Traffic Planning and Projected Growth in the Foothills District

Traffic safety and flow remain a critical issue for City of Scottsdale planners, citizens, and public safety. Significant, on-going analysis and effort goes into projecting, planning, and implementing traffic/road improvement projects.

Scottsdale continues to experience development changes and growth within its geographical boundaries and in adjacent jurisdictions, which underscores the importance of continual evaluation and study of traffic movement and road capacity.

The Foothills District is the northern most district in the city and extends from Cactus Road north to the Desert Mountain Development on the north side of Cave Creek Road and is bordered by Phoenix to the west and Maricopa County unincorporated areas to the East.

The following provides a snapshot of anticipated growth and road improvement plans for the Foothills District through the year 2035. The realization of the plan depends on many factors including funding, variances in anticipated growth versus actual growth, and traffic volume.

Foothills District Growth Predictions and Balance
The goal is to keep arterial streets (main through streets) at around 50% to 80% of their capacity. This ensures a balance between traffic and resources such as land, asphalt, signals and signs, and electricity. Arterial streets operating with less than 50% of capacity means more of the city’s resources are devoted to streets than appropriate for the traffic. Arterial streets operating with more than 80% of capacity means there is more traffic than appropriate for the resources devoted to the streets.

Foothills District as of 2015:

  • 47% of our street-miles are less than 50% of capacity
  • 25% are between 50% and 80% of capacity
  • 28% are over 80% of capacity

Foothills District in 2035:

  • 12% of our street-miles will be less than 50% of capacity
  • 63% will be between 50% and 80% of capacity
  • 25% will be over 80% of capacity

From 2015 to 2020 in the Foothills District, it is projected that the city’s population will grow by 13%, and arterial lane miles will grow by 1% with a planned widening project of Pima Road between Pinnacle Peak and Happy Valley Roads between 2018 and 2019.

By 2025 the city’s population is expected to grow an additional 15% and arterial lane miles will see a significant spike growing by 20%. The following road projects are planned during this timeframe:

  • Happy Valley Road: Pima Road to Alma School Parkway (2021/2022)
  • Pima Road: Stagecoach Pass to Cave Creek Road (2022/2023)
  • Miller Road: SR-101 Underpass (2022/2023)
  • Scottsdale Road: Thompson Peak Parkway to Pinnacle Peak Road (2022/2023)
  • Pima Road: Dynamite Boulevard to Stagecoach Pass (2023/2024)
  • Scottsdale Road: Pinnacle Peak Road to Jomax Road (2023/2024)
  • Pima Road: Happy Valley Road to Dynamite Boulevard (2023/2024)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard: Greenway-Hayden Loop to Northsight Boulevard (2023/2024)
  • Legacy Drive: Hayden Road to 88th Street (2024/2025)

By 2030 the city’s population is expected to grow an additional 10% and arterial lane miles will see an increase of 3% with the planned widening of the Loop 101 frontage road from Hayden Road to Pima Road/Princess Drive between 2027 and 2028.

The listed projects assume that the city will receive the needed regional and federal funds and be able to provide its share of the total expense.

Source: City of Scottsdale