MAG News

Improving travel time, safety, and public opinion.  The Scottsdale Northsight Boulevard Extension Project succeeded in all three goals.

Project: Northsight Roundabout

Transportation, Prop400

Under Proposition 400 in 2004, Maricopa County voters approved an extension of the half-cent sales tax for transportation. This series highlights projects built under Prop 400—to let you know where your money is going and how it is improving your transportation experience.

Hayden Road Looking Northeast (Before)Improving travel time, safety, and public opinion.  The Scottsdale Northsight Boulevard Extension Project succeeded in all three goals. The project, completed in 2014, included constructing a bypass around a heavy commercial area by extending Northsight Boulevard from Hayden Road to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and adding a roundabout to improve traffic flow. 

The bypass resulted in a commute that shaved more than a minute off the time it took for a car to get from Hayden Road to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard using the Northsight extension. Having traffic diverted into two routes, combined with the more efficient bypass, also meant faster travel for those using the original routes as well. These quicker travel times came in spite of the fact that traffic volumes increased as a result of the improvements.

Consider:

  •  Before construction, traffic volumes at the intersection of Northsight and Hayden were at 27,000 vehicles per day. After construction, 35,000 vehicles per day were moving more efficiently through the area using the roundabout. 
  •  Despite handling almost three million additional vehicles a year, only one additional accident was recorded in 2014.
  • Hayden Road Roundabout (after) Most notably, the number of injuries that resulted from crashes declined by 79 percent, while the injury rate decreased by 84 percent.

The Transportation Research Board finds that public attitudes toward roundabouts changes significantly before and after construction. Those with a “very negative” opinion move from 23 percent to 0 percent, and those with a “very positive” opinion move from 0 percent to 32 percent. A Scottsdale newspaper poll of 200 motorists found 67 percent of respondents liked driving on roundabouts.

Published August 1, 2018

About MAG

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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