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Operational Assessment
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. The project team is using scenario-based assumptions to inform options for future project 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.

Study Area

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.

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Facts, Answers, and Questions (FAQ)

 

What is MetroPlan?

MetroPlan is the federally mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that provides long-range regional transportation planning. MetroPlan’s mission is to facilitate improvements and programs for all transportation modes through collaborative priority setting, planning, and the strategic pursuit of funding. MetroPlan is responsible for coordinating transportation planning and federal grants in the greater Flagstaff region. MetroPlan is a partnership of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and Mountain Line.

 

What is MetroPlan's Role in the assessment?

The City of Flagstaff requested the assistance of MetroPlan to identify future solutions for the corridor.

 

Who owns W. Route 66?

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is the primary roadway owner with a small section near Flagstaff Ranch Rd. owned and maintained by Coconino County.

 

What types of projects will be assessed for W. Route 66?

This assessment intends to prioritize potential projects that respond to a variety of future conditions based on the City’s Regional Plan. Evaluation of alternatives will include the widening of W. Route 66, intersection improvements, improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, and guide Mountain Line for the future expansion of Bus Route 8.

 

Will the identified preferred project be funded?

Yes. We intend to find a project(s) that meets the requirements of the 419 Tax Initiative funds.

However, the proposed project(s) costs may be beyond the available 419 funds. The city will seek partnerships with both ADOT and Developers to complete any future improvements.

 

What’s the next step after the Operational Assessment is completed?

Metroplan will provide the assessment and recommendations to the City of Flagstaff and ADOT.

Afterward, it will be the responsibility of these agencies to identify appropriate funding, conduct engineering and design, and create a schedule for community feedback related to design and construction

Why Now?

Voter Expectations:

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.
 

Growth Pressures:

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.
 

Critical Access:

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.

Project Documents

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