Desert Hills Area Transportation Study

Thank you for your interest in MCDOT’s Desert Hills Area Transportation Study.

The purpose of the Desert Hills Area Transportation Study (ATS) is to evaluate the existing and future roadway systems to determine gaps in connectivity for roadway users. Those gaps can lead to access issues to and from properties and services. Recent emergency events in the area have resulted in concerns by residents on accessibility options in the Desert Hills area.

There will be two additional public meetings to present the results of the study, one virtual on Thursday, April 28, 2022 and one in person, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Both meetings will provide the same information.

Virtual Public Open House Meeting
Thursday, April 28, 2022
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Presentation at 5:45pm with Q&A to follow
Meeting Link:

In-Person Public Open House Meeting
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Presentation at 5:45pm with Q&A to follow
Location: Desert Mountain School
Multipurpose Room
35959 N. 7th Avenue
Desert Hills, AZ 85086

Additional information regarding the public meetings can can be located here.

Information gathered during initial outreach determined the boundary limits of the study needed to updated. Additional information regarding the updated study area will be available at a future public meeting.

Watch the below video to get an overview of the Desert Hills ATS, recorded from a previous virtual public meeting.

The following key project issues and challenges have been identified:

  • Identification of connectivity gaps in the roadway network;
  • Right-of-way and physical constraints;
  • Roadway deficiencies such as pavement, shoulders, and drainage infrastructure; and
  • Steep topographic conditions limiting potential connectivity.

Study Objectives

    • This includes evaluation of MCDOT maintained and non-MCDOT maintained roadways on section lines and mid-section line alignments.
  • Evaluate physical opportunities/constraints.
  • Avoid or minimize impact(s) to residents quality of life

Study Schedule

Key Milestone Completion Date Status
Work Plan March 2021 Complete
Existing & Future Conditions August 2021 Complete
Public Outreach Round #1 October 2021 Complete
Draft Future Transportation Network Recommendations April 2022 In Progress
Public Outreach #2 April/May 2022 Forthcoming
Final Desert Hills ATS May 2022 Forthcoming
  • The duration of the study is anticipated to occur over a 12-month period, which began in February 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by May 2022.
  • The study just completed the existing and future condition analyses phase with forthcoming future transportation network recommendations and final report.
    • The purpose of the existing and future conditions analysis is to evaluate existing and future conditions within the study area, including review of opportunities and constraints that could help identify roadway segments that may or may not be suitable for future roadway improvements.

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding this study, click here Version OptionsDesert Hills Area Transportation StudyHeadline.
For a Fact Sheet regarding this study, click here Version OptionsDesert Hills Area Transportation StudyHeadline.

Tell us what you think

If you would like to speak with someone directly regarding this area transportation study, please contact Jessica Brinton, Project Manager, by phone at (602) 506-4178 or by email at

Existing Conditions Overview

  1. Study Area
  2. Land Ownership
  3. Land Use
  4. Employers
  5. Demographics (2020)
  6. Future Projections (2040)

The study area is generally bounded by Desert Hills Drive to the north, 35th Avenue to the west, Dove Valley Road to the south, and 28th Street to the east as shown in the map, and includes approximately 18 square miles of unincorporated land in northern Maricopa County. The study area is adjacent to the City of Phoenix Municipal Limits to the south, the Town of Cave Creek Municipal Limits to the east, and the suburban master planned community of Anthem to the north.

The area is predominantly rural in nature with large lot single family residential nestled between surrounding mountains and buttes. Additional areas of influence for the study area include Carefree Highway from 7th Avenue west to I-17 and Gavilan Peak Parkway from Carefree Highway north to the Desert Hills Drive alignment.

Link to Full Size Exhibit

Transportation Network Overview

  1. MCDOT Maintained Roadways
  2. Roadway Surface
  3. Existing Multimodal Network
  4. Crash Overview

MCDOT owns and maintains approximately 66.25 centerline miles of arterial and collector roadways within the study area as illustrated in the map.

Link to Full Size Exhibit