Driving to PIR? Here's What to Know

Maricopa County Department of Transportation Announces Traffic Plans

Thursday, April 9, 2009

From MCDOT Release

Thousands of race fans will soon be on the road to Phoenix International Raceway, and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has again made plans to be sure they get into and out of the upcoming event as quickly and safely as possible.

The SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ NASCAR event weekend is scheduled for April 16, 17, and 18.

Getting to and from the track requires fans to travel through differing communities and jurisdictions. MCDOT provides the overall plan, and then partners with all of them in an excellent example of multi-agency cooperation. MCDOT’s coordination involves the cities of Avondale and Goodyear, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), ADOT and the Arizona DPS. Actual command of the traffic flow is taken over by the MCSO on the race days.

The Southwest Valley is a rapidly growing area, and new housing developments and vehicle flow patterns bring fresh challenges to the traffic management team that plans for each event. Says County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, “MCDOT is constantly fine-tuning their plans to help both race fans and the increasing local traffic move together smoothly on these dates.”

“The way MCDOT partners with the various jurisdictions is a great example of multi-agency cooperation. Without this teamwork we wouldn’t be able to make this happen,” said Max Wilson, Chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

The event weekend requires MCDOT to provide more than 4000 traffic cones, 600 barricades, about 75 people, and a number of special signs and vehicles.

Although the races don’t start until evening, local motorists should be aware fans start arriving very early to tailgate and interact for hours before the gates are open. Traffic can be very heavy at times before the races, but is always heavy once the race is over. The heaviest flow for the April 2009 NASCAR event weekend is anticipated to be outbound traffic Saturday evening, between 8 p.m. and midnight. During this time, the Avondale Boulevard exits (Exit 131) on I-10 will be closed.

Providing Information to Motorists

MCDOT strongly encourages motorists to use the 511 system for traffic updates. Motorists may check it online at www.az511.gov before leaving home. Fans may also call 511 for updates while in transit to and from the events, but it is highly recommended that passengers, rather than drivers, use the phone. MCDOT was the first local agency to use the “Special Event” segment of the 511 system - for a NASCAR event at Phoenix International Raceway, believe it or not.

For the first time race fans may also receive real-time traffic flow updates on their computers or cell phones via Twitter, at www.twitter.com/mcdotpio. Updates will be provided consistently from 6 a.m. Friday until approximately two hours after the conclusion of Saturday’s SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™.

Park ‘N Ride Encouraged

MCDOT and Phoenix International Raceway strongly encourage race fans to use the “Park ‘N Ride” service on Saturday, April 18. Park ‘N Ride is located at Cricket Pavilion just two blocks north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue (Exit 135). Round trip tickets are $7 per carload, and the lot will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fans in possession of a PIR vehicle parking pass may park and ride for free.

Tickets to all events throughout the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).

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