AZTech SMART Corridors

A Systematically Managed ARTerial or SMART corridor is one where surface streets, are used at their maximum efficiency during normal periods of congestion and when an accident has occurred. The key component is intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology, which is used to optimize corridor operations by balancing traffic flow between facilities.

SMART corridor strategies have been applied in the region since the inception of the AZTech Model Deployment Initiative. The AZTech partners proposed and implemented 10 Smart Corridors in the region. The SMART corridor project installed Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) along the corridors, including the installation of vehicle detection systems (VDS), closed circuit television (CCTV) systems, dynamic message signs (DMS), and communications along the Smart Corridors. The corridors are located in City of Glendale, City of Peoria, City of Tempe, City of Scottsdale, City of Chandler, and the City of Mesa.

Bell Road is an example of an operational Smart Corridor. Bell Road, the busiest arterial in the state, runs through seven AZTech partner jurisdictions over a 25–mile corridor. The jurisdictions along the corridor include; Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), city of Surprise, Maricopa County, city of Peoria, city of Glendale, city of Phoenix, and city of Scottsdale. These jurisdictions have functioning Traffic Management Centers that manage the ITS infrastructure and traffic control systems. To improve operations, the partners developed a multi-agency operations plan for the corridor. As a result of the Smart Corridor implementation and collaborative operations, significant benefits in travel time have been realized. The main performance goal for the Smart Corridor operations plan is to limit the percentage increase in average travel time to less than the percentage increase in traffic volume. The table below illustrates the performance of Bell Road from Grand Avenue to Loop 101.

Bell Road Corridor Performance (Grand Avenue - Loop 101)
% Travel Time Change
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Peak Hour-Direction
AM - East Bound (EB)   -7.3 0.0 -6.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4
PM - West Bound (WB)   -3.5 0.0 -24.8 0.0 0.0 -9.7 -2.7
Combined EB & WB   -5.0 0.0 -17.4 0.0 0.0 -5.3 -0.7
Cumulative Change 0 -5.0 -5.0 -22.5 -22.5 -22.5 -27.8 -28.5
% Traffic Volumes (ADT) Change Both Directions   -1.7 -1.7 0.0 0.0 -6.0 0.3 1.5
Cumulative Change 0 -1.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 -6.0 -5.7 -4.2

ADT: Average Daily Traffic

For more information, contact:
Faisal Saleem
ITS Branch Manager
MCDOT SMARTDrive Program Manager
Maricopa County Department of Transportation
602-506-1241 / faisalsaleem@mail.maricopa.gov