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!)