State Route 347: The bane of all Maricopans’ existence, yet a constant in our lives.
After failure of Proposition 469 in November pushing solutions farther away, we thought the time was right to ask what we can do until funding is available to make significant improvements to Maricopa’s lifeline.
Our reader-poll question this week: “While the politicians try to line up funding to widen State Route 347, what steps would you like to see to make the drive from Maricopa to Interstate 10 safer?
The two most-popular responses dealt not with infrastructure, but with driver behavior.
“Greater speed and re-;ight enforcement with ticketing, not warnings, for offenders,” was the top response with 35.5% of the votes.
Close behind: “People being more willing to drive in the right lane; if you are in the left lane being passed inside, move over,” at 32.1.
Highway improvement took the next spot with 19.7% of voters responding, “Median crossovers, regulated by DPS, that can be opened to give backed-up traffic an out if a collision creates a long backup.”
No. 4 among responses was, “Faster cleanup of collisions to mitigate closures, essential for safety and those stuck on the road after an incident,” at 12.8%.
Several improvements for SR347 are underway, including the design of an overpass at Riggs Road that would eliminate the traffic signal there; conversion of the interchange at I-10 to a “diverging diamond,” which would keep traffic flowing onto and off the freeway rather than stopping for a light; and adding a third lane each way from the interstate to the city’s northern border, improving traffic flow during morning and evening rush hours.
These people voting for stricter enforcement and tickets are whats wrong with society. It’s a long stretch of freeway with changing speed limits and lights that shouldn’t exist. The people who voted for the tickets are also people that speed, everyone on the 347 does because the speed limit changes and is too low in general. It’s a freeway, it should be 75 for the whole freeway not 55 and 65. Tickets are a regressive tax, they affect those who are lower income worse than those with higher income so all that happens is poor people are punished, not to mention it increases insurance rates which in this insurance market can mean being able to drive legally or not.
You gotta fix the real problem, not slap bandaids on everything. Add a third lane, remove lights, add a another road to connect to the 10, and increase speed limits to 75 throughout. Otherwise all you’re doing is using some flex seal on a sinking boat.
The only thing that can be done with little money is increasing the speed limit, then work should be done to remove the lights, or rather use a different solution for turnoffs and make the 347 a real freeway with a third lane.