Reverse-lane changes begin Monday

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Beginning Monday, drivers on Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street will see new reverse-lane signs and left turns will be allowed at one intersection where they have been prohibited for decades.

During reverse-lane hours, left turns are prohibited at major intersections with traffic signals. However, left turns will be allowed at Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road starting Monday morning. New yellow warning signs will alert drivers to the change.

The reverse lanes run from McDowell Road to Northern Avenue on Seventh Avenue, and McDowell Road to Dunlap Avenue on Seventh Street. During rush hour, the middle lane, which is usually a traditional two-way left-turn lane, opens to through traffic.

Monday-Friday between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., the traffic flows south toward downtown; between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., it flows north. 

The reverse lanes, dubbed "suicide lanes," have been a contentious issue since they were introduced in 1979. The goal at the time -- years before the building of State Route 51 -- was to ease traffic into and out of downtown Phoenix.

The text signs that mark the reverse lanes will be replaced with universal traffic symbols in an effort to make them clearer to drivers. New sign structures and flashing beacons will be implemented next year. 

The Phoenix Police Department will increase enforcement activity as part of a reverse-lane safety campaign.

For more information on reverse lanes, visit or call 602-262-6284.