Downtown Phoenix park upgrades could focus on safety measures

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 01:48:44-04

New safety measures could accompany a $100-million upgrade to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. 

Project officials unveiled possible renderings Monday night showing new water features, shade areas, splash pads in addition to another important feature parkgoers have been asking for -- increased lighting. 

Most of the project will be paid for using private funds. 


"I kind of feel unsafe at times," said Johnny Babbs, who visits the park to walk his dog multiple times a day. 

"There's more people sleeping around here than I would feel safe with at night." 

Aside from the project, the Phoenix parks department wants $256,000 in the city budget to hire two new rangers that will focus exclusively on around 180 flatland parks, including Hance. 

Along with enforcing the rules, their responsibilities will include supporting the Phoenix C.A.R.E.S. homeless outreach program. 

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If approved, the department would have 79 active rangers, just shy of the 81 rangers the city had before the 2008 recession.