By Colleen Sparks
Traffic will likely be moving along more quickly and safely at the busy intersection of Bethany Home Road and 16th Street, after several major projects were completed there.
A fully rebuilt traffic signal at that intersection was recently activated, with a flashing yellow arrow added on all four approaches, said Heather Murphy, Communications & Public Engagement specialist for the city of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department. Flashing yellow arrows mean drivers must yield to ongoing vehicles, and then they can turn when the coast is clear.
City officials also are setting up video detection, which helps the traffic signal and traffic management system run the intersection more efficiently. During low-traffic volume times, traffic will be “expedited in the direction with the greatest demand,” Murphy said. It is a good area to improve traffic flow as drivers access State Route 51 from Bethany Home Road, slightly east of its intersection with 16th Street.
The city also is replacing ramps in and around the intersection by the crosswalks at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road to make them more comfortable for people using wheelchairs, canes, walkers and any other assistive devices. In addition, Phoenix is installing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant pedestrian push buttons near the crosswalks on all four corners of the intersection. There will be an audible beep sound to inform people who are visually impaired that it is safe to cross the street.
“This is an important project for that area and for a busy intersection with retail and eateries and little boutiques on all the corners and a modernization project like this should be welcome and enjoyed,” Murphy said. “It’s a statewide imperative and citywide imperative to remember that we share the roads with people that aren’t necessarily driving a car and we’d all like to safely get home at night so be on the lookout for pedestrians that cross at this and any other intersection.”
To learn more about streets projects, visit www.phoenix.gov/streets.