Help Kill Phoenix's Suicide Lanes

Photograph by Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic

Long-term reader of this site may recall that I’m no fan of the suicide lanes that plague 7th Ave and 7th St. that cut through uptown and midtown Phoenix. In February I wrote a post outlining the reasons I oppose them. It contained the text of a letter to the editor I wrote to the Arizona Republic in June 2008.

At that time, Phoenix City Council deferred to the traffic engineers and north Phoenix residents and kept the suicide lanes in place.  Recently however there has been redoubling of efforts to get rid of them.

On July 7th, 2010, the committee members of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Reverse Lanes were selected. The Ad Hoc Task Force on Reverse Lanes was created to work with city staff to review all available studies conducted on the reverse/suicide lane issue, consider new alternatives, and make recommendations to City Council by December 31, 2010. Teresa Stickler, owner of Melrose Pharmacy on 7th Ave, was selected to  serve as Chairperson.

Public Meetings

There will be three town-hall meetings where the public can discuss their opinions on the reverse lanes.

The times and locations for the meetings are:

Tuesday, September 28, 6:00 PM
Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park
300 East Indian School Road

Wednesday, October 6, 6:00 PM
Sunnyslope Community Center Multipurpose Room
802 East Vogel

Thursday, October 7, 6:00 PM
Lookout Mountain Elementary School Cafeteria
15 West Coral Gables Drive

For further information, please call Jennifer Emerson, Management Assistant, City Manager’s Office, at 602-262-7684.

It is important that residents come to the town-hall meetings to give their opinions. All of the committee members need to know the opinions of the people affected by the reverse lanes. The committee members will hear input from people who use the reverse lane for commuting as well as people who live near the lanes.

This is the last chance for public opinion. if you can’t make any of these session, but would still like your voice heard, please contact your City Councilor. Be sure to cc district 4 Councilor Tom Simplot.  His district covers the ares most affected by the reversible lanes, including the Melrose Curve between Indian School and Camelback Rd.  If you happen to live in District 6 (Sal DiCiccio) or District 3 (Bill Gates), where the reversible lanes are also present, your support would also be appreciated.

Survey

In addition to the public hearings, the City has prepared a survey for residents to complete. Regardless if you can or can’t make one (or more) of the hearings, please complete this short survey. Your feedback is very important to help the City make an informed decision on this issue.  The survey can be accesses by clicking HERE.  Note that it can only be taken once per computer.

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Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.
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  • These need to go – the higher the speed the less attention neighborhoods get, and more businesses suffer. At least kill the lanes at Camelback, and reduce the speed to 25mph from Camelback to Indian School. Same goes for 7th Street. Businesses are dying and need all the help they can get to have more approachable businesses.

    If the lanes aren’t killed, I think we should have days where a lot of us drive up and down the street at rush hour, legally driving 5mph below the speed limit, making as many legal left turns as possible, and just leading an example of what safe driving is. If it has to come to this, it has to come to this.

    I hate to admit it, but in the past I remember driving with the traffic at rush hour, looking down at my speedometer, and realizing that I was going 58mph!

    Next on our list: Grand Avenue. Make a free flow from Grand Avenue to 19th Avenue at McDowell, so all traffic except one lane is directed to 19th Avenue then on to Washington/Jefferson. This will enable the Grand Avenue District (The Triangle or GraSeVelt – the area formed by Grand, Seventh, and Roosevelt) to have all-day on-street parking at 45 degree angles with one lane in each direction and a turn lane. If you want take this district viable, this should be considered.

    • Thanks for your comments Ben. I like your idea of a legal ‘drive-in’. Heck, even driving the posted speed limit (35 mph) would be enough to make a statement! I too have found myself inadvertently speeding during rush hour, simply by going with the flow of traffic.

      Your idea for Grand Ave is also a good one.

  • These need to go – the higher the speed the less attention neighborhoods get, and more businesses suffer. At least kill the lanes at Camelback, and reduce the speed to 25mph from Camelback to Indian School. Same goes for 7th Street. Businesses are dying and need all the help they can get to have more approachable businesses.

    If the lanes aren’t killed, I think we should have days where a lot of us drive up and down the street at rush hour, legally driving 5mph below the speed limit, making as many legal left turns as possible, and just leading an example of what safe driving is. If it has to come to this, it has to come to this.

    I hate to admit it, but in the past I remember driving with the traffic at rush hour, looking down at my speedometer, and realizing that I was going 58mph!

    Next on our list: Grand Avenue. Make a free flow from Grand Avenue to 19th Avenue at McDowell, so all traffic except one lane is directed to 19th Avenue then on to Washington/Jefferson. This will enable the Grand Avenue District (The Triangle or GraSeVelt – the area formed by Grand, Seventh, and Roosevelt) to have all-day on-street parking at 45 degree angles with one lane in each direction and a turn lane. If you want take this district viable, this should be considered.

    • Thanks for your comments Ben. I like your idea of a legal ‘drive-in’. Heck, even driving the posted speed limit (35 mph) would be enough to make a statement! I too have found myself inadvertently speeding during rush hour, simply by going with the flow of traffic.

      Your idea for Grand Ave is also a good one.