Newsroom | Moving With the Flow at Busy Mesa Intersection

MAG News

Newly completed project at the intersection of Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive is designed to reduce crashes and increase safety.

Newly Completed Project Designed to Reduce Crashes and Increase Safety

Prop 400

On the Move Partners in Progress logoUnder 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.

If you have ever driven in Mesa, there is a good chance you passed through the intersection of Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive. Flanked by strip malls and fast-food restaurants, it is one of the busiest in the entire region, with an average of 60,000 cars rolling through it daily.

Risky Intersection

In 2016 the intersection came in at number 52 on the region’s list of the top 100 intersections ranked by crash risk using crash data from 2011 to 2015.

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) tracks crashes at intersections and compiles the list. Statistics from MAG show that 60 percent of traffic injuries and 40 percent of fatalities in the region happen at intersections.

In the years between 2011 and 2015, there were 186 crashes at Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive. In response to that high number, traffic engineers set out to redesign and improve the Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive intersection to help reduce the risk of crashes.

Having a Positive Effect

Funded by Proposition 400 half-cent sales tax revenue, the project's goal is to improve road capacity to reduce traffic delays and congestion while also enhancing the safety of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

“It was a much-needed safety project for Mesa,” said Ryan Hudson, a city traffic engineer with Mesa. “It is certainly having a positive effect on our transportation system.”

Stapley Drive street improvements

Improving Mobility and Safety

Before the project, the intersection had single left turn lanes in all directions, something that limited the number of cars that could make it through each green light cycle. After completing the project, Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive were widened to include three through lanes, dual left turn lanes, and raised medians in every direction.

“It has been a high-crash intersection, and we are hopeful that the improvements will reduce crashes here,” said Hudson. Bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, and other aging gas and storm sewer system upgrades also were completed. Changes like these improve mobility and safety for everyone. 

Published August 11, 2023