News and Blog

29

Jul

Renaming of State Route 195

July 29, 2019

Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization

Yuma County— July 29, 2019 — At their regular meeting on July 23, 2019, the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names, approved Docket 2018-09, regarding the renaming of a portion of State Route 195, also known as the Area Service Highway, to the Robert A. Vaughan Expressway.

History:

Robert A. Vaughan was the first Executive Director of the Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization (YMPO) since its formation in 1983 through until his retirement due to health reasons on November 2, 1998. He was integral to the growth of the Yuma region and guided several transportation improvements through the process.

There was a dream! In the mid-80s there was a need that was unmet; henceforth, the birth, the planning efforts, and finally implementation of the SR 195 or Area Service Highway (ASH). In a final report, I-8 & US 95 Corridor Study of 1988 the need for an alternative corridor was identified. By 1994, two alternatives were preferred. The Base or Border Area Service Expressway and the ASH or Area Service Highway.

Once the preferred alignment was agreed, the following studies were initiated and funded by YMPO. An Intergovernmental Agreement was signed in 1999 with Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Yuma County, the City of Yuma, the City of San Luis, the Town of Wellton and the Cocopah Indian Tribe. SR 195 or Area Service Highway project estimate was $70,000,000

Robert A. Vaughan’s dream came into realization through the 2000s and by 2010 the highway was in full operation. To “Give Honor to Whom Honor is Due” and to fulfill a promise spoken or implied, made by officials of the State of Arizona the SR 195/ASH would be re-named to the “Robert A. Vaughan Expressway” in honor of a man who envisioned the highway, 5 years after his death.

Positive Relations Feedback:

“We would like to thank All members for their support in this effort; the Mayors, Councils and Supervisors, YMPO Executive Board, Agency Administrators, and YMPO Technical Advisory Committee.”

-Executive Director, Paul D. Ward, P.E.

For more information, press only:

PR Contact Name: Executive Director, Paul D. Ward, YMPO

Phone Number: (928) 783-8911

Email: pward@ympo.org

For more information on Product:

Website: https://ympo.org/

 

 

 

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22

Jul

Prepare yourself, your vehicle before highway trips in extreme heat!

Must-have items include fully charged cellphone, drinking water, umbrella
July 10, 2019

PHOENIX – With merciless temperatures forecast over the coming days, be sure you and your vehicle are prepared before traveling on highways in the Arizona desert.

I-10 Sacaton

Motorists should always be ready for the possibility of becoming stranded, but that need is even more critical in extreme heat.

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s safety tips, available at azdot.gov/ExtremeHeat, including the following:

For you and your passengers: Have extra drinking water for everyone in the vehicle, including pets, an umbrella for shade and a fully charged cellphone. Pro tip: Take a cooler to keep extra drinking water cold, and consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed.

If you must spend extended time along a highway due to a breakdown or some other delay, you’ll need sun protection. In addition to an umbrella, take sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat and wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing.

For your vehicle: Check the air conditioner and coolant levels, top off any vital engine fluids and make sure your battery is up to par. Check your tire pressure, as the combination of underinflated or overinflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout.

Keep your tank at least three-quarters full. Running out of gas, especially in a remote location, is dangerous in extreme heat.

If your vehicle breaks down, call for assistance right away to reduce your wait, and run the air conditioning. If your vehicle’s air conditioner isn’t working, roll down all windows.

Here are other recommendations if you are stranded along the highway in extreme heat:

  • Avoid parking in tall brush. A vehicle’s undercarriage is very hot and can ignite grass and other vegetation.
  • DRINK WATER. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.
  • If the temperature inside your vehicle becomes too hot, everyone, including pets, should exit carefully and seek out or create a shaded area as far away from the travel lanes as possible.
  • Be careful walking on the road surface, which can be hot enough to burn skin. Keep your shoes on and try to keep your pets’ paws off the pavement.
  • Raise the hood and turn on hazard lights.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

https://www.azdot.gov/media/News/news-release/2019/07/10/prepare-yourself-your-vehicle-before-highway-trips-in-extreme-heat

 

 

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8

Jul

More bike lanes coming to Yuma…

More bike lanes coming to Yuma as AZ drivers ranked among worst in nation

YUMA, Ariz. – In an effort to promote bike safety, the City of Yuma is working on making more space on the roads for cyclists.

Starting with the new bicycle lanes out near the Foothills on Avenue 9E, which are expected to be completed July 3.

The bike route bridges the communities between the railroad tracks, to college park, and all the way across the freeway, creating a safer transit route for locals who prefer two wheels over four.

The Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization (YMPO) plays an integral role in implementing more bike lanes across the Yuma region

YMPO Senior Planning and Mobility Manager, Charles Gutierrez said, “We’re always looking for each of the municipalities and cities to put a component of bicycle-pedestrian pieces in there. [By] putting in a bike path and a multi-mobile type pathway, you’re promoting something that has never been done in this region.”

This is an issue that has concerned many local cyclists, like Gene Dalbey, the president of the Yuma Region Bicycle Coalition.

The bottom line is being safe and to share the road and to be courteous to each other. I have as much access to the road as the next person, said Dalbey.

And it is the drivers Dalbey doesn’t trust, saying There’s a lot of things that could happen and there’s a lot of people who don’t get really good motor transportation training to be a good driver.

In fact, a recent study by SmartAsset.com reveals Arizona ranked 7th among the nation’s worst drivers.

Some of the metrics that got Arizona to that spot include fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. It’s the 11th highest rate of all the states, explained Smart Assets VP of Financial Education, AJ Smith.

Gutierrez said there’s an outcry from the cyclist community for more bike lanes, but the best way to voice concerns is via the YMPO website.

That way, the city can identify areas that need bike paths and lanes.

https://www.kyma.com/news/new-bike-lanes-coming-to-yuma-as-az-drivers-ranked-among-worst-in-nation/1091888369?fbclid=IwAR0ICcy7J7dkwJCgYrcrGk4OjTAvKd-Ahu7PP9l1_Yjr9D5Q-5Xi8QDNAn8

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3

Jul

Madison Roundabout

The Vision 2020 Plan, drafted in the mid 1990’s, was a Vision’ of what the people of Yuma would like to see by the year 2020. The plan was designed to give the public what it wanted through its public planning process, involving roughly 500 property owners, merchants, and other citizens.

 

3

Jul

Gateway Park

At the end of Madison Avenue in Historic Downtown Yuma. With the shade provided by the freeway bridge, the river beach is a popular swimming spot in the summer.

 

3

Jul

Fortuna Wash Bridge

The bridge makes US 95 a safer and more-reliable route for agricultural shipments, international trade and seasonal visitors.

 

3

Jul

West Wetlands Pond

The West Wetlands Pond and the surrounding lawn area are available for recreational use. The pond is 15 ft deep at the center and is regularly stocked with a variety of game fish by partners, Arizona Game & Fish Department. A fishing license is required and there are special daily limits for the pond.

 

3

Jul

3E Bridge

A Bridge Widening project that was a cooperative effort between ADOT and the City of Yuma.

 

24

Jun

Lane restrictions scheduled on US 95

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Lane restrictions scheduled on US 95 in Yuma beginning June 24

Drivers should allow extra travel time and plan for possible delays

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan ahead for lane restrictions on US 95 in Yuma.

Contractors are scheduled to pave between Dome Valley Road (milepost 36) and Adair Road (milepost 40).

The following restrictions will occur from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28.

  • US 95 will be narrowed to one lane between Dome Valley and Adair roads.
  • Flaggers will direct motorists through the work zone.
  • A 12-foot vehicle width restriction will be in place.

Motorists should allow extra travel time and plan for possible delays while work is underway.

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10

Jun

Drivers: Do you know what to do when confronted with a dust storm?

Best advice: Don’t drive into a dust storm
PHOENIX – Are you ready, Arizona? Monsoon season is back.

While the exact moment of when the first massive wall of dust will rise up from the desert floor isn’t known, we do know this: It’s coming.

With June 9-14 officially proclaimed Monsoon Awareness Week by Governor Doug Ducey, now is the perfect time to brush up on the actions drivers can take to stay safest when confronted with blowing dust.

The No. 1 thing motorists can do to stay out of harm’s way? Do. Not. Drive. Into. A. Dust. Storm.

That’s a really bad idea. Visibility can drop to zero and turn pitch black, meaning you’re driving blind and so is anyone else on the road with you. But maybe you’re curious and wonder, “Just how dark and dangerous could it be?” Well, we’ve got the answers. This video shows how quickly visibility is reduced to nearly nothing after driving into a dust storm.  And this video shows the aftermath of a 19-vehicle collision that occurred in 2013 in dust storm on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak that resulted in three fatalities and a dozen injured people.

OK, so now you’re convinced to not make the decision to drive into the towering wall of dust. But what if a dust channel whips across the highway in front of you, engulfing your vehicle in a swirling sandstorm? Remember these words: Pull Aside, Stay Alive.

ADOT has developed the following “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” dust storm safety driving tips, which can help motorists survive a blowing dust event.

  • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway – do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights. You do not want other vehicles, approaching from behind, to use your lights as a guide and possibly crash into your parked vehicle.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seat belt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.

More information on dust storm safety can be found at PullAsideStayAlive.org and safety tips for driving in rainstorms can be found at azdot.gov/monsoon.

 

Blowing dust
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