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Phoenix Making Progress In Executing Bicycle Master Plan

Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
file | staff
Bike lane along 15th Avenue near Glendale Avenue.

When the City of Phoenix adopted the Bicycle Master Plan more than a year ago, the goal was to make it safer for bicyclists to navigate the streets. The city is making progress, but one feature that’s lacking are protected bike lanes.

Kerry Wilcoxon is a traffic engineer with the City of Phoenix. He says his agency isn’t opposed to such barriers, but "it’s very difficult to put in a protected bike lane in a lot of places, and in other places we don’t have the room to put it in. We’re looking at some opportunities in the downtown Phoenix-area where we have some demand."

Meanwhile, the city completed a restriping project along a stretch of 12th Street between Mountain View and Osborn that extends the bike lanes to the signaled intersection.

If you’ve driven that road lately, you might have noticed something different near major intersections like Glendale and Northern. Where there used to be two vehicle lanes at the signal, there’s now only one.

Wilcoxon explained, "What we have been doing the last four to six months is redesigning the striping on the roadway to remove the lane and bring the bike lane-- which used to end several hundred feet down the road-- bring the bike lanes all the way up to the intersections."

The city completed the restriping last week, but still plans to add green paint at so called "conflict zones," those areas where cars, buses and bikes converge at busy intersections.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.