SURPRISE, AZ — Drivers have complained for months about congestion and safety concerns near the Loop 303, US 60 and 163rd Ave. in Surprise. As short-term solutions are put in place, the long-term solutions are still up in the air.
"She is a service dog for cardiac," said Jennifer Vajcner, who lives in Surprise.
Jennifer Vajcner is living with a heart condition and at any moment, she might need to go to the hospital. Her concern is getting there because of the traffic.
"To me, a child can be late to school - it's unfortunate. Somebody could be late to work - it's unfortunate. But when a life is lost, you can never get that life back," said Vajcner.
Jennifer said about a year ago she had to pull over to help someone in a car crash at 163rd Ave.
"You could just feel the minutes ticking by. Nobody would move for that fire truck; nobody would move for that ambulance," said Vajcner.
Hundreds of residents in the area have similar concerns. The City of Surprise held a community meeting on Wednesday, discussing potential solutions to the Loop 303, US 60 and 163rd Ave. corridor. They've already added some short-term fixes.
"A lot of times, we had a merged lane if you're heading westbound on the US 60. So, we actually expanded that lane. We have a dedicated two right-hand turn lanes. They've also put an addition of a green light for that signal, so residents don't have to stop," said Councilman Nick Haney.
Haney is one of many city leaders putting pressure on ADOT to work to ease traffic in the area. There are more interim solutions expected next summer and they are working to identify what is best long-term.
"I would say the flyover, and then any of those other additional projects that will help us improve access to the area because that's a public safety concern," said Haney.
They need funding to do that. Some residents are unsure whether that can get approved.
"It is incredibly stressful, and I fear for my children's safety every single day," said Rebecca Massie, who lives in Surprise.
Massie has started a website to centralize communication between residents.
"Give some of the power back to the people that I feel we're sorely lacking at this moment in time, because knowledge is power," said Massie.
Joe Mansour, who lives in Surprise, has been leading the charge when it comes to rallying people together. He says it's working.
"There's so many trucks coming out of 303 to go to Vegas on 60. It's affecting every neighborhood all the way to Wickenburg. I've had folks in Wickenburg call me and thank me, said, 'Joe, it's about time somebody does something about it,'" said Mansour.