Mayor Kate Gallego and members of the Phoenix City Council have recently approved a new, multi-million-dollar investment to make Phoenix streets safer to walk, bike, and drive.
“The current rate of traffic crashes and pedestrian and driver fatalities is too high,” says Mayor Gallego. “This is not a new subject for us – we created an Office of Pedestrian Safety in 2018, but that is only one part of a comprehensive safety plan. The allocated funds will help save lives and get this problem under control.”
The investment includes the allocation of $3 million in Street Transportation Department’s Transportation 2050 funds; $3 million in General Funds over five years; and five additional staff positions funded by Arizona Highway User Revenue Funds.
“There are too many pedestrian fatalities and vehicular collisions occurring on Phoenix streets—and we are committed to finding ways to better protect pedestrians and drivers,” says Councilwoman Debra Stark. “This new investment and comprehensive approach are important steps toward making our streets safer.”
This action authorizes the Street Transportation and Police Departments to develop a Roadway Safety Action Plan, focused on reducing the number of injury and fatality crashes. Although it could take a year to develop the full plan, short-term actions can now be implemented quickly. Those actions include additional street signage, roadway striping, and cutting back vegetation that intrudes onto the roadway. Mid-term and longer-term projects can include new pavement, new traffic signals and reconstruction of particularly dangerous intersections.
The mayor pointed out that the city has already completed extensive work to improve safety, including the installation of 68 HAWK signals (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk signals – the flashing red lights that cause drivers to stop when a pedestrian is crossing the roadway). Plans call for the city to increase these installations to an additional ten to fifteen HAWK signals each year. The city’s Streets Transportation Department operates 1,158 traffic signals throughout the 520-square mile geographic area of the city of Phoenix. For more information, visit phoenix.gov.