharrows)

Loop wall down, loop wall down!

12/29/2011: A wrapped (i couldn’t quite read what it said?) pickup pulling a trailer apparently lost control and (of course) drove over the sidewalk and knocked down a wall on the Warner-Elliot loop near Nambe Street. Here is the ahwatukee.com story; following their pattern, police didn’t identify the driver saying only he was a man in this 60s.

This is less than a mile away from the site where a driver lost control and iced a jogger, Rene Karlin, on the sidewalk back in August. Whatever happened to that investigation of the un-named driver? Why is the driver un-named? Nobody bothers to report. Nor did police bother to release the name of the elderly driver who drove into Lakewood’s fountain last year.

For some more wall knockings down see here, very popular pass-time.

In other news, I usually consider residential streets pretty calm and serene, and they usually are — then there was this parked car that got whacked on Desert Broom Way just two-door away from my house on (i guess the early morning hours of) 12/28/2011… It got hit really hard, though it’s not apparent from this pic, besides the obvious side-swipe damage, the rear wheel was pushed way ahead and the tire flattened; this car is going to need a LOT of work to get it right.

And while I’m on the subject, here’s a pic of a car I discovered abandoned a couple of weeks ago that had run off of Ray Road, crossed the sidewalk, and landed in the bushes. It must have been going pretty fast becasue jumping the curb flattened all of its tires. Sheesh. I imagine it was stolen.

 

Newer Wall-down story from early 2013

This was on Kachina in Ahwatukee/Phoenix. Their neighborhood is hoping to get speed bumps added as of early March, see slowdownonkachina.org
KPHO5 story: Feb 25, 2013 Teens crash into block wall in Ahwatukee; Police are investigating after three high schoolers who allegedly spent the morning drinking off campus plowed a car through a block wall in an Ahwatukee neighborhood… Wagner told us the driver was arrested at the scene for DUI but none of the teens were hurt.

Another Ray Road Wreck in Ahwatukee

Westbound, single-vehicle, presumably one or more fatalities occurred Sept 24, 2011 early morning hours. The vehicle was apparently going way too fast, lost control and smashed into some trees in the median. I didn’t see any skids. The palm tree got decapitated, and a smaller tree was snapped off (you can see the original trees in the google maps streetview, below). The picture barely shows the twisted wreckage. The cops were keeping people way way way away. To the extent one wonders what was trying to be hidden? I was told I “can’t” take a picture. Weird.

google maps view of the vicinity; E. Ray Road about mid-way between 33rd and 34th St.

News Report

Press coverage was brief; e.g. az rep piece that appears to have been drawn from a police statement:

One woman was killed early Saturday morning after her car crashed into a palm tree, Phoenix police said. The crash occurred just before 2 a.m. Saturday near E. Ray Road and 33rd Street, said Phoenix police spokesman Tommy Thompson. The victim, 28-year-old Nicole Johnson, was driving at high speeds when she entered the center median and collided with the tree, Thompson said. She was taken to a local hospital where she died as a result of her injuries, he said. Police said Johnson was the only occupant in the single-vehicle collision, and it is unknown at this time if impairment was a factor.

The KPHO piece is very similar, but mentions the model of vehicle was 2007 Mitubishi Eclipse.

 

The Walls Continue to Keep Tumbling Down

This area is the scene of many wall-knockings-down. There were two I know of in broad daylight within this past year. Here is a pic of one in the east 3200 block from March 2011. Less than a month before that, another careless driver knocked down a wall exactly 2 blocks west of here, that time at 34th Street.

These are the result of extreme negligence, and it’s only by happenstance that no one gets killed. The broad sidewalk and shoulder attracts all manner of pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers and bicyclists.

I haven’t seen the Phoenix Police Department doing any speed enforcement here in ages. Years. Don’t they love us?

… update: on Sept 30, there was a motorcycle unit monitoring speed at 32nd Street and Ray at ~ 7:30 AM (which, by the way, is when traffic is pretty heavy, and it seems to me, less likely to be speeding.

Ahwatukee Traffic Circle updates

This is an update on the progress of two temporary traffic circles that were put up by the city of Phoenix in the Ahwautkee area. See original story for background.

The circle at Equestrian Trail and Apaloosa Drive will become permanent, and design is underway and a public meeting was held in early October, 2010. See AFN story.

Some good news is indicating the Equestian circle is having the desired effect: “Wilcoxon said that since the temporary roundabout was installed in July 2009, speeding has dropped significantly, from 21.7 percent of vehicles observed by city staff to only 1.7 percent”.

The circle at 36th and Coconino did not enough (or any, according to the news article) support, and so the temporary stuff was removed in September (or maybe October) 2010 and that is that. My own take on this is that since practically no one lives on 36th Street, this circle had no “champion”, and thus it withered.

36th Street, southbound approaching Coconino

I have some concerns in the way it is now striped at the intersection of 36th and Coconino. I am not sure if this is the final striping plan or what. Continue reading Ahwatukee Traffic Circle updates

Christmas Eve ’07 crash trial, verdict: guilty

This has been a long and arduous journey legal journey (continuing on as of 2014 still dealing with pcr motions. And I see a number of pro per motions in Oct 2016).  The human and societal costs are staggering.

For starters, one victim, a motorist, dead. A number of injured motorists. The suspect, locked up since the crash on December 24, 2007.

Christopher Lee Smith, 32 years old, stands accused of DUI and manslaughter in a wrong-way, head-on collision on Pecos Road near 14th Street in Phoenix, AZ.

According to the Ahwatukee Foothills news story; “At the time of the crash, Smith was on probation for a previous misdemeanor DUI…” Continue reading Christmas Eve ’07 crash trial, verdict: guilty

Ahwatukee gets a new road

Since Ahwatukee, part of the city of Phoenix, has been built-out now for years, I don’t get to say this much. Ahwatukee is getting a new road. It connects 40th and Pecos to the Wild Horse Pass (new) Hotel-Casino / Resort  / Rawhide on the Gila River Indian Reservation. The road opened to traffic to coincide with the grand opening of the new hotel/casino, Oct 30, 2009.

Views of Estrella Mountains to the west
Views of Estrella Mountains westbound on Willis Rd

For cyclists going “around the mountain”, this means it will no longer be necessary to cross over I-10 to get to Maricopa Road, usually via S 56th Street, and then cross back over to pick up Maricopa Road. Here is a map of the general vicinity (the new road is not shown yet).

For us less-ambitious Ahwatukee area cyclists, it provides a pleasant connection to some enjoyable scenery; particularly the area around the resort (NOT the new hotel-casino which is boring, and out by the I-10) which is beautiful natural desert surrounding a lush golf course all with sweeping vistas of the Estrella Mountains. The area around the new road itself is still just raw dirt, as this land was most recently (years?) agricultural.

The road is actually in 3 segments, a  short piece extending 40th St, a one mile (exactly!) stretch called Willis Road,  and finally a short stub of 48th Street connects to the casino and whatnot. The road is built to (strangely?) high traffic standards, with two wide-ish (12′ foot) lanes in each direction plus a bike lane. There is a fully divided median w/curbs, and curbs on both outsides.

Concerns about the Pecos and 40th intersection

Continue reading Ahwatukee gets a new road

36th and Equestrian traffic circles

Ahwatukee is getting two traffic circles courtesy of the City of Phoenix’s collector street mitigation project. One at Equestrian Trail and Appaloosa Drive, and the other at 36th and Coconino Streets. At the same time, the bike lanes were re-configured on 36th Street. Equestrian Trail also has a bike lane; that has not been altered other than to allow for the circle. Continue reading 36th and Equestrian traffic circles