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accidents

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Danger on the road rose last year in Maricopa, according to a state report published Tuesday.

The 2017 Crash Facts for the State of Arizona, an annual summary prepared by the Arizona Department of Transportation, showed vehicle accidents increased nearly 5 percent within city limits from the year before.

There were 298 automobile accidents reported in Maricopa in 2017 – earning the city a third-place rank in Pinal County for the highest number of crashes behind Casa Grande (761) and Apache Junction (456).

Maricopa placed second in the county in the number of alcohol-related crashes last year.

The city experienced 25 accidents that involved alcohol, up from 11 crashes in 2016. Casa Grande again led the category with 26 crashes; Apache Junction followed Maricopa with 21.

In 2017, people injured from alcohol related crashes rose by one (from 9 people the year before to 10).

There were zero crash fatalities attributed to alcohol last year. One death was caused by an alcohol-related crash in 2016.

Maricopa placed third in the number of injury accidents (87), number of property damage only crashes (210), and the number of persons injured in accidents (117). Casa Grande and Apache Junction preceded Maricopa respectively in rank in each of those categories in 2017.

A positive statistic reported in the data showed auto fatalities lowered from the year before.

The number of people killed in Maricopa auto accidents reportedly decreased from three deaths in 2016 to one fatality last year, according to the report.

The statewide report used data compiled from Arizona Traffic Crash Reports that are submitted to ADOT by state, county, city, tribal and other law enforcement agencies, according to the report.

Unincorporated area statistics are not broken down in the summary. View the report here.

Pinal County experienced nearly 4,000 traffic accidents last year – No. 3 in the state behind Maricopa County (93,596) and Pima County (11,707).

In 2017, 1,000 people were killed on roadways statewide.

 

Due to strong interest of Maricopa residents, the Public Meeting for the Pinal County Strategic Transportation Safety Plan will be extended to 4:30–7 p.m., July 12 in council chambers at City Hall.

Take survey here

This is an ongoing study effort that will produce a Pinal County Strategic Transportation Safety Plan.

Pinal County is divided between two Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), which are: Maricopa Association of Governments and Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, and one Council Of Governments (Central Arizona Governments) All three planning agencies have completed Strategic Transportation Safety Plans (STSP) for their respective planning areas. Pinal County is now developing a STSP that would combine relevant recommendations from all three safety plans and also meet current federal requirements for the Pinal County planning area. A cohesive plan for the County will help fill any gaps that may exist in the existing plans, such as the identification of specific regional safety projects for the Pinal County communities of City of Maricopa, Gila River Indian Community, Ak Chin Indian Community, Town of Florence, San Tan Valley, City of Apache Junction and unincorporated areas in Pinal County.

The Pinal County STSP will address the necessary steps and elements, from a regional transportation planning perspective, to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to all transportation users in Pinal County. The Sun Corridor MPO, in partnership with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and Central Arizona Governments (CAG) is funding this Strategic Transportation Safety Plan for Pinal County utilizing Local Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding from all three planning agencies. This project will develop a customized regional plan for Pinal County in order to address the issues and needs for Pinal County and its transportation users.

The Pinal County STSP will be developed in close coordination with Arizona’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). This will ensure that federal requirements are met, statewide/local consistency is prevalent, and unique regional needs are addressed.

The primary outcome for the Pinal County STSP project will include the following:
Safety System Performance
Network Screening Methodologies for Prioritization of Transportation Safety Needs
Identification and Analyzation of Available Resources for a Transportation Safety Perspective
Regional Vision and Goals for Transportation Safety
Emphasis Areas, Goals, and Performance Measures
Transportation Safety Strategies
A Strategy to Improve Safety Project Development Process
Implementation Plan
Identification and Prioritization of Candidate Transportation Safety Projects
Benefit/Cost Ratio Tabulation
Pinal County STSP – Combining the Pinal County Portions of the MAG, CAG, and SCMPO Safety Plans into one Cohesive Document for Pinal County

For additional information, please visit the Sun Corridor at scmpo.org/pcstsp

By Ethan McSweeney

Two accidents in the southbound lanes of State Route 347 in Maricopa led to backups Monday evening as Fourth of July festivities were ongoing at Copper Sky Regional Park and Ak-Chin Village.

The bumper-to-bumper accidents, which occurred around 9 p.m. Monday just north of Bowlin Road, involved a total of six vehicles. No injuries were reported in either of the accidents, said Chip Wright, a spokesman for the Maricopa Fire Department.

In the first crash, one vehicle hit the back of another vehicle shortly before 9 p.m., Wright said.

For the second crash, a vehicle hit the vehicle in front it, pushing it into the next two vehicles a few minutes after 9 p.m.  It appears this four-vehicle accident was caused by the backup from the first crash, Wright said.

Wright said he isn’t sure whether the accidents were caused by drivers watching the fireworks, which were being set off around the time of the accidents at the Ak-Chin celebration and then at Copper Sky.