The road to this decision has been a rocky one. Back in April, the city council voted to expedite the approval process for implementing the Complete Streets guidelines. This process was halted in mid-May when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) voted to stall the process. Following this, all but two of the Complete Streets Advisory Board (CSAB) members resigned.
Action regarding Complete Streets made major strides in August when the Citizen’s Transportation Commission recommended the guidelines for approval. Then in September, the T&I also recommended the guidelines for approval.
On October 17, the Phoenix City Council approved the Complete Streets guidelines. The guidelines propose designs that will make Phoenix safer, more comfortable, and more sustainable.
The safety guidelines propose making vulnerable modes of transportation (walking, biking, and public transit) safer for everyone, especially children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The Complete Streets safety design calls for a reevaluation of speed limits, increased lighting on roadways, and testing for other safety treatments.
To increase comfort in the city, the guidelines suggest adding more shade structures to reduce the impacts of high temperatures. The designs also call for more public seating and bike racks. The sustainability standards propose adding more vegetation to reduce heat absorption and maximize stormwater usage.
Although this process was long, Phoenix can now begin making the streets safer for all. With these guidelines in place, we hope to see decreased pedestrian fatalities and traffic collisions, and improved public health and safety.