Bell Road adaptive signals active from 73rd to 99th avenues

The adaptive signal control technology is now active along Bell Road from Sun City (99th Avenue) to Glendale/Peoria (73rd Avenue). [Submitted photo]

Motorists in the Northwest Valley should be seeing the changes incorporated by traffic officials along a roughly 3.4-mile segment of Bell Road.

The Maricopa County Department of Transportation, along with Glendale, Peoria and the Arizona Department of Transportation, activated the new Adaptive Signal Control Technology along Bell Road within the Loop 101 Agua Fria corridor. The ASCT system was officially activated on Feb. 7. The Glendale-area segment is one of four smaller projects. It includes 13 intersections from Sun City to Glendale/Peoria, from 99th to 73rd avenues.

Surprise, Phoenix and Scottsdale will see the changes in the coming months. Officials have called the project one of the longest in the nation.

“Bell Road is Maricopa County’s highest volume road,” said Jennifer Toth, director and county engineer for MCDOT. “Our goal in installing this new adaptive signal control technology is to help drivers to reach their destinations safer and faster.”

The project, with a budget of $2.7 million, covers 50 intersections along 16 miles of roadway from Surprise to Scottsdale.

The adaptive signal control equipment was installed at these intersections last year. Since then, the system has been in learning mode to allow it to understand traffic patterns in the area.

Read an extended version of this story in the Daily News-Sun Feb. 15 edition. Subscribe to the e-edtion at

Also during this time, the communication network linking the intersections and agencies was tested.

“This cooperative, multi-agency project is the future of traffic management,” said Brent Cain, director of ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division. “For example, when changing freeway conditions affect traffic patterns at nearby Bell Road intersections, the adaptive signal technology responds with traffic light adjustments to limit delays.”

This means when traffic builds up along the Loop 101 and the off-ramps near Bell, the lights should remain green to keep more vehicles transitioning onto Bell.

“That’s why we chose the freeway interchanges,” said Nicole Moon, communications branch manager for MCDOT. “Traffic changes so much around the freeway interchanges.”

Ms. Moon said the adaptive signals along that stretch of Bell Road are fully operational. Before in the testing mode, the signals would change between the traditional and adaptive modes.

The project does not span the entire length of Bell Road, but includes the intersections located in the vicinity to Bell Road’s four freeway interchanges: Bell and Loop 303, Bell and Loop 101 (Peoria/Glendale), Bell and Interstate 17 (Phoenix), and Bell and Loop 101 (Scottsdale).

The adaptive signals are in test mode along the Scottsdale segment of Bell Road.

Intermittent lane restrictions are occurring along Bell Road between Cotton Lane and 114th Avenue starting today as the Surprise segment gets under way.

Read an extended version of this story in the Daily News-Sun Feb. 15 edition. Subscribe to the e-edtion at

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