I am proud that today the Phoenix City Council approved amendments to the Phoenix General Plan that established State Route 51 (SR-51) north of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and Loop 101 in Phoenix as scenic corridors. These corridors create 300-foot buffers on each side of these freeways that limit outdoor primary uses and billboards.
Driving on SR-51 is one of the most scenic drives in Arizona with panoramic views of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and surrounding desert and mountains. The drive north is dominated by Piestewa Peak and Dreamy Draw Recreation Area. After passing Dreamy Draw you have more amazing views of Phoenix desert preserve to the west and north as well as desert and mountains further north and east. When you reach the Loop 101 / SR-51 interchange, the view is nearly 360 degrees of desert and mountains.
I love our desert and mountain views along SR-51 and want to preserve them as my predecessors on the City Council did when they created the Phoenix Mountains Preserve areas in the 1970’s. However, a push to place advertising billboards along this stretch and Loop 101 has threatened these sweeping views. My constituents overwhelmingly share my concerns about billboards obstructing our views and cluttering the freeways.
It’s been easy to take these uninterrupted views for granted until now as an electronic billboard was erected north of Loop 101. To protect Loop 101 and SR- 51, which runs through Council District 3, I requested the City Manager to work on a scenic corridor to make it crystal clear that billboards have no place along these freeways. As the scenic corridor policy was approved today, we will continue to preserve the mountain and desert views without obstruction so we and future generations can enjoy the mountain and desert landscapes and their sunrise and sunset splashed hues.
Councilman Bill Gates represents Council District 3 in north Phoenix and includes the Sunnyslope, Moon Valley, and Paradise Valley Mall areas.