Valley's newest ramp meters to be activated Thursday

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The newest freeway ramp meters in the Valley are due to start operating Thursday (July 11) along State Route 51 (Piestewa Freeway) between Glendale Avenue and Loop 101 in north Phoenix, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The ramp meters, designed to help increase safety and manage rush-hour traffic, were installed over the past several months, along with new overhead message signs and sensors that monitor the flow of traffic along the freeway.
The new southbound SR 51 on-ramp meters between Union Hills Drive and Northern Avenue will operate weekday mornings between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., while the northbound on-ramp meters from Glendale Avenue to Union Hills Drive will be on during weekday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Three southbound ramp meters previously installed at Cactus Road, 26th Street and Northern Avenue will continue to operate during weekday morning rush hours.
The use of ramp-meter traffic signals, which are now installed along much of the Phoenix freeway system, provides space between vehicles entering a freeway. That extra room helps improve merging conditions for drivers, including those who are exiting the freeway during the busier rush hours.
The new SR 51 ramp meters were installed over the past several months as part of a $1.7 million safety project that also added two new overhead message boards near Union Hills Drive, new cameras to monitor traffic conditions between Bell Road and Union Hills, and pavement sensors to help track the flow of traffic along the stretch of the Piestewa Freeway north of Glendale Avenue.