Are We There Yet? Bicyclists in Phoenix Still Waiting for Safety Updates

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Bicyclists in Phoenix

Bicyclists in Phoenix – Can you believe that it’s been eight months since Phoenix’s Road Safety Action Plan was approved? The ambitious goal was to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero because – as the saying goes, everyone wants to arrive safely at their destination. More often than not, though, Phoenix bikers feel like they’re playing a high-stakes game just getting from point A to point B.

Case in point: Aaron King and his fellow cyclists from the Phoenix Spokes People biking group met at Hance Park and discussed how they often feel unsafe on the streets. “You need a car to feel safe and for your chances of not dying to go down,” said King. In other words – there’s a serious need for change here.

Bicyclists in Phoenix Safety Updates

A Bumpy Road to Improvement

During a 10-month period, Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department held talks with drivers and pedestrians as well as bikers to gather input. Last September, the city council approved a 30-year comprehensive Road Safety Action Plan which sounded very promising…Well, to everyone’s surprise, not much has happened so far. “They say the Road Safety Action Plan and we haven’t seen a whole lot of action. It’s been mostly studies and more planning,” says Annie Eldon.

Steps Taken, but More Needed

Since September, the city has applied for grants to improve roadways, held a safety awareness campaign and enhanced technology at intersections. But just check out these stats: during the 10-month discussion, they discovered that 46% of all fatal crashes involved pedestrians, 15% of traffic fatalities were motorcyclists, and 4% of traffic fatalities involved bicyclists.

READ: Top 10 Bicycle Safety Tips

When the worst does happen, and one is involved in a car or truck accident, the best course of action is to immediately seek advice from Arizona Truck Accident Attorneys as they’ll be able to tend to the legal details right away. And here’s what’s often not talked about – a detail that goes unnoticed: the existing infrastructure and design of the streets contribute to these safety issues. Dave Tapley, who moved from London to Phoenix in 2011, noted, “The wide roads are really the problem out here. It just encourages higher speed. Throw cellphones into the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster really.”

Cyclists Riding Tall, Hoping for Change

So the question is – what’s next? Phoenix riders like Tapley, Eldon, and King are pushing the city to focus more on infrastructure – which might take some extra time. It does seem they’re eager for a safer Phoenix, and they’re not alone. The hope is that the city council takes notice (as well as immediate action) when they present their active transportation plan in the near future. And as the saying goes – better late than never; all Phoenix riders can do at this point is continue their mission and wait patiently until the goal is achieved.