W. Route 66
The Operational Assessment is part of a multi-jurisdictional effort to determine the best project(s) to fit the city’s investment of 419 tax initiative funds to support multi-modal improvements along W. Route 66 and to support future decision-making around the expansion of Mountain Line’s Route 8 to service the new communities and businesses along the corridor.
MetroPlan in collaboration with the City of Flagstaff, Mountain Line, Coconino County, and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is assessing W. Route 66 operations as future development and growth continues along the corridor. This growth impacts the use of the roadway and its connections to broader Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University, and Interstate 40.
To create future conditions that best manage congestion and provide people with safe and comfortable options for moving around town without a vehicle, the project team is using scenario-based assumptions to inform options for future consideration.
Development of future land use scenarios for road design sensitivity testing will be guided by the City’s Regional Plan 2030 and any new data or information provided by the ongoing Regional Plan update.
The operational assessment is seeking to address the following:
Identify multimodal and transportation for the corridor with additional emphasis on projects specific to 419 funding by prioritizing projects that meet the funding timeline and reach a 15% design level.
Identify bus stop locations for future route 8 extension along the corridor that allows for good pedestrian access from both sides of the corridor and are supported by all jurisdictions.
Address future transportation needs through baseline and future performance analysis of the transit network, complete streets/active transportation, arterial network, and intersection assessments.
Design with best practices set forth in an outcome-oriented evaluation criteria that will be created with jurisdictional partners to achieve corridor goals.
Prioritize potential projects through an evaluation process that eliminates any alternatives early that do not meet state, city, or regional policies, standards, and design guidelines. Prioritized projects may be evaluated further for conceptual design(s).
Create a plan that is implementable by local jurisdictions and provides solutions aligned with policies and standards.
Identify projects in existing plans that may be eligible for future federal funding.
Proposition 419 was approved by voters in 2018. The City Transportation Sales tax is intended to fund “new streets, pedestrian and bicycle projects, safety improvements, and street operations, including but not limited to, traffic signal technology. To accommodate vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and buses, new and widened streets will be proposed to be built as “complete streets” (General/Special Election Pamphlet, 2018). W. Route 66 is identified as a transportation sales tax investment area.
Through previous plans and studies, W. Route 66 has been identified as a key corridor for future growth, development, and network connectivity. Currently, there are several single-family homes, multi-family homes, and businesses being developed along the corridor, particularly to the west, with the potential for further build-out in the future to support further development.
W. Route 66 provides a direct route to/from I-40, connects to industry and retail to the south, NAU and downtown to the east, and the town of Bellemont to the west. A new road is planned to connect to the corridor providing a new north/south connection to support the growing population (Figure 3). Additionally, W. Route 66 supports trucking services that frequently deliver to the surrounding industrial sites and provides an emergency or alternate route when I-40 is closed.
The study area is 4 miles in length from Interstate 40 (I-40) to Milton Road. The roadway is owned by ADOT with a small portion near Flagstaff Ranch Road owned by Coconino County. The City of Flagstaff has allocated 419 Tax Initiative funding set aside for W. Route 66 from Milton Road to Flagstaff Ranch Road.