ADOT freeway nicknames: What is in a name?

Posted at 4:32 AM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 10:17:21-04

Remember back in those dusty days of yesteryear when the Phoenix freeway system was in its infancy? That wasn't really all that long ago.

"The final mile of I-10 to be built across the country was actually built here in the downtown Phoenix area."

And there it is - the home stretch. Drivers started heading through the "Deck Park" tunnel in 1990. It's a feature that's neither an actual tunnel nor is it beneath the "Deck Park."

So what's with some of the names here in the Valley?

Doug Nintzel with the Arizona Department of Transportation is the go-to guy for all things freeways in Phoenix.

"Loops like Loop 101, Loop 202 and even now Loop 303, things like the Broadway curve or the Durango curve. The term the Stack obviously did catch on. The mini-stack caught on."

So we've got the Stack, the mini-stack...what's next, the short stack?

As in, "a sticky day out on the short stack for you commuters!" (C'mon, the food comedy works at other traffic nightmares across the country!)

There's Spaghetti Junction, the Mixing Bowl, the High Five and the Mouse Trap -- metro areas across the country make the most of the gridlock of the daily commute by coming up with clever labels for the freeways that oftentimes take them nowhere fast.

"When it comes to a nickname for an interchange, it's just a matter of whether it's going to catch on," Nintzel said.

Let's make some new slogans stick with a makeshift map I may or may not have drawn myself. The people of Tempe gave it a shot...

"Probably like pasta...the pasta parkway? Yeah, the pasta parkway it'd have to be," said Jillian.

Robert was a little more negative:"Rush hour hell 1,2,3,4,5,6,7..."

Gary calls it "a cluster" that "looks like a third-grader's art drawing of something...some animal."

But ADOT's Nintzel has a name that I'm not so sure I'd like to catch on...

"I do have a name for the I-10 and the Loop 303 interchange...simply, 'the Spindle'."