Scottsdale is temporarily scaling back several major roadway projects over the next few weeks to make it easier for drivers to do their holiday shopping. The city will be reopening some traffic lanes this month at the Scottsdale Road/Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard intersection, and on Indian School and Camelback roads.
Mike Phillips, city spokesman, said Scottsdale aims to help local retailers during flagging economic times.
"That's definitely part of it. It sounds like retailers are bracing for a tough holiday season in terms of their sales," Phillips said. "We want to assist our merchants in the community and make it easier for shoppers to get around."
Rick Kidder, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce president, said consumer discretionary spending is down.
"One can expect this will not be a banner year for holiday shopping in Scottsdale or anywhere else," he said.
Delaying some road work projects during the holiday season could be beneficial to local merchants, even though road work projects, in the long-run, are good for business.
"I think it's a good idea. As necessary as roadway work is, one of the things that can keep someone from coming to Scottsdale are perceived barriers," Kidder said.
The intersection of Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard had been reduced to one lane in each direction while workers widen Scottsdale Road to six lanes between Frank Lloyd Wright and Thompson Peak Parkway. Between late November and early April, additional lanes will be opened to traffic.
Indian School Road will reopen to two through lanes in each direction next week between Pima Road and 81st Street as construction winds down to add new turn lanes, bus bays, a landscaped median, bike lanes and to install a storm sewer.
Camelback Road will reopen to two through lanes in each direction between Scottsdale and Miller roads. There is an ongoing project to install water and sewer lines there.
Phillips said some road work will be delayed until April to accommodate traffic related to Major League Baseball spring training games.
"That's part of our high season," he said.
Scottsdale also is working with utility companies, developers and contractors this season to ensure high-volume roadways remain open during the busiest traffic times of the year.
Other areas where the city will work to limit noncritical traffic restrictions include downtown; the Perimeter Center/Princess Resort area, bordered by Scottsdale Road, Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard; the area around WestWorld of Scottsdale, where major events like the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and the Arabian Horse Show are held in January; and Scottsdale Road from the southern city limits to Loop 101.