It was noon on a Thursday. Mandy Poff, a 37-year old nurse for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, was on her way to work. The freeway was busy. She had just exited I-10 onto the on-ramp to State Route 51 when a utility truck, several car lengths in front of her with an unsecured load, hit a bump in the road.
“After he hit it, this metal pole launched from his truck and hit the road in front of me. It then bounced off the road and then kind of twisted up and into my car right by my face. And then glass came pouring all over me,” Mandy said in a recent interview with Don’t Trash Arizona, a litter education and enforcement program administered by the Maricopa Association of Governments. The program addresses the environmental, economic, health and safety impacts of litter, including dangerous road debris.
With her windshield shattered, Mandy blindly made her way to the side of the road. The driver did not stop. Mandy sat in shock until a police officer approached her vehicle.
“And when he was walking up ...
Every day, Stevie Milne rides her bike 6.67 miles to work as an instrument repair technician in Tempe, and the same distance home again. Most of her commute takes place along the Rio Salado Pathway, which extends more than 18 miles through parts of Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa.
“Riding your bike is a sense of freedom. I can go at my pace. It is my body moving my piece of machine. There’s just something about connecting with a bike and being on a road,” says Milne, who also is president of the Tempe Bicycle Action Group. “There’s something very calming and peaceful and rewarding about riding your bike as opposed to driving in a car. Also it is cheaper, besides the environmental effects and the health effects…I feel like cycling and bikes are just all around the best way to be active and feel connected.”
Bicycle enthusiast Jeff Caslake is used to commuting in traffic during the weekday, and finds the continuous off-street Rio Salado path a welcome weekend escape. He rides the entire length of the pathway from 15th ...
David Ortega arrived in Scottsdale in 1978, fresh out of college with a degree in architecture. He apprenticed with Bennie Gonzalez, an internationally acclaimed architect known for his distinctive designs, including Scottsdale City Hall, Civic Center Library, and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
“Working with him for five years gave me a very distinct awareness of Southwest contemporary architecture,” says Ortega, who is the newly elected mayor of the city of Scottsdale. Once on his own, Ortega went on to design numerous buildings that embodied the character of Arizona, including a number of Old Town Scottsdale landmarks.
“People expect landmarks and postcards when they come to Scottsdale, and my buildings really are that. I designed them so they would look like they’d been here for 50 to 100 years, and yet they’d have all the modern mechanical and space design to function,” says Ortega.
Among the mayor’s most favorite projects was restoring a 1915 church in Miami, Arizona, where his father was baptized. The project included replacing rotted metal domes with two 7-foot copper domes that Ortega ways will last ...
PHOENIX (May 6, 2020)—The isolation created by COVID-19 affects all of us. But combined with the danger of domestic violence, it can be deadly. Victims at home with their abusers may not be able to reach out for help by calling 9-1-1. One lifesaving option may be texting 9-1-1 instead.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), which coordinates the regional response to domestic violence and administers 9-1-1, is highlighting this important option through a new public service announcement (Spanish link here).
“We stay home to stay healthy, but home is not always a safe place. Being separated from friends, family and neighbors takes a toll emotionally. Domestic violence victims especially may feel cut off from support systems,” says MAG Regional Council Chair Mark Mitchell, mayor of Tempe. “We want victims to know they are not alone, and that they can text 9-1-1 if they are unable to safely call.”
One in four women and one in ten men are victims of violence or stalking by an intimate partner. In 2019, there were 95 fatalities related to domestic violence in the state of ...
See road debris? It's okay to call 9-1-1. That is the critical message to drivers as Arizona recognizes Arizona Secure Your Load Day for the third straight year.
"Most of us have experienced a scary moment on a freeway when suddenly a ladder or mattress appears on the road in front of our car," says Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek. "Arizonans need to know it is okay to call 9-1-1 if that happens."
Nationwide, there are about 51,000 debris-related accidents every year, resulting in 10,000 injuries. In Arizona, DPS responded to more than 1,000 debris-related collisions on state highways last year. The Maricopa region has averaged more than 700 debris-related crashes (all roadways) over the past five years, resulting in 12 fatalities. Yet state agencies find that many drivers are reluctant to call 9-1-1, often using more passive means to report dangerous debris.
