NewsOperation Safe Roads


Traffic light coming to west Phoenix intersection after deadly crashes and protests

Posted at 7:27 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 21:27:36-05

PHOENIX — The community called for it, and the City of Phoenix is going to provide it.

ABC15 has learned a traffic signal will be installed at 39th and Southern avenues, an area which neighbors have called extremely dangerous.

In late December, dozens of people held a protest to call for a stoplight in the area, where two pedestrians were hit and killed by vehicles in roughly a month. Neighbors have pointed out the nearest main intersection is a good distance away, and neighbors routinely cross Southern at 39th Avenue to visit a row of businesses.

After the protest in December, two community meetings took place to address the issue.

"One of the concerns that they had was they wanted a traffic light," said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski. "We talked about four-way stop signs being there; they said that would be good, but they still wanted a traffic light."

The City of Phoenix hopes to install the traffic signal by September. In the meantime, they've put in a crosswalk, additional signage, and overhead lights. Initially, the City considered installing what essentially is a high-tech crosswalk, called a HAWK, but wound up settling on a traffic signal.

"We heard from the community very much that yes, that (HAWK) helps with the pedestrian aspect but there's a lot of issues with the turning movements and it's unsafe in that regard as well," said Carl Langford, with the Street Transportation Department.

On Thursday, neighbors say the improvements are a welcomed change to the area.

"It'll bring order, it'll bring peace," said a man who lives nearby. "People will be able to get across the street without being run over or hit."

City leaders tout this a good example of the community working together with the city.

"What's really important is that when you see something wrong, you need to do something about it," Councilman Nowakowski said. "The best way to do it is by picking up the phone and calling your council member."