Add an exit at the Highland Garage for exit onto Mabel & a turn arrow from Cherry to EB Speedway

Has anyone sat in traffic trying to leave the Highland Garage at 5 pm? On a light traffic day it takes 20 minutes to clear the garage and crawl down the street before hitting Speedway - then you miss the light because there is not a turn arrow to go eastbound on Speedway from Cherry. If we had the option of a north side exit those that hold up traffic trying to make a left from Helen to northbound Cherry it would make life a bit easier. Additionally, if we had someone to lobby the city to put in a turn arrow at Cherry and Speedway it would empty the area in probably less than 6-8 minutes! I am to the point where I stay in my office til 530 during the academic year because I know it will take the same amount of time to get home as if I leave my office at 5. Sitting in traffic wastes fossil fuels, wasting fossil fuels is bad for the environment. Sitting in traffic also frustrates your employees and students causing them higher blood pressure. These simple changes could bring many happier returns! Thank you greatly for your consideration!

(Submitted September 2015)


Thanks to David Heineking, Executive Director of Parking & Transportation Services, for the following response:

We cannot develop an exit from the garage to the north due to an agreement with the neighbors during the construction of the garage.  Residents living north of the garage were concerned about an increase of university traffic on to their streets. 

The University does not control the intersection of Cherry and Speedway.  That is a City of Tucson street.  We will forward this comment to the City for consideration.

(October 2015)


Carefully Considered



Submitted by jwhull on
I'm not sure why the city didn't add the turn arrow last year when they added it to the Speedway light to turn onto Cherry. The turn arrow to go east onto Speedway is greatly needed. Many times I can't even get onto Helen coming out of the Zone 1 lot. 15 to 20 minutes is to long to wait to get onto Speedway.

Submitted by falbt on
I also have the problem because I want to go north and the only way out is trying to turn left onto Cherry from Helen - impossible or right onto Mountain. But with people trying to turn left off Helen to head south on Mountain, that is usually a 10-15 wait. A north exit would be the best; but another option is making westbound Helen at Mountain a right turn only.

Submitted by eliasp on
Two excellent ideas, a north egress from the Highland garage and a left turn arrow from SB Cherry to EB Speedway!

Submitted by hilgert on
I have to agree. Use Highland Ave or Vine Ave. to generate a N exit from the Highland Garage. Better even: use both. And PTS should keep both E exit gates to Helen open as well. Why are they closing on a regular basis an E entrance gate during the morning rush hour and an E exit gate during the evening rush hour? Must be the computers that are getting overworked...

Submitted by clarityw on
I also agree that these suggestions would be very helpful. I had also considered a 4-way stop at Cherry as a possible (partial) solution.

Submitted by hrsim on
Clarity's suggestion of the 4 way stop at Cherry and Helen is also a definite positive! I have seen so many close calls there and drivers stop to turn without their blinkers on and everyone stops because they are unfamiliar with how the intersection works because of it's angle and wide approach. A 4 way stop would help make it much safer - although ambulances use that road for access, so if they say no, that is likely the reason!

Submitted by hrsim on
A crosswalk was recently placed at the corner of Cherry and Helen. This was likely due to the construction of the new building adjacent to the Bio 5 building. This has already helped avoid some near misses there. Thank you!

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