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Big Changes Expected on Interstate 10

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The cities of Phoenix, Casa Grande, and Tucson make up what’s known as the ‘growing southwest megaregion’ in Arizona. Cities within a megaregion are tied together by strong links and can influence one another, even if they’re hundreds of miles apart.

For this megaregion in Arizona, Interstate 10 serves as a conduit between the cities, and is heavily trafficked by freight vehicles. Carrying everything from avocados to medical supplies, the freight traffic is both necessary and taxing on I-10.

From wear and tear of the road itself to placement of rest stops and fuel stations, all of this has begun to affect driver safety. Thanks to students at Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University, a new study is being done to plan for the future of freight traffic on the I-10 with a focus on efficiency, safety, and sustainability.

“Hopefully, in the long run, this research will help shorten commutes, save lives, create more breathable air and find a way to pay for all of it,” Michael Kuby, a professor in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, said.

This study will focus on topics such as reaping more benefits from pass-through traffic, emerging technology called connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), and identifying threats posed to transportation infrastructure by natural and man-made hazards, to name a few.

Students at the three major in-state universities aren’t the only ones taking a look at the I-10 and devising strategies to improve it. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) launched their own study back in 2014.

Their study focuses on the 31-mile freeway corridor beginning at the I-17/Loop 101 North Stack interchange in the north Valley and travels south and east to the Interchange I-10/Loop 202 Pecos Stack. This area has been dubbed the “Spine” because it is the transportation backbone of Maricopa County. In fact, more than 40 percent of all freeway traffic in the area travels over the Spine.

Drivers in that area have been pressing for solutions due to a high volume of accidents, closures, and gridlocks. According to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, “the goal is to make our most heavily traveled freeway safer and more efficient for commuters, residents, and pedestrians.”

With MAG, ADOT, and FHA completing their study, they now have recommendations including upgrading 24 of 31 traffic interchanges to widen roads and improve cross-freeway traffic, provide better technology to help communicate travel information to drivers, and improving availability and reliability for transit and carpooling, among other things.

Arizona locals are urged to give their feedback on these proposed changes, and have until February 17th to do so. Simply click here for a chance to give your feedback and have it included in the study record.

Beyond the major improvements happening on the I-10, the local universities are excited about the opportunity to be working alongside one another.

“This is the first time we have a project between all of us, and you can see relationships and partnerships develop as we work through this. It’s going to be very exciting and very fruitful as we move into the future,” Edward Smaglik, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering at NAU said.

So whether you’re a Sun Devil, Wildcat, or Lumberjack fan, this I-10 project is something we can all be rooting for.

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LifeStyle

New Year Resolutions 2017: Driving Edition

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It wouldn’t be the start of a new year without making resolutions. Even if we know deep down in our heart that we have no intention of keeping said resolutions, we still make them. Consider them a rite of passage at this point.

From cussing less to going to the gym more, we’re normally pretty good until late January, and then the wheels come off. Unless, that is, you’re one of those annoying individuals who actually manages to keep their resolutions. In which case, this article isn’t for you, and we all resent you.

So keeping in the spirit of the new year, the GarageFly team has come up with resolutions for driving and our vehicles that we sure hope we abide by, but aren’t going to beat ourselves up over come February:

  1. We will no longer be backseat drivers.
    I know, I know, we’re starting off with a biggie. How is it that even though we all complain when someone else is being a backseat driver, we ourselves are backseat drivers? There is no use in denying it; we all do it. And in some ways, it makes sense. When someone isn’t driving the way you think everyone should drive, you have to speak up…right? Not in 2017. No, in 2017 we are going to sit in the backseat (or front seat, for that matter) and keep our mouths shut. Unless an accident is imminent. Then definitely speak up.
  1. We will no longer see how long we can drive on empty.
    The gaslight turns on. You are dangerously close to empty. What does the 2016 version of you do? Wait until you actually hit E and then estimate how far you can go on fumes. But that’s the old you. The new version of you sees the gaslight turn on, and immediately finds a gas station on your route. Sure, it might be freezing out and close to midnight, but you’re committed to your 2017 driving resolutions.
  2. We will actually start using our turn signals.
    This resolution is hard to make because it means we have to admit to doing it, or not doing it in this case. It’s not like the 2016 version of us never used our turn signals. There’s just room for improvement. So in 2017, we’re going to be perfect. We’re going to use our turn signal when changing lanes, when we’re in turn lanes, heck, we’ll even use it when pulling into a parking space. This is the year of the turn signal.
  3. We’ll get our car washed more than twice a year.
    We can’t be the only ones who only got our car washed when a weird funk took over the interior, or when we had guests coming in from out of town to visit. It’s not like we don’t love a clean car. Honestly, is there anything better? It’s just one of those things that the 2016 version of ourselves felt like we could put off until six months had passed. The 2017 version of us will only wait three months, though. We won’t go too crazy, but once a quarter wouldn’t kill us, right?
  4. We will merge when it says to merge, not wait until we’re forced to.
    It’s a sick game we play. We wait to see just how many cars we can pass before we’re forced into a merging situation. Even though we know this is one of the leading causes of traffic (the inability to merge when told, that is), we still wait and see just how long we can make it in the current lane we’re in. In 2017, we’re going to be proactive. No more cruising by until the last minute. Nope, not us. When we see that yellow sign to start merging, we are turning our blinker on (you didn’t forget about resolution #3, did you?) and heading into the appropriate lane.

So, who’s with us? We may not be able to keep all of these resolutions, or even any of them past February 1st, but it’s worth a shot.

From GarageFly to you, Happy New Year! Let’s make it a great one.

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