Phoenix will spend millions of dollars to make streets safer
The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously last week to adopt its Vision Zero Road Safety Action Plan, with the goal of zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2050.
- The council agreed to spend $10 million annually to enact the plan.
Why it matters: More than 230 people died on Phoenix streets last year, the most deaths in a single year in at least two decades, according to the city.
- Phoenix is on track to surpass that number this year with 137 deaths as of the end of July.
State of play: By passing this plan, Phoenix has unlocked access to up to $37.5 million in federal funds available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law approved by Congress in 2021.
How it works: The plan includes street design and engineering changes, including adding more crosswalks, changing intersection signal timing and creating safer bike lanes.
- It also calls for better education and enforcement to reduce speeding, red-light running and distracted or aggressive driving.
Flashback: In 2019, shortly after Mayor Kate Gallego was elected, she pushed the city to adopt a Vision Zero approach to road safety, but the council voted against it.
- Yes, but: Several new council members, and a few with a change of heart, made her latest attempt successful.
What she's saying: "We are on the roadway to improvement. We're going to work hard to make sure this is a great city for pedestrians, bicyclists and people who travel by car," Gallego said at last week's meeting.
What's next: City staff is currently prioritizing road projects for the next year.
- The city has set short-term goals, including a 25% reduction in deaths by 2027 and a 65% drop by 2035.
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