PHOENIX — On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved $2 million in funding to be spent on pedestrian safety improvements.
City officials are hoping to use that money to make changes and decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities.
In Phoenix, there has been a 200 percent increase in pedestrian deaths over the last decade.
In 2018, more than 110 pedestrians were killed.
To take action, The Office of Pedestrian Safety in the Street Transportation Department will be focusing on improving 7 key areas:
- Adding more HAWK lights
- Upgrading street lighting
- Making crosswalk upgrades
- Putting more medians in place
- Research with ASU
- Community engagement and education
- Leftover funds for any unforeseen issues
Traffic Engineering Supervisor Carl Langford met ABC15 at the newly built traffic signal at 39th Avenue and Southern Avenue.
"This is one of our signals that recently got installed based on safety needs," Langford explained.
He discussed how this project was rushed because of two deaths near this intersection at the end of last year that sparked protests from community members.
"One of the good things is lately, we have received extra funding specifically for pedestrian safety locations that we've been able to accelerate things that ultimately would take longer to build," Langford said.
He said that to make this happen, they met with the community and held meetings. The overwhelming response was that those who lived here wanted and needed this traffic signal.
So far, Langford said the feedback has been positive for the quick installation.
But, he still notices one big problem: some pedestrians still are not using them.
"It does require everybody to pay attention to them and to use them," Langford said. "We have had complaints at this exact intersection of people still crossing the road in front of cars without bothering to push the button and wait for the signal."
Langford said the city of Phoenix has now partnered with MCDOT to work on a study to potentially widen the roadway as part of more safety measures.
If you would like to share your input on that possibility, click here.
To let Operation Safe Roads know about a road concern you have, call 833-AZROADS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.