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City of Glendale - Planning - Grand Avenue Corridor

City of Glendale - Planning - Grand Avenue Corridor Grand Avenue is a major element of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) adopted Regional Freeway System in the northwest portion of Maricopa County. Improvements to US-60 (Grand Avenue) are included in the 20-year Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the blueprint for all transportation planning in Maricopa County. Funding for transportation improvements included in the RTP is provided by a regional half-cent sales tax, which was approved by voters in 2004 and became effective in January 2006.

Key features of the project include access management and community enhancement improvements. The goal of access management is to balance roadway operational needs with develop¬ment access needs to improve safety and traffic flow. Access control techniques for Grand Avenue within Glendale include ex-tending raised medians, reducing the number of access points, as well as adding new perimeters walls and right-turn lanes. Community enhancement improvements include landscaping, lighting, sidewalks, screen walls, placing overhead power lines underground, and removing billboards. These improvements will encourage economic development and give a positive image of Grand Avenue for both residents and motorists.

The City of Glendale has revised the development guidelines for walls along Grand Avenue to ensure consistency with walls that will be built by ADOT, the City of Glendale and/or private land owners. If ADOT removes fences or walls along Grand Avenue, the land owners are required to obtain a permit from the City to construct a new wall if they decide to build one. Privately owned walls must be built on private property.

The revised development guidelines require land owners to construct walls that are consistent with the type of walls to be built by ADOT. Wall options include pony walls, view walls and screen wall concepts. The type of walls and their approved design are located on the Planning Department web site.

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About Grand Avenue

W.J. Murphy, Glendale’s founder, constructed the 44 mile-long Arizona Canal from 1883-1885. The canal brought water to the northwest valley. Murphy was given land and water rights in lieu of cash payment for his services. He formed the Arizona Improvement Company and sold land and water rights. Several ranches were built in the Glendale area. Access from Phoenix to Wickenburg was a frightening dirt road. Murphy and others laid out a 100 foot wide thoroughfare and built a diagonal road from Peoria, which cut through Glendale and Alhambra ending at the northwest corner of Phoenix. This provided the needed access from the northwest valley to Phoenix.

He then exchanged right-of-way along Grand Avenue in 1895 for construction of a rail line from Prescott to Phoenix. This connected Glendale with the rest of the nation allowing goods to be shipped to the north and receive building materials. Grand Avenue was paved in 1919. U.S. 60 was commissioned in 1926 as one of two transcontinental highways and for 40 years served as a major route for moving products to market and importing goods. U.S 60 came to Arizona in 1930 and Grand Avenue was the road for the highway. Grand Avenue became a showplace of unique motels and services for the traveling public.

Grand Avenue has played a major role in the economic development of Glendale and the west valley and will continue to do so for decades to come.


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