City of Phoenix making changes to dangerous intersection after ABC15 reports

Posted at 11:12 AM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 08:18:49-04

Changes are coming to a dangerous stretch of a Phoenix road after an ABC15 report about pedestrian crashes in the area.

ABC15 told you about this dangerous area for pedestrians during an Operation Safe Roads report on Friday after two people were hit.

Since that report, another man was hit and killed in the same area near 35th Avenue and Monterosa Street on Monday morning.

FULL SECTION: Operation Safe Roads

According to police, the man was crossing mid-block when he was hit by a vehicle driving southbound on 35th Avenue. 

The pedestrian was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police identify him as 50-year-old Melsior Umwech.

The driver remained on the scene and did not show any signs of impairment.  

ABC15 has watched dozens of people crossing the same section of road on multiple occasions as part of the Operation Safe Roads report.

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They were mostly hurrying to get to and from bus stops located mid-block. Others were crossing between an apartment complex and convenience store. There is a crosswalk at the three-way intersection of 35th Avenue, Grand Avenue and Indian School Road, but it can take five minutes or more to cross the street that way.

"They are risking their lives," Johnathan Cornejo said as he watched the jaywalkers. "They don't know if a car is coming over speed and they can get hit. They might not even come home the same day."

ABC15 reached out to the City of Phoenix Friday asking what's being done to stop the hazardous situation. At the time, a city spokeswoman said they were hoping to have a specialized lighted crosswalk, called HAWK, installed, but she said it could take as long as three years to get the project started.

Now, after our Operation Safe Roads report, and another deadly crash in the area, the city says they plan to expedite the construction proposal. The City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department says they also plan to check on the timing at the existing intersection crosswalk, after ABC15 got complaints that it doesn't give people enough time to cross safely.

According to Street Transportation Department Spokeswoman Monica Hernandez, the Phoenix Police Department will conduct special enforcement in the area, looking for people speeding and pedestrians crossing the street mid-block. The city is also looking at options to install temporary safety signs and start a community awareness campaign about the dangers of jaywalking in the area.