"Don't tweet. Don't text. Don't even call the ADOT customer-service line. If you see road debris, consider it an emergency and call 9-1-1, because someone's life just may depend on it," says ...
Seeing red from your daily commute?
Whether it’s red taillights or the red haze of frustration, 10 minutes is all it takes to tell us how we can improve your daily commute.
Your answers will help plan the transportation system that will serve the region for the next 30 years and guide billions of dollars of investments into our infrastructure.
MAG is asking individuals who live or work in the Maricopa County region to complete a survey about what they value about our regional transportation system. Their opinions play a key role in creating the next long-range transportation plan, Imagine.
“This survey asks people what they value most, and allows them to tell us their transportation priorities,” said MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek. “We want them to imagine how they want to get around in the future.”
MAG will use the survey results to help develop plans for future roads, public transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements.
A primary focus of MAG is the development of the next Regional Transportation Plan and the associated planning for the extension of the half-cent sales tax ...
Getting to the grocery store, doctor’s office or shopping mall can be challenging without transportation—especially if you also have a disability.
There are more than 420,000 people with disabilities in this region. Now, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is working to expand a vehicle-sharing program that will help nonprofit agencies and the individuals they serve.
Many organizations participate in this program by sharing their accessible vehicles when they are not using them. By combining resources, the service providers save money while making sure that people in the community who need transportation, get transportation.
For more information about the program or how you can participate in regional transportation activities, contact MAG at: 602-254-6300 or visit MAG’s Connect-A-Ride webpage.
If you’ve ever had your car break down on a busy freeway, you likely remember the fear you felt. But for much of the past two decades, help has come in the form of the Freeway Service Patrol.
The Freeway Service Patrol is a roving road repair service designed to help stranded motorists and get them on their way quickly, increasing safety and reducing traffic backups. The program was launched in 2000 as a joint effort by the Maricopa Association of Governments, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The motorist assistance program prevents loss of life and property. It also helps eliminate secondary crashes and reduces the impact crashes have on traffic flow.
For more information, such as hours of operation and how often people are helped by the program, click here.
Your house burns out of control. An automated drone launches from a nearby base. It flies to the fire and transmits live video before the first fire truck arrives, giving the crew critical information. The responders plan how to attack the fire even before they get to the scene.
This is just one scenario predicted for a new generation of pilotless drones that, like autonomous cars, may be the wave of the future.
One automated drone company has just opened its global headquarters in Scottsdale. Israeli-owned Airobotics, started in 2014, has quickly grown into a leading tech company with 235 employees, 40,000 automated flights and $100 million in funding. “Scottsdale provides a healthy environment for Airobotics to grow, along with other creative businesses here that are expanding the boundaries of new technologies,” said Councilmember Virginia Korte from Scottsdale. “It’s the beginning of a great partnership.”
The company began its data-collection work using certified drone pilots to fly missions. But drone pilots weren’t always available on demand. And even the best were not able to collect data at the same time, same altitude, ...
When a woman in the back of a ridesharing vehicle realized her driver was impaired, she didn’t want to alert the driver by calling 9-1-1. So she texted instead.
In that case, the driver was pulled over and the woman got home safely. It is just one example of the thousands of text sessions taking place since Text to 9-1-1 capability went live in the Maricopa region on April 2, 2018. In fact, the system is averaging 400 texts a month, with 2,432 text sessions received in the first six months. Examples of other emergency texts include:
Hearing impaired wife sent text on non-breathing husband.
Girlfriend was assaulted and being held against her will.
Car accident with hearing impaired driver.
Multiple domestic violence situations.
Because voice calling helps 9-1-1 dispatchers get the information they need more quickly, it is still the best option. But in certain situations, like those outlined above, texting is an alternative that can save lives.
“We still remind people, ‘Call if you can, text if you can’t,’” says Mayor Gail Barney, Regional Council chair. “It’s most important that ...