Arizona officials prioritize safety after being named 'deadliest state' for pedestrians

Posted at 4:15 AM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 13:10:48-04

Arizona has been named the deadliest for pedestrians in a recent study by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

As a result of the findings, the city of Phoenix is trying to discover new ways people can still walk or bike in the streets while staying safe.

The city is launching a Neighborhood Mobility Improvement Study, which is part of the T2050 voter-approved transportation plan.

In it, the city has selected 11 neighborhoods that could use improvement. They selected those spots through data that included low-income areas, areas with no-car households and places with high bike and bus ridership.  

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"The highest scoring projects that mean the most to every study area hopefully will become reality for these folks," Mobility Planner Brian Fellows explained. "And hopefully, it will make them safer and happier." 

ABC15 went to the area in one of these studies near the Interstate 17 and Central Avenue. 

Fellows explained that the crumbling sidewalk right next to a school is an example of something they would hope fix. He also would like to add more street lighting and shade for people struggling in the heat.  

Some changes they hope to implement across the city are showcased near 1st and McKinley streets. That area is not a part of the improvement study but was recently renovated. City officials look at the widened sidewalks, additional trees for shade and added lighting as an example of what they want all of their streets to look like in the future.

"It looks great," said Construction Inspection Supervisor Tom Smith. "I think it's a huge improvement for the area and will bring more people downtown."

The city has been taking action before this study, as well. They are installing HAWK signals at more intersections to help keep pedestrians safe.

If you would like to see which neighborhoods are included in this study and how to submit feedback, click here