North Central News

Improvements made for Phoenix cyclists

In the first year that the Phoenix City Council adopted the comprehensive bicycle master plan, the Street Transportation Department made significant infrastructure improvements to make bicycling in Phoenix safer and a more viable transportation mode.

The objective of the 20-year bicycle master plan is to set the course for the development, growth and connectivity of bicycle facilities in Phoenix.

Last year, 16 bikeway miles were added to the city’s bicycle infrastructure network. With the new bikeways in place, the city now has an estimated total of 700 bikeway miles. As part of the comprehensive bicycle master plan, 1,000 more bikeway miles are in store for Phoenix.

More bicycle facilities also are planned for Phoenix through various street improvement studies, such as the Downtown Comprehensive Transportation Study, and projects that are currently under construction. For example, as part of the department’s shift to create “complete streets” that are designed to enable safe access for all users of the roadway, the department added bicycle lanes on both sides of east Roosevelt Street and installed bike racks throughout the corridor. The bicycle-friendly improvements on Roosevelt Street are currently being extended to 7th Street and are under consideration to be extended to 7th Avenue.

Also, where appropriate and with input from the public, the Street Transportation Department will continue to add bicycle facilities to roadways that are slated to be reconstructed or resurfaced to help close the gaps in the existing bicycle infrastructure.

Additional improvements accomplished this past year included installing bicycle detection at six signalized intersections. Detection allows bicyclists in the street to automatically send a signal to the intersection controller that they are present so that the signal indication would change without the bicyclist having to push a pedestrian button. Within the next six months, detection will be added to an additional 14 intersections.

The pavement markings at some of the intersections on 15th Avenue, between McDowell Road and Northern Avenue, were reconfigured to help reduce conflicts between bicyclists and turning motorists. Right-turn only lanes were installed at some of the intersections along this corridor and bike lanes were extended up to the crosswalk area. The bike lanes now feature pavement markings to delineate the bicycling zone and help guide bicyclists through the intersection in a straight and direct path. Similar improvements will continue to be made on 15th Avenue south of McDowell Road and are planned for other corridors.

The remaining projects identified in the bicycle master plan will be prioritized for implementation with input from the community and the newly formed Citizens Transportation Committee.

In line with the advancements of the bicycle program, this past November the city’s bike share program called GR:D marked its first year in operation. Within the first year a total of 36,207 trips where generated and approximately 60,633 miles were traveled. The system currently includes 37 stations and 303 bicycles.

For more information, visit www.phoenix.gov/bicycling.

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