Plans for a road diet on Central between Camelback and Bethany Home have been in the works since March and it’s finally going to happen next month!

Yes it’s just a tiny stretch of road in the larger scheme of things, but in reality this is a huge step towards shifting the mindset here in Phoenix away from car-oriented urban design towards Complete Streets.

According to the Maricopa Association of Governments Complete Streets Guide, complete streets

“ensure that facilities for bicycles, pedestrians and transit are recognized as integral to a properly designed and functioning street. They are as important to mobility, health, safety as a vehicular travel lane. With the implementation of Complete Streets, nonmotorized, and public transportation facilities will be considered on the same basis as institutionalized components of streets.”

Here, here! Though we have such a strong car culture in our city, things are starting to shift, and this road diet on our main drag – Central Avenue, is clear evidence of that. This road diet isn’t happening in a vacuum though, it’s a response to the hard work of restaurants and small businesses that have taken a risk to create walkable and bike-able destinations in that area such as Windsor/Churn, Postino’s, the Stinkweeds complex and St. Francis among others. This road diet is bound to encourage even more bike and pedestrian friendly businesses to locate in the area, as this has the potential to become the first truly walkable/bikeable stretches in Central Phoenix.

Below are some images put together by City of Phoenix traffic engineer Kerry Wilcoxon with details of the road diet so we’ll know what to expect:

(P.S.:Don’t forget to come to the Funk Series: Car Free Kick-off this Friday from 5pm to 8pm at the Funk Lab on Grand Avenue and 10th Avenue!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Be Sociable, Share!

6 Responses

  1. Great news. I drive this stretch of Central most weekdays on my way to and from the Central/Camelback light rail station. I can tell you from a motorist’s perspective that this stretch of road is wider than it needs to be. From a pedestrian’s perspective, I’ll feel a lot safer with a bike lane and a buffer between me and traffic when I walk along that segment of Central.

  2. Will Novak says:

    Great news and a good first step. How wide are those buffers between the auto traffic and the bike lane? From the image it looks wide enough to put in some plants maybe even some of those crazy wonderful trees we so often hear about. At the very least it would be nice to have some planters with lantanas, succulents and cacti.

    Also they REALLY need to put a HAWK at Central/Colter to help all the business clustered around there. It would also connect Windsor Square and Medlock Place.

  3. I wouldn’t agree with putting any planting or landscaping between the bike lane & travel lane, as it will likely send a message to drivers that “I don’t need to worry about anything on the other side of them”, even if they don’t actively screen the view. There are many intersections & driveways on that mile of Central, and I’d be very concerned about crashes with turning traffic vs. thru bicycles. Also, given the City’s wretched track record of keeping the segregated parts of the 15th Avenue bike route clean, it would be very likely that any “protected” path along Central would quickly fill with broken glass, leaves, and dirt. And it would mess up the route for several popular parades.

    The segment of Central that really needs a “road diet” is between Bethany Home & Dunlap – the volumes are compatible, and I’m a bit weary of drivers yelling “getttondapath!” when I ride that stretch to a destination on Central (yes, 3rd Ave is useful, but isn’t always the best route). It’s my understanding that this first segment is a possible prelude to changes farther north – but we’ll see.

  4. Will, good point about the need for a HAWK signal at Colter. Given the pedestrian & bicycle culture evolving along Central in Uptown, the half mile from Camelback to Missouri is far too long betweens signaled crosswalks.

  5. Joseph Perez says:

    Will, David, Richard, you can always call me to discuss bicycling in Phoenix, 602 534-9529.
    Joseph Perez

  6. Julie Baier says:

    Great news! I’ve been waiting to hear this since the Bicycle Summit last spring. You can go so many places along that corridor. I frequently take the light rail from my neighborhood downtown to the Camelback corridor, and then ride my bike along Camelback to hit up Frances, Stinkweeds, Michael’s, Trader Joe’s, and do most any other shopping stuff I need to accomplish. Car-free Phoenix is totally possible.

Post a Comment