This note was printed in the 15 September 2005 "East Valley" section of the Arizona Republic.
I've been driving the Loop 101 between south Tempe and Chaparral Road in Scottsdale since the freeway opened. It has been broken since day one. During rush hours, the Loop 101 is boring stop and go traffic, but I call it the Loop 101 raceway other times of the day. Today (Tuesday) I was driving north on the Loop 101 at about 6:00am. Here are some observations.+ You are a liability if you drive 70mph in the right-most lane. + I'm amazed that so many nice vehicles have broken turn signals. + Some of the lane changes that occur are simply awesome. The Valley of the Sun has many precision drivers. + For some reason, drivers going 80mph think the slower moving traffic ahead of them will be speeding up sooner rather than later. I sometimes wonder if they are ever going to tap on their brakes and prepare for the upcoming bottleneck. Thank goodness we have decent brake technology. I can drive the Loop 101 during raceway hours and rarely touch my brakes, but I see brake lights blinking ahead me all the time. Speaking of brakes, anybody know a good brake supply/repair company to buy stock in? + Gas conservation by Loop 101 drivers? Forget it because they obviously don't care about gas costs. Gas price gouging doesn't occur; supply versus demand is the primary force behind gas pricing and Loop 101 drivers provide proof that this is true. + Tailgating is rampant. Again, I am constantly awed by the expert driving abilities of Valley drivers. Obviously, tire blowouts and other type of driving mishaps simply don't happen; therefore, tailgating is safe. Time and time again when I peek into my rear-view mirror I can clearly see the person driving the vehicle behind me. And again, I'm usually driving faster than the posted speed limit. Interestingly, many times I notice that the tailgater is on the phone. + Need to exit the Loop 101? Don't get over to the right-most lane a mile or two before the exit; instead, dart over when you get within 50 yards (if not closer). Those left-to-right lane changes are a thrill to watch. + And, finally, it is always a rush to see cement trucks going 80+ miles per hour with their tanks turning.
I drive the Loop 101 twenty miles a day, five days a week. I want to see photo radars employed and I advocate turning it into a tollway. Let's make people pay for the thrill of driving it.
Creator: Gerald D. Thurman
Created: 13 September 2005