PHOENIX — Along Fillmore Street, between Central Avenue and 7th Street, buses, cars, and bikes share the same lane of traffic. At times it can get ugly.
“The traffic is very chaotic. So it’s very difficult to maneuver around that area. Especially down Fillmore either way,” says ASU student Isaiah Santatz, who tries to avoid Fillmore Street when he is on his bike.
The Phoenix Streets Department is prioritizing road improvements to Fillmore between Central Avenue and 7th Street. The danger to bicyclists was showcased in August when Hans Hughes, a popular downtown ambassador, was struck by a suspected drunk driver while he was riding his bike home from work near 1st Street and Fillmore. Hughes later died from his injuries.
100 people attended an online meeting where the Streets Department outlined several proposals it is considering to make Fillmore Street safer by bicyclists.
“This particular stretch as many of you know is one that deserves special attention,” District 7 City Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari said at the start of the Streets Department meeting.
Among the proposals is creating protected bike lanes, removing two driving lanes between 1st Street and 7th Street so bikers can have their own lanes. And where possible, construct vertical protection to bike lanes.
The Streets Department is accepting public input until January 19. The hope is to have the improvement in place by the Spring of 2022.