Skip to main content

Arizona Loop 101

This past week I had a flight path out of Sky Harbor International Airport which crossed over Arizona Loop 101 on the border of Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.


AZ Loop 101 is an approximately 61 mile Loop Freeway stretching from Interstate 10 in the Western Phoenix Valley to AZ 202.  The route of AZ 101 carries several designations:

-  From I-10 northeast to I-17 the path of AZ 101 is known as the Agua Fria Freeway which is named after a West Valley River.

-  From I-17 southeast to AZ 202 the path of AZ 101 is known as the Pima Freeway.  The above picture is from part of the Red Mountain Freeway segment of AZ 101.  The Pima name comes from Pima Road and the namesake reservation.

-  From AZ 202 southward back to AZ 202 the path of AZ 101 is known as the Santan Freeway.

In the original planning stages AZ 101 carried the designation of AZ 417 for the Agua Fria Freeway section and AZ 117 being part of the Pima/Price.  AZ 101 was legislatively defined in 1987 as a Loop Freeway of the Phoenix Metro Area.  The original segment of AZ 101 to open was along the Price Freeway which was originally designated as part of AZ 202.  AZ 101 was fully completed by the turn of the century in the early 2000s with a segment from Tatum Boulevard eastward through Scottsdale.

My personal experience along AZ 101 was mostly along the Pima Freeway corridor given that I was mostly living in the East Valley in the 2000s.  In 2006 the City of Scottsdale introduced Photo Enforcement which was subject to controversy.  The reasoning behind the Photo Enforcement was due to the high fatality rate along the Red Mountain Freeway.  It quickly became suspected by many (myself included, hence the personal opinion) that the City of Scottsdale was more interested in additional funding by calibrating the Photo Enforcement Towers to 11 MPH over the limit rather than safety.  Some of the ticket revenue was given to local company Red Flex to process the photo enforcement tickets.  In 2010 Photo Enforcement of the Pima Freeway in Scottsdale ended, the rest of the city largely followed.

AZ 101 along the other Phoenix Loop Freeways originally had colored shields.  In the case of AZ 101 the shield color was blue, I have one in my personal collection.


The blue AZ 101 shields were largely replaced with black and white variants in the 2000s.  Blue AZ 101 shields can still be found on several surface streets such as McDonald Boulevard and Shea Drive in Scottsdale.  The shield below is from Shea Boulevard heading eastbound at the AZ 101/Pima Freeway interchange.




Comments

Unknown said…
L101 in Tempe/Chandler is actually the "Price Freeway."

Popular posts from this blog

Long closed California State Route 39 at Islip Saddle

Back in 2016 I visited the long closed segment of California State Route 39 in the Islip Saddle of the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County.


Islip Saddle is a mountain pass in the San Gabriel Mountains located at 6,680 feet above sea level.  Islip Saddle serves as the junction of CA 2/Angeles Crest Highway at the north terminus of CA 39/San Gabriel Canyon Road.  While the junction of CA 2/CA 39 unto itself is noteworthy due to the striking views from Islip Saddle southward through San Gabriel Canyon it has been become far more known for the long standing closure on the latter route since 1978.

CA 39 was one of the original 1934 State Highways and was made up of Legislative Route Number 171 south of what was US Route 101 in Buena Park and LRN 62 north of it.  In the case of LRN 62 it was created during the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act.  The original legislative definition of LRN 62 had it running north from Azuza to Pine Flats in the San Gabriel Mountains to LRN 61 (which b…

Old US Route 60/70 through Hell (Chuckwall Valley Road and Ragsdale Road)

Back in 2016 I explored some of the derelict roadways of the Sonoran Desert of Riverside County which were part of US Route 60/70; Chuckwalla Valley Road and Ragsdale Road.


US 60 and US 70 were not part of the original run of US Routes in California.  According to USends.com US 60 was extended into California by 1932.  US 60 doesn't appear on the California State Highway Map until the 1934 edition.

USends.com on US 60 endpoints

1934 State Highway Map

Conversely US 70 was extended into California by 1934, it first appears on the 1936 State Highway Map.

USends.com on US 70 endpoints

1936 State Highway Map

When US 60 and US 70 were extended into California they both utilized what was Legislative Route Number 64 from the Arizona State Line west to Coachella Valley.  LRN 64 was part of the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act routes.  The original definition of LRN 64 routed between Mecca in Blythe and wasn't extended to the Arizona State Line until 1931 according to CAhighways.org.

CAh…

Interstate 375 in Detroit; a doomed freeway?

Recently while visiting the City of Detroit I drove the entirety of Interstate 375.


I-375 is a short 1.147 mile spur of I-75 in downtown Detroit which connects to the unsigned I-375 Business Spur on Jefferson Avenue.  I-375 is the southernmost segment of the Walter P. Chrysler Freeway which carried largely by I-75 in the City of Detroit.  Construction of I-375 began in 1959 and the freeway was open to traffic by late 1964 according to michiganhighways.org.

michiganhighways.org on I-375

The average traffic count on I-375 ranges between approximately 14,000 vehicles at Jefferson Avenue and approximately 54,000 vehicles at I-75.  The low traffic counts on I-375 has recently led to proposals to put the freeway on a "road diet."  In 2013 the Michigan Department of Transportation announced that it may at some point in the future remove I-375.  In 2014 MDOT announced six proposals for I-375 which were eventually reduced to only two boulevard alternatives by 2017.  In late 2018 a six…