ADOT to build “high-speed” path along 202 Freeway

[UPDATE to this article which was initially written in 2017, see comments below; path is nearing completion as we approach Summer of 2020]

Having ADOT agree to construct a 20′ wide “high speed” bike facility that will be six miles long with less than five street crossings (first of its kind in AZ, and maybe the whole country) could be part of a major sea change in Arizona. This is on par with the Hwy 179 re-construction between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek in north central AZ. Both projects are “ground-breaking” departures from ADOTs past behavior, even though the ultimate “maintenance owner” of the project will be a locality and/or groups
of bicycle-supporting entities. Bike lanes will also be added to the Chandler Boulevard extension as a result of meetings with the same group, which includes City of Phoenix.

Everyone listed as a signer in the attached letter had a valuable role in making this happen. Bicycling community kudos go especially to Joe Struttmann, who was what I like to call “the pit-bull on the pant leg” with respect to ADOT. We will continue to push ADOT to become more bicycle-friendly (watch for updates on this and other issues within the next couple of months). Bicyclists can be heard…we have to offer constructive options to ADOT, and speak from a base of support. Bicyclists who want better, more safe riding conditions need to join the efforts and speak up.
They need to join groups such as the Pecos Action Group, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, Arizona Bicycling Club, Living Streets Alliance
(Tucson), GABA (Tucson), CASAZ (southern AZ), Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition and/or other advocacy groups and ask for and be present in meetings that impact our bicycling environment (infrastructure, education, allocation of transportation funding, etc.).

Please read and share the attached letter to show what is possible when people work together in their community.

Also, if you can, please join us at the 2017 Arizona Bicycling Summit this Friday 3/31/2017 at the Mesa Convention Center.

Bob Beane
President, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists



Dear Residents,

On March 22nd , we had a very productive and successful meeting with ADOT regarding the construction of the 202 Freeway. The meeting was led by Arizona State Representative Jill Norgaard, and attended by Arizona State Senator Sean Bowie, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee Chair Chad Blostone, Foothills HOA President Bill Fautsch, Club West Vice President Mike Hinz, Pecos Action Group President Joe Struttman, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists President Bob Beane, high level staff from the City of Phoenix, ADOT Director John Halikowski and his staff.

This was a collective effort by all of us, regardless of party lines, to work together to solve significant issues facing our community. The majority of the issues below were resolved at this meeting.

Here are some of the items discussed:

1) Chandler Blvd Extension– the major concern was to design a safe and usable roadway that could accommodate vehicular traffic, cycling and pedestrians. As you may recall, this was originally designed with just two lanes. The roadway is now under construction with a much safer design which includes a center turn lane and two approximate five-foot (5 ft) bicycle lanes. Construction has started and is estimated to be completed this summer.

2) Request to extend traffic study to Desert Foothills/Chandler Blvd and Ray Rd/Chandler Blvd, including the intersection of Ray and Chandler. With the planned 202 footprint, it is critical for Phoenix to have a true analysis of the impact of traffic on our communities. The City has already begun this study and is reaching out to community leaders for input.

3) Shared Use Path running along the southern side of the 202- The final design will be completed shortly with direction to make it compatible with high speed bicycle use. This facility will be the first of its kind in the nation and is expected to bring cycling enthusiast from all around the state to our community. This started as an idea and has now transformed into what could be the first cycling park of this kind in the nation thanks to the collaboration of this group.

4) 32nd street emergency access and future intersection options- ADOT has agreed to creat an emergency access point for our schools in this immediate area.

5) Explore alternative water sources and water infrastructure for Ahwatukee- ADOT has agreed to bring a sleeve from the southern area of the freeway to the north side to help with a water solution. This should solve the water issue for Foothills, and creates a partial solution for Club West.

We are all committed to continue working together for a solution to completely solve this problem and we are happy to have ADOT’s support thus far.

As we continue the progress, we will keep you updated through a series of these open letters.


Sal DiCiccio / Phoenix City Council District 6

Jill Norgaard / Arizona State Representative District 18

Sean Bowie / Arizona State Senator District 18

Chad Blostone / Ahwatukee Village Planning, Committee Chairman

Bill Fautsch / Foothills HOA President

Mike Hinz / Club West Vice President

Joe Struttman / Pecos Action Group President

Bob Beane / Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists President


Funding for the path construction has not been broken out; but the entire freeway project was funded primarily from sales taxes…

According to info posted on the FHWA website the Loop 202 / South Mountain Freeway cost nearly $2Billion (excluding financing costs), and has the following funding sources. Note that the largest funding source is a SALES TAX. ($702M, RARF) and and the 2nd largest source are bonds which will be paid off with SALES TAXES ($435M, RARF bond).

Cost $1.837 billion (YOE, not including financing costs)
Funding Sources Federal funds – $493.8 million
State Highway User Revenue Fund Bonds – $205.9 million
Regional Area Road Fund (1/2-cent sales tax) – $702.4 million
Regional Area Road Fund Bonds – $435.3 million

             retrieved from

3 Responses to “ADOT to build “high-speed” path along 202 Freeway”
  1. admin says:

    Update: as of mid-2020 much progress has been made towards a summer-time 2020 expected completion —
    ADOT, cyclists debate freeway shared-use path details

    Also see this Feb 2020 piece:
    South Mountain Freeway shared-use path is taking shape
    By Tom Herrmann / ADOT Communications

  2. admin says:
    5/27/2020 Bravo to cyclists for their freeway path advocacy
    Bravo to Mr. Struttmann and friends (AFN, May 1, 2020) for the advocacy of the recreational path along the 202 freeway.
    Ahwatukee lost a big community asset – a dedicated bike path along Pecos Road – with freeway construction. The new path along the south side of the freeway helps offset that loss and recognizes the importance of biking to quality of life in the Phoenix area.
    Identifying needed adjustments and improvements to the path is important to making it the best it can be for little additional cost.
    On the other hand, there are critics, some of them extreme. Mr. Cox (AFN, May 6) doesn’t like our tax dollars going to this project.
    At a cost of $1.7 billion for the freeway, he is concerned about incidental costs to make a great amenity even better by ensuring that intersections and fencing are safe for everyone.
    His axe to grind is resentment towards bicyclists. “Bikers have already taken over every street in the Foothills. Are we supposed to shut down the freeway so they can have that for their personal use too?”
    Bicyclists are far from taking over, but we are large part of the community and are insisting on our rights to use roads and paths.
    Here is a thought for Mr. Struttmann and friends to consider: make the pathway even better. Extend it westward around South Mountain by paving service roads ADOT has already built.
    -Andy French
    5/21/2020 My comments/response to the concerns that Mr. Struttmann had with respect to the multi-use path along the Ed Pastor Freeway:
    1. What part of “multi-use” confuses the guy?
    2. I thought the path was for “riding” bicycles not Olympic training (you know, transportation, recreation, enjoyment).
    3. What if “Grandma” wants to ride her “adult” tricycle down the path at a comfortable 4 mph? Are they going to just run her down? Or are they going to go after the elementary school kids on their BMX bikes? After all, those are all bicyclists, aren’t they?
    4. Does he get to drive his car down Chandler Boulevard at 70 mph just because it’s a road and he wants to go fast?
    5. “If” a bicyclist is riding six inches from the fence, and “if” he’s somehow distracted, and “if” he gets a flat tire and hits the fence and “if” he does catch one of “huge” 2-1/2 diameter poles that are just crammed together every 10 feet ….. maybe he isn’t qualified to be riding that bike.
    -Geoff Cooley
    5/6/2020 Cyclists’ demands on freeway path a bit much
    Joe Struttmann and his cyclist friends think the rest of us should pay more than we already have to accommodate what they want? Taxpayers are already footing the bill for the path along the freeway which, by the way, is not intended for the sole use of bicyclists, as Mr. Struttmann seems to think.
    Struttmann doesn’t want the path to have stripes separating lanes between cyclists and pedestrians because cyclists can achieve speeds up to 40 mph? Note to cyclists: slow down so you don’t run over someone rather than expecting all of us to just get out of your way.
    Struttmann doesn’t like the configuration of the 32nd Street intersection because “some cyclists will not stop at this intersection.” Who’s fault is that? I guess “share the road” stops for cyclists at observing the rules the rest of us are supposed to follow.
    Struttmann doesn’t like how the fencing has been done. Struttmann doesn’t like the bollards. Struttmann doesn’t like…
    If Struttmann isn’t satisfied with what the rest of us have paid for already, my suggestion is he pass the helmet and cyclists can pay for everything else they want themselves. If he doesn’t like that idea maybe he shouldn’t be riding his bike in such a congested area.
    Bikers have already taken over every street in The Foothills. Are we supposed to shut down the freeway so they can have that for their personal use, too?
    I don’t expect the rest of the world to subjugate its rights to mine and pay for my choice of leisure activity. The arrogance and entitlement of the “cycling community” is getting to be a bit much.
    -Scott Cox

  3. admin says:
    Request to name Phoenix(202) shared use path after cyclist killed in 2014, Highly Falkner.

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