It has been a full year since the City of Phoenix put in place the Transportation 2050 plan, that has been aimed to improve bus, light rail, street services and road constructions. In the past year, the City of Phoenix has already begun making improvements for not just public transportation, but for pedestrians, vehicle and motorcycle owners and bike owners.
Joseph Bowar, one of Phoenix’s Public Transit Deputy Director said, “The most important aspect is living up to what the voters want to see in the plan. We did an extensive output on the plan. Now, we must keep our promise to them.”
Some major improvements such as, bus wait times, major street expansions, replacement and upgrades in mobility and signage, and bike lanes have been begun to be constructed. Phoenix also intends to increase shaded areas for when riders are waiting.
The Transportation 2050 plan also aims to increase safety for all riders, whether it is protected bike lanes, more signage, and increasing security.
“I take the light rail to class downtown because it is cheaper than a parking pass, but each semester I try to pick early classes to avoid taking the light rail at night,” said Hannah Robertson, a Junior at Arizona State University, who studies at the downtown campus, “I think they need to increase security because even during the day, I don’t always doesn’t always feel safe on it.”
Bowar said, “A real key emphasis on safety on the light rail and bus. Valley Metro, in Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe, has added more funding to security.” Safety is a primary concern for Phoenix residences, students and workers.
As for public bus transportation, the plan anticipates to add more routes through out Phoenix, extend operational hours and decrease wait times. Bowar confirmed the bus system has had an eight percent increase in ridership.
The plan also includes adding 1,080 miles of bicycle lanes and creating protected bike lanes throughout the city. In October, Phoenix installed their first protected bike lane along 15th Avenue between the streets of Jefferson and Van Buren.
Monica Hernandez, the Public Information Officer of the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department, said, “The whole idea is no longer looking at how to move traffic. Our goal is to create friendly roadways for everyone.” Hernandez mentioned her department has been working closely with the Phoenix Department of Transportation.