the Arizona Department of Transportation activated a traffic signal at State Route 347 and Old Maricopa Road on Aug. 15 to allow motorists on Old Maricopa to make left turns onto northbound SR 347 more safely.
The new northbound merge lane provides room for drivers to accelerate and transition into the flow on SR 347. A merge lane also was added along southbound SR 347 south of Old Maricopa Road.
However, the signal also requires commuter traffic heading to and from Maricopa –thousands every day – to stop. That causes backups, sometimes jamming afternoon southbound traffic onto I-10.
Now, about a month since the signal was installed, we wanted to know how Maricopans – especially those who commute to the Valley for work – feel about the new signal. We asked: “What impact has the new light at State Route 347 and Maricopa Road had on your commute since its activation?”
Based on input from our 335 poll respondents, the impact has been resoundingly negative.
Nearly 58 percent, or 194 voters, said it has had a negative impact, while 25.7 percent, 86 voters, said it has had no impact. Just 10.8 percent, or 36 voters, said it has had a positive impact, and 19 voters or 5.7 percent responded, “What light?”
The ADOT Traffic Monitoring Group calculated an annual average daily traffic of 42,939 cars in 2018 along the road from Maricopa to I-10 and projected 71,978 cars on it by 2040, a 60 percent increase.