The Sonoran Desert Parkway opened to the public last week. But it remains nearly empty — at least for now. 

The purpose-made parkway currently connects John Wayne Parkway to Porter Road, a commute that seems most helpful for Hidden Valley residents who want to shop at Walmart. It will eventually extend to Interstate 10 as an alternate route for Maricopans to the east. 

In the first days of rubber meeting the road, InMaricopa asked our readers if the asphalt artery would shorten their commute. 

More than 4 in 5 people said the road would not shorten everyday commutes, while just one-fifth said it would. 

To the large majority of Maricopans who said the parkway’s first phase won’t save them any minutes behind the wheel, Arizona state Rep. Teresa Martinez says, “I understand your feelings. But on the other hand, when do we start preparing for the future?” 

In five years, growth in Pinal County will demand the Sonoran Desert Parkway, she predicted. 

“Do we need it today? No. But we will definitely need it tomorrow,” said Martinez. 


  1. I live in Desert Cedars & there is no benefit in using this road when I travel to Casa Grande. This is due to the risk of a train causing a back up on Porter road. Did we not learn that any major road needs a overpass to avoid any train crossing. i.e. overpass on JWB.