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Road safety progress pushes Valley man to give back

Posted at 4:25 AM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 07:55:16-05

ABC15 first visited Mike Deweeger back in February of 2020. He called the Operation Safe Roads hotline at 833-AZ-ROADS and told ABC15 he is legally blind and was concerned about his safety while walking each day near Southern Ave and Ironwood Road.

He was struggling to differentiate between the walkway and the roadway itself. Plus, if a car were to swerve, Deweeger would be right in its path

"I called the city and they said, 'Well, we can't really do it,'" Deweeger told us then. "And that's why I called you guys."

"There are some things we could look at," said Director of Development Services Larry Kirch back in 2020.

Kirch met ABC15 at the area of concern and acknowledged the area could use some upgrades.

He also said that whoever Deweeger talked to within the city should have put him in contact with their ADA coordinator.

"In this particular case, I think that's where we probably missed a step," Kirch said.

Since that day, Deweeger said the city has been very helpful and communicative. They said, due to this area being adjacent to a property landowner, the city must wait until they develop the area.

But, since Operation Safe Roads first reached out, Deweeger said the city has helped with a few short-term solutions. 

"They are making progress," Deweeger said. "And it's thanks to Operation Safe Roads... and you!"

Because of ABC15's efforts, Deweeger wanted to give back to the community. Along with Operation Safe Roads, we have the ABC15 Second Chance Bike Drive.

St. Vincent de Paul works to fix up any bike and give it to families in need, so they can use it as transportation for work or school.

Deweeger gave a bicycle to ABC15 and we hand-delivered it to St. Vincent de Paul. That bike is now likely on the road and changing a life.

If you have a road issue or a question, you can call 833-AZ-ROADS or email roads@abc15.com.