Transportation Action Plan 2021

SCOTTSDALE TRANSPORTATION & STREETS IS ON THE MOVE...

Scottsdale’s Transportation Action Plan (TAP) 2021 provides an overview of Scottsdale’s current transportation infrastructure, as well as a roadmap for Scottsdale’s transportation future. It includes the objectives, policies, values and guidelines to inform transportation decisions moving forward, along with a prioritized implementation plan to preserve and improve how we get around Scottsdale--whether by foot, bus, bike, vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, horse, or something yet to emerge--over the next 10 years.

Since Scottsdale drafted its first plan in 2008 and revised it in 2016, there have been significant shifts in community priorities, city leadership, traffic patterns, technology and funding. More people, for example, are interested in bikeways, trails and other amenities that support non-motorized modes of transportation. Despite additional development over the last 20 years, travel demand has not grown as much as projected. And new technology, such as adaptive traffic signals and autonomous vehicles, is reducing congestion. Several projects that made sense in 2008 have become unnecessary, infeasible or unaffordable in 2021.


…from Master Plan to Action Plan.

The first notable difference with the 2021 plan is renaming it an "Action" plan rather than a "Master" plan. While a new name may seem like an insignificant change, it reflects an important shift in priorities.

When the 2008 and 2016 master plans were written, Scottsdale still had many locations in need of additional infrastructure, including roads, traffic lanes, paths, trails, and transit routes. A "master" plan that attempted to envision all that could and should be built over the next 20 to 30 years made sense. Now, most of the improvements included in the first two plans have either already been built, will be completed in the next five years or are no longer practical or feasible. The concept of a "Master" plan has become too rigid, too prescriptive, and too impractical to keep up with changing understanding, priorities and technology.


…from planning more to Planning Smarter.

The 2021 "Action" plan eliminates a one-size-fits-all approach, replacing it with smarter, more flexible policies and planning that enable adaptability to Scottsdale’s character areas, changing technology and opportunities to leverage funding and coordinate projects.

For example, the TAP 2021 no longer includes policy dictating access to a path within a half mile of every home. While that might make sense in the Scottsdale’s more urban character area, it’s impractical in a character area of planned communities that have walls blocking access to the paths.

A rigid implementation plan that stipulates use of a certain type of technology that may become outdated has been replaced with a plan that includes pilot programs to continually evaluate and consider emerging technology.

Finally, the more rigid approach of narrowly defining funding for projects has been replaced with an approach that encourages saving money and time through departmental, interdepartmental and interagency coordination.


...from building more to Preserving and Improving What We Have.

With less need to plan and build new infrastructure, the TAP 2021 also prioritizes preserving and improving what we already have. The plan includes renovating infrastructure to meet modern acceptable safety and comfort standards that may have changed from when infrastructure was first built, such as meeting modern Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, widening shared use paths and adding shade for pedestrian and bicyclists. The plan also focuses on closing gaps within the paths, trails, bikeways and transit systems and improving regional connectivity and includes maintenance plans for pavement, paths, trails, and streetlights to extend their life and reduce cost over time.


...from prioritizing cars to Prioritizing People.

Over the past 13 years, the city has widened roads to accommodate more traffic and built out roads to new development. More recently, however, traffic growth has slowed, and more people are valuing open space over more development.

The TAP 2021 prioritizes safe and accessible travel for all transportation users and supports active transportation for a healthier, more active lifestyle. One of the most notable changes with the TAP 2021 is a reclassification of many of Scottsdale’s streets to reflect reduced traffic volumes. While 5% of streets need additional capacity, many others have been reclassified to reduce the number of required lanes, enabling them to be transformed into "Complete Streets" that are safer and more comfortable for bicycles and pedestrians.

Ultimately, encouraging and providing better access to multimodal transportation is a "win-win" as it also reduces traffic congestion for drivers and improves air quality for all of us.

TAP Elements

Guiding Policy: Transportation network shall maximize travel route choices, travel mode choices, and access and mobility for all ages and abilities.

How to Navigate the Plan

The plan is divided into five transportation elements and an implementation program. Within each element section you’ll find relevant goals, policies, performance measures, classifications, figures, and ongoing data collection.

Plan Elements

Goals & Values

Prioritize people, safety and livability over motor vehicles and travel speed.
Improve accessibility for all types of transportation and transportation users.
Promote active and healthy living.
Support sustainability and cost savings by preserving and maintaining existing infrastructure.
Coordinate intradepartmental and interdepartmental projects and leverage funding to plan efficiently and economically.
Close system gaps and improve local and regional connectivity with path systems, trail corridors and transit routes.
Provide transportation options that support economic vitality.
Ensure flexibility that can respond to economic development, changing technology and shifting priorities.
Continually evaluate technology to innovate and implement safer, greener and more accessible transportation solutions.
Improve environmental sustainability with decisions, programs and policies that preserve open space, reduce traffic congestion and consume less non-renewable resources.

Coordination with Scottsdale's General Plan

The TAP 2021 goals and values align with those of the Scottsdale General Plan 2035, which aims for a city with Exceptional Experience, Outstanding Livability, Community Prosperity and Distinctive Character.

Notable Plan Updates

Implementation Plan

Often there are more desired operational needs and projects than budgets and time allow. The following guidelines will be used to prioritize transportation investments:

  1. Preserve, maintain and optimize existing infrastructure.
  2. Meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), air quality, water quality and other regulatory requirements.
  3. Enhance safety and test new concepts and technology.
  4. Provide transit service with minimum 30-minute frequency.
  5. Develop capital projects with funding from outside sources.
  6. Develop capital projects that are funded only by the City and prioritize non-motorized access.

Performance Measures

Specific Performance Measures to track progress have been added for each transportation element.

Specific Plan Updates by Element

  • Street reclassifications
  • Updated street cross sections
  • Bus boardings per revenue mile
  • Bus boardings per revenue hour
  • On-time performance
  • Connectivity to transportation network
  • Removal of infeasible and impractical projects
  • Identification of system and regional connectivity gaps
  • Identification of system and regional connectivity gaps
  • Plan to improve connectivity to preserve
  • Plan to improve trail connectivity in rural neighborhoods
  • Modify location of landscape trees to improve warm weather shade
  • Adjust sidewalk widths in less densely developed or limited access areas

Timeline & Outreach

Timeline

To learn more about the development of the TAP DRAFT or listen to related Transportation Commission presentations and discussions, please see the following:

Tentative TAP Publication Schedule
  • July 2021 - Draft TAP Complete
  • Aug. 2021 - Public Input: Phase 1 Complete
  • Sept. 2021 - Draft TAP Revisions Complete
  • Oct. 2021 - Public Input: Phase 2 Complete
  • Nov. 2021 - Provide update to the Transportation Commission In-Progress
  • Dec. 2021 - Transportation Commission approval
  • Jan. 2022 - Begin review with City Council

Outreach

Public Comment

Submit public comments to the Transportation department on the Draft - TAP 2021