Those who live in the greater Phoenix area appreciate that the roads are in generally very good condition and are constantly being upgraded to try to accommodate the ever-increasing population. What that also means, however, is that there is constant construction: delays, restrictions, and detours. Sometimes getting from here to there can be a challenge in Arizona.
Now there's a solution right at your fingertips: 5-1-1. By dialing 5-1-1 on your phone you can get great information that will help you save time, gas, and minimize frustration while traveling around the Valley of the Sun and the rest of the state of Arizona.
A Breakdown of Arizona's 5-1-1 Telephone System
When you call 5-1-1 in Arizona you have the option of using the phone keypad to deliver your instructions (press 1 for this and 2 for that...) or you can use the voice recognition function and simply speak clearly into the phone. Once you have determined which way you want to make your selections, there are five areas of information available to you:
- If you choose this option you need to know the roadway number. For instance, 51 for SR-51 (the Piestewa Peak Parkway), or 17 for I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway). Once you have selected the roadway in which you are interested, you will receive all the known restrictions and construction information for that road. When selecting the 101, you will be given several choices for the specific section of the 101 that you'd like to inquire about, since the 101 loops all around the Valley.
- You can get schedule changes here for both the Valley Metro transit system as well as the Tucson SunTrans system.
- You won't get airline information here, but you can find out if there are any roadway restrictions affecting driving in and out of both Sky Harbor International Airport or Tucson International Airport.
- If you request "Parks" you can access current information for more than 50 state and national parks in Arizona. Simply follow the instructions to find the park that interests you alphabetically. Do you often go to the same park?
- Quick Reports
- When you select Quick Reports, you will be asked to pick a part of the Valley. Then you will receive information regarding known closures and restrictions in that area. Your choices are Northwest, North Phoenix, Northeast, East Valley, Phoenix, and West. You can also get a Quick Report for Tucson.
A Tip Before You Dial
A call to 5-1-1 is a local call anywhere in Arizona. Whether you're going to the Cardinals game, driving to Tucson or heading up north, 5-1-1 should be your go-to for planning your route. A few words of caution, however: Using the voice system can be somewhat frustrating as it will pick up any sounds and either ask you to repeat or give you the wrong answer. If you are the passenger and not the driver, using touch-tone mode is highly recommended